Fire-gazing: A way to unwind, almost meditation-like, by staring at a fire or similar naturally random scene (aquarium activity, water flowing in a river/beck, leaves whirling around in the wind) whilst allowing the mind to freely wander.

An interesting aside: “Fire Good. Make Human Inspiration Happen.

For a few years now I’ve had a small community tank (Juwel Korall 60) that I find very relaxing to just sit and watch. It helps when digesting research papers, pondering the software architecture of the analysis tool, or just straightforward unthinking relaxation.

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Juwel Korall 60 – Community Tank

After a number of attempts at rearranging the living room (and house) the tank ended up in direct summer sunlight and succumbed to the dreaded blue-green algae (BGA/cyanobacteria). Ideal conditions being: too much direct/indirect natural light combined with high nitrates and no water movement in the gravel next to the glass.

So now a new larger tank (Juwel Rekord 800) is in the process of being established under the stairs (away from strong natural light). Sadly I can’t use the filter medium from the old tank to speed up the cycling process for fear of contamination from the BGA.

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Guppies inspecting the scenery.

There are a number of really informative resources that I’ve found useful over the years, so this seemed like a good point to collate them all into one handy location. If you have any favourites that you’d like to add to the list then just comment below the article.

To help with maintaining the tank I am also using a free Android App called Aquarium Note that allows you to log all the activities and water test readings and track a tank’s chemistry over time.

Resources.

The First Tank Guide: http://www.firsttankguide.net/

The Tropical Tank: http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/

The Skeptical Aquarist: http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/

The Planted Tank: http://theplantedtank.co.uk/

The Planted Tank: http://www.plantedtank.net/

Fish Lore: http://www.fishlore.com/

Tropical Fishkeeping: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/

Practical Fishkeeping: http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/

Aquarium Info (Aquascaping): http://aquariuminfo.org/

Suppliers.

Warehouse Aquatics: http://www.warehouse-aquatics.co.uk/

Betta Aquaria, Byker: http://www.bettaaquaria.com/

The Pet Outlet, Royal Quays, North Shields: http://www.thepetoutlet.co.uk/