Freshwater Aquarium Maintenance – Top 4 Areas You Should Not Ignore

Freshwater aquarium maintenance is a priority for any tank owner who wants to display a variety of healthy vibrant fish. Having a filthy fish tank will only cause issues for your little swimmers as well as the room you have your display. If you do not want unusual odors surfacing, or waking up one morning only to see some of your species floating upside down, there are a few things to check for.

First , the all important water in the aquarium must be maintained. This is where you can look into purchasing filters that will make your water maintenance self-cleaning. That's right, filters will help get rid of dirt, odor, discoloration and any general impurities.

The downside is that depending on the filter, you may have to change them every 3-4 weeks. If this is not a problem then you're in for a real treat. Some filters are disposable and can be replaced so there is no hassle, and you can keep the water clean.

Second , Algae are one of the most common problems and can ruin even the most beautiful tanks becoming an eye sore to you and other viewers. There are a few remedies you can use to combat the algae, such as purchasing Plecostomus. Known as algae eaters, this fish will chomp away keeping your freshwater aquarium clean as can be. These fish are not known to be "lookers" but they will get the job done. If you rather pass on the species then you may have to remove them by hand. If you want to remove by hand but you want to minimize the amount you do remove, consider that any exposure to sun will allow the algae to thrive.

Third , you walk into the room where your fish tank is located and you notice a strong scent, what do you do? Change your filter more regularly to ensure this does not occur often, because this can kill your fish if it goes untreated.

Fourth thing should not ignore is unclear water. Is your freshwater aquarium looking a little murky? Determine the "root" cause, possibly your overfeeding. Try not to give your fish more than the recommended amounts instead feed them 2-3 times daily. This will reduce the unclear water, if not use use distilled water or bottled water.

Change the water at least every two weeks if not every week but only about 20 percent of it. Many use siphons to drain the water and then replace it. Understand that eventually the aquarium tank will need to be cleaned which can be a pain experience for many. As bad as the experience may be you have to do it if you want your fish to stay healthy. During this process, use a sponge and gently scrub the aquarium glass and remove everything that is stuck there. Some opt to use scrapers but if you have an acrylic aquarium, this process can be damaging. Soak any decorations you have in your aquarium in hot water with a bit of salt and scrub clean. Do not use soap; the residue will kill your fish very quickly.

Finally , when refilling your tank remember to keep the water temperature the same as the fish can live in. Important Tip: Do not use water from the faucet because it is not designed to help the fish, instead boil 5-10 gallon bucket of distilled water let it cool and use.

Toronto’s Real Estate Market – The Sky is Not Falling!

I am sure you are just as tired as I am about hearing how terrible the current state of the real estate market is in Toronto, but is it really that bad?

No, the sky is not falling but there is no doubt that the Toronto real estate market has been affected by the US economic slowdown and because of this consumer confidence has also been affected … and some realtors have had to look for a "real job. "

The economic downturn in the states has no doubt had an impact on our economy. We are seeing fewer transactions occurring, (4,120 resale transactions in Feb '09 compared to 6,015 in Feb '08 according to TREB). Along with a reduction in the number of transactions that have occurred, average prices have also come down in comparison to the same time last year. According to TREB, in central Toronto the average price has gone from $ 404,202 (Jan, 2008) to $ 343,632 (Jan, 2009). Homes are also sitting on the market on average longer than the same time last year but what did we really expect? Did we really think last years wacky market of multiple offers and inflated prices would survive another year?

What does this real estate market mean to a Buyer or Seller in Toronto?

This is great news for buyers! This market is a blessing for first time buyers or those wanting home ownership but just could not afford it in the past. The declining average prices and the unbelievably low interest rates are a great combination! It's a Buyers market, so Buyers take advantage of this opportunity … it's a great time to buy! For sellers this type of market means pricing right and putting in extra effort to make sure your property shows at its potential. In the peak of the market, properties could sell the day they were put up for sale, now properties sit for longer but will still sell if priced right.

As we know, the real estate market is seasonal. As the spring market approaches all ready there is more activity in the city core than in the previous month. Just last week I was apart of two multiple offer situations in North York. Generally speaking the Toronto Real estate market tends to pick up in late spring and then begins its descend in July. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Commission is forecasting that Toronto will see its 6th or 7th best year in history. They are hiring for 75,000 sales in 2009. The next few months will be a great indicator of the state of the Toronto Real estate market. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Honeymoon Vacation Packages

Newlywed couples derive immense thrill from honeymoons in exotic destinations. Honeymoon vacations give them an opportunity to spend intimate time together far from the world of anxieties and worries. Hotels and resorts in renowned and much-sought-after honeymoon destinations offer special honeymoon vacation packages to their prospective clients. The packages ensure a hassle-free time of comfort and leisure for honeymoon couples who do not have to take pains to arrange for different services, since they are generally included in honeymoon vacation packages.

A typical honeymoon vacation package in the enchanting island of Hawaii begins at $510 per night for a honeymoon couple. This exclusive package includes a premium ocean-view room, convertible rental car, a chilled bottle of champagne upon arrival, a daily breakfast buffet for two, and dinner for two one time during your stay ($100 value)

If couples are contemplating a honeymoon vacation in San Francisco, rates start at $245/night for a club level room, and from $315/night for a club level suite, and include a club level room or suite, champagne upon arrival, complimentary continental breakfast buffet in club level lounge, handmade chocolates at turndown, and special bath amenities.

Las Vegas is one of the favorite destinations for honeymoon vacationers, and most of the renowned hotels and resorts in Las Vegas promote premium and economical honeymoon packages.

Las Vegas hotels offer a great deal more than just betting activities to couples spending their honeymoon holidays in the enchanting tourist locale. Most of the resorts are known for their characteristic appeal and elegant swimming pools, shopping, health spas, nightclubs, restaurants, and other amusements.

Hydroponic Gardening – Managing Pests & Diseases

As with soil-based gardens, hydroponic plants require good pest and disease maintenance controls. Failure to do so creates the same results as with 'ordinary' gardens ie spindly or dead plants. Since the majority of hydroponic plants are fruits and vegetables, that means the plants are not worth eating.

However, managing the hydroponic garden is even trickier, since disease and pests have it much easier in this setting. Plants are continuously kept wet, either immersed in water ('true' hydroponics) or continuously sprayed (aeroponics) or in a permanently wet medium such as perlite or sand. Fortunately, as with soil-based gardens, there is an extensive array of available methods to manage the problem.

Using beneficial life forms is one popular way to control unwanted pests, including certain types of bacteria and fungi. These can help to control spider mites and other invaders by crowding them out, eating them or releasing compounds toxic to the pest. They're known as beneficial organizations because they do all that without damaging the plants themselves.

Different types of pesticides are available, too.

Pesticidal soaps have been in use for centuries and still provide effective and non-toxic ways to keep the pests down. One category called botanicals are compounds released by plants themselves that have been combined into an easy-to-use pest control method. Botanicals break down naturally from exposure to air and water and are brilliant because they leave no harmful chemicals behind.

Neem oil can control over 400 different types of pest that typically invade gardens, including hydroponic ones. A simple spray to the leaves can often eliminate common pests. The bugs absorb the oil, which limits their ability to reproduce, leading to a lower population.

For more serious infestations, many commercial pesticides continue to work well.

White flies, aphids, mites and other pests can be a problem in hydroponic settings, just as in soil-based gardens. Powdery mildew is common. In fact, because of the continuous moisture bugs and pests have a 'friendly' environment. Making it 'unfriendly' is straightforward enough, using fungi and organicides. Sulfur-based compounds can help control white flies, mealy bugs, thrips and more.

Pyrethrum continues to be a safe and effective means of control. Although it sounds man made it is actually derived from flowers. This class of natural compounds released by plants are extracted and used in many commercial insecticides. Dosage is low, so the compound is very safe when used correctly (always read the label). Azatrol is a broad spectrum insecticide that provides another easy control method over most common pests.

Hydroponic gardeners have to exercise additional care when using any disease or pest control method, though. Since no soil is present to hold on to the roots, it's easier to damage a plant when manipulating the leaves and stems. That means that if you pick off mites by hand – an effective method for low-number infestations – it's important to exercise extra care.

Since moisture is present, mildew and other fungi are more common in hydroponic gardens. Keeping leaves dry and just the roots wet will help. Any insecticide sprayed on to your plants or vegetable should be allowed to dry under the grow lights. For aeroponically grown plants, for example, that may require a temporary relocation of the indoor garden.