An aquarium is a man-invented way to grow fish differently across the ocean and Lake. Aquarium making has become one of the biggest hobbies of man today. An aquarium can be a small tank or a large building with one or more large tanks. Fishes of different colors and sizes are prepared for sight and curiosity in an Aquarium. New hobbyists who have had problems keeping fish alive for even a few months are always shocked to find out that the normal life span of the typical aquarium fish is measured not in months but in years. Although it varies from species to species, aquarium fish should live anywhere from three to seven years, or longer. Fish can actually live longer, healthier lives, and sometimes even grow larger in an aquarium than they do in the wild.
Aquarium Fish Diseases
Diagnosing and treating aquarium fish diseases is so complex that entire books have been written on the subject. Fish can contract a great many illnesses, and curing them can take a great deal of knowledge and effort. In addition, preventing disease is almost always easier than curing it.
Fish that live in good-quality water, receive a balanced diet, and do not continually suffer from physical stress seldom get sick. Their immune systems are quite capable of protecting them from disease-causing organisms, which are always in the water. When they do get sick, though, it always helps to notice their condition early.
As a general rule, changes in the physical appearance and behavior of the fish are indicators of other problems, so it pays to observe your fish carefully. If any of these characteristics look suspicious, test the water to make sure there are no problems there. As a precaution, clean the filter and change a third of the water in the tank.
When you suspect that any of the fish may be sick, do not add any medications to the tank. You should not treat the tank without knowing what the fish is suffering from. Many fish medications are ineffective or contain so little medication that they do no good at all.
Antibiotics in particular are a problem. If used in small amounts, the bacteria they are supposed to kill can develop resistance to the drugs. When used at much higher doses, the nitrifying bacteria in the biological filter can be wiped out.
Most medications include instructions to change some of the water before each dose. As often as not, it is the water changes, not the medication, that are responsible for the fish getting better.
One common but easily cured disease is ich, which is caused by a parasite, Ichthyophthirius multifillis. This disease is typically brought on by physical stress, such as the fish being handled or the temperature of the water changing rapidly.
The fish’s body and fins will be covered with very small white spots. Fortunately, ich can be cured easily by raising the water temperature to about 84º Fahrenheit and treating it with the proper medication.
Avoid medications with copper in them. Copper can build up in an aquarium and then suddenly be released if the water chemistry changes, killing the fish. Copper is particularly dangerous in tanks with soft water.
Another common disease is fin rot. This disease results in the edges of the fins taking on an uneven appearance as they get shorter and shorter. This disease, which often results from poor environmental conditions, is easily treated with many of the medications available just for this purpose.
One other somewhat common disease is a fungus — typically a fuzzy, white cottony patch. This is a secondary disease, taking hold at the site of a physical injury. If the water quality is poor, the fungus can infiltrate the wound. This problem is also easily cured with proper medication. Ask your dealer for advice.
When it comes to having the aquarium, there are many things that go into the maintenance part. One thing that you can never forget is the maintenance of the aquarium water.
As part of maintaining the water, you have to use a water conditioner for the aquarium. This is because sometimes people even add tap water to the aquarium before treating it.
So what is the best aquarium water conditioner?
5 Best Aquarium Water Conditioner
- Seachem Prime Fresh and Saltwater Conditioner.
- API Stress Coat Water Conditioner.
- API Tap Water Conditioner.
- Tetra Aquasafe Plus Water Conditioner/Dechiorinator.
- Natural Rapport Aquarium Water Conditioner
Seaschem Prime Fresh And Saltwater Conditioner.
When it comes to a powerful treatment for your aquarium, the Seachem brand doesn’t disappoint. It is a concentrated and complete conditioner. Plus, it works for saltwater and freshwater tanks to remove chloramine and chlorine.
The product permanently and immediately removes chloramine and chlorine from the water. That way, your biofilter can remove nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia. Plus, everything gets detoxified after a short 48 hours.
Seachem Prime works hard to detoxify the heavy metals, ammonia, and nitrates found in regular tap water. Though they are typical and safe levels, it isn’t appropriate for the fish. Therefore, your tetra, beta, and other fish have a safe environment in which to live.
You can use this in an emergency. Use a 5x dose of the product for nitrite and ammonia in the water. Just use half a dose if water temperatures are more than 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use one capful of the product for 50 gallons of replacement or new water. Add it to the freshwater first before your fish. If you have high chloramine amounts, consider a double dose.
API Stress Coat Water Conditioner.
For those who want a kit to use, the API brand has you covered. You get the Stress Coat, Stress Zyme, and Tropical Flakes. The two bottles are 16 ounces, while the flakes are 1.1 ounces.
Of course, the goals of the products are to make your tap water safer for fish. It can also protect your fish because of the dual-action formula.
The Stress Coat is designed to remove chloramines and chlorine. Plus, it can detoxify heavy metals. It can also replace the slime coat on your fish.
This product has also been proven to reduce the stress on your fish. It contains Aloe Vera, as well, which has healing properties.
Next, you’ve got Stress Zyme. It eats the sludge in the tank. This helps to keep your decorations and gravel clean.
Of course, it can reduce how much work you have to do to maintain the aquarium. Improving the biofilter is also one of its goals. You can add more beneficial bacteria to your aquarium.
The Tropical Flakes is a portion of fish food. It features the right nutrients. This ensures that your freshwater fish have a balanced and complete diet.
API Tap Water Conditioner
It’s tough to condition your tap water to house fish in an aquarium. The API brand features a conditioning product. This can instantly neutralize chloramines, chlorine, and other chemicals.
Therefore, your tap water is safe for the fish. In a sense, the chemicals in tap water do a lot of damage to your fish. They can cause tissue irritation, gill destruction, and death.
The product is a highly concentrated formula. Therefore, you are not going to need a lot of it each time. It is best to use it when you change or add water.
You should also use this product whenever you add new fish. It can be used in saltwater and freshwater aquariums.
Dosing instructions are to add 1ml for 20 gallons of water. This can detoxify heavy metals and remove chlorine. To get rid of chloramines, you need 5ml per 30 gallons of water.
Along with that, you should feed your fish two times a day. You can use API fish food, which is designed to work with other API products. That way, your fish are healthy and active.
Tetra AquaSafe Plus Water Conditioner/Dechlorinator
If you’re worried about your fish being hurt from tap water, you need the Tetra Aquasafe brand. It is a water conditioner, but it also dechlorinates, as well. You are going to find that it works in just seconds.
The product neutralizes heavy metals, chloramines, and chlorine that is in tap water. These things can be very harmful to your fish.
It features a slime coat protective barrier. This can protect fish from cuts. However, it is also going to help their wounds heal faster.
You can use this product with marine and freshwater fish. The advanced formula also provides clearer water. This means that you have to do less maintenance on the aquarium to keep it looking its best.
The dosing is quite easy to understand. One teaspoon is going to treat 10 gallons of water. Therefore, you need to know your aquarium size to use it effectively.
Plus, this product contains biopolymers (seaweed extract). This works to develop more beneficial filter bacteria. That way, the water is healthier and reduces pollution because the bacterial bed has been strengthened.
Natural Rapport Aquarium Water Conditioner
Sometimes, you want a professional-grade water conditioner. The Natural Rapport brand is essential. It works for saltwater and freshwater aquariums.
You do not need separate accessories, chemical kits, or supplies to treat slime coats and stress coats. This chlorine remover does everything for you with just one step.
It’s advisable to use treatment during any water changes to help goldfish, betta, and other fish thrive. The product adds electrolytes, balances pH, and adds a slime coat to your fish. Plus, it is safe for saltwater plants, marine invertebrates, and crustaceans.
When you use the product, it works quickly to remove harmful bacteria. These include nitrates, ammonia, chloramine, chlorine, and heavy metals.
It also makes the tap water safe instantly because it detoxifies and removes chemicals from the water. Therefore, it is safe, effective, and recommended for live reefs. The product works for exotic fish and betta, as well as others.
There are 11 active ingredients in this conditioner. It can work with the water to add protective slim coats and electrolytes. However, it also gets rid of all the bad stuff in the water.
What is the Best Aquarium Water Conditioner?
When it comes to picking the best aquarium water conditioner, it is all about having a model that can deliver on performance always. You do not want to pick one with too many additives that do not even deliver on performance.
For the list above, you can always settle for the Seachem prime as it is one of the best of the many available in the industry.
The model will deliver exemplary performance for cleaning the water with ease. The impressive concentrated solution also cuts down the nitrites and nitrates you can find in the aquarium water.
Why use a water conditioner in Aquarium?
The water conditioners come in handy when it comes to treating the tap water so that it is safe for the fish to use.
The conditioners will eliminate the chlorine commonly found in the water found in the tap. The chlorine as a chemical is good for keeping the bacteria and other microorganisms out so that you can use the water for human consumption.
The same level of chlorine chemical that is safe for humans can easily be toxic and kill the fish in the aquarium. You have to use the water conditioner to help with eliminating the chlorine and chloramine that might be in the water.
It is not just about removing the chlorine chemical, the water conditioner is also good for removing the heavy metals in the water. It is common to find such heavy metals in your tap water.
It should also be great when it comes to removing the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates
in the water. As you can see, you always end up with clean water in the end.
Depending on the water conditioner, it can also help with creating a slime coating important for protecting the fish. In general, you should have a safe environment for aquatic life.
How Does the Aquarium Water Conditioner Work?
It is quite simple if you get to understand the chemistry behind it all.
The conditioner will start by neutralizing the chlorine in the water. This is done through the formation of the ionic bonds and thus it will render the chlorine in the water to harmless components. Once this happens, the water should then be safe for aquatic life.
The same chemical process will happen when it comes to removing other components such as chloramine and heavy metals.
There is no doubt that you now know may be why your fish has been dying all along. You cannot just add tap water to the aquarium and expect the fish to survive.
Now that you know more about the water conditioners, then you should be in a position to have one of the best products for your aquarium today. Each of the models reviewed above will give you the right performance that you deserve when it comes to treating the water. You can pick based on preference.
World Human Spirit Day Thoughts
February 17 is observed as the World Human Spirit Day to encourage mindfulness through meditation. World Human Spirit Day was started in 2003 by Michael Levy to serve as the day to promote a human spirit that lives a creative, peaceful, and loving life.
Here are a few quotes for the World Human Spirit Day
The human spirit was the strongest medicine on earth. And sometimes all it needed was a little encouragement to pull off a miracle.
The human body has limitations; the human spirit is boundless. – Dean Karnazes
Man never made any material as resilient as human spirit. – Bernard Williams
The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. – C C Scott
Difficulties are meant to rouse not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict. – William Ellery Channing
Freedom is one of the deepest and noblest aspirations of the human spirit. – Ronald Reagan
You have to, in some ways, trust in the human spirit and in human ingenuity. – Ariel Garten
Don’t ever forget that you’re a citizen of this world, and there are things you can do to lift the human spirit, things are easy, things are free, things that you can do every day. Civility, respect, kindness, character. – Aaron sorkin
Ways to develop Human Spirit
- Talk to yourself
- Fill with positive words
Vitamin B3 Protects Skin Cells From The Effects Of UV Exposure, New Research Finds
We all know just how important eating our vitamins are. Vitamins are essential nutrients that nourish our body and keep vital organs functioning smoothly. While some help with immunity, others regulate the skin and hair.
And turns out a few of them can even keep you safe from cancer. In fact, a recent study found that increasing the consumption of vitamin B3 can protect the skin from the ill-effects of UV rays, potentially reducing the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers.
Researchers in Italy isolated cells (human primary keratinocytes) from the skin of patients with non-melanoma skin cancers. These cells were treated with three different concentrations of nicotinamide (NAM), a form of vitamin B3, for 18, 24, and 48 hours and then exposed to UVB rays.
Vitamin B3 can work wonders when it comes to protecting the skin:
Results show that pre-treatment with 25mM of NAM 24 hours before UV irradiation protected the skin cells from the effects of UV-induced oxidative stress, including DNA damage. Furthermore, it decreased antioxidant expression and blocked local inflammation by showing decreased nitric oxide release and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and reduced iNOS protein expression.
Lara Camillo, a research student from the dermatological unit of AOU universitaria Maggiore della Carita, Novara, Italy says: “Our study indicates that increasing the consumption of vitamin B3, which is readily available in the daily diet, will protect the skin from some of the effects of UV exposure, potentially reducing the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers. However, the protective effect of vitamin B3 is short-acting, so it should be consumed no later than 24 to 48 hours before sun exposure.”
Research presented today at EADV’s 29th Congress, EADV Virtual, shows hope that a form of vitamin B3 could protect skin cells from the effects of ultraviolet (UV) exposure: the main risk factor for non-melanoma skin cancers.
Researchers in Italy isolated cells (human primary keratinocytes) from the skin of patients with non-melanoma skin cancers. These cells were treated with three different concentrations of nicotinamide (NAM), a form of vitamin B3, for 18, 24, and 48 hours and then exposed to UVB.
Results show that pre-treatment with 25μM of NAM 24 hours before UV irradiation protected the skin cells from the effects of UV-induced oxidative stress, including DNA damage. NAM enhanced DNA repair, demonstrated by decreased expression of the DNA repair enzyme OGG1. Furthermore, it decreased antioxidant expression and blocked local inflammation by showing decreased nitric oxide (NO) release and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and reduced iNOS protein expression.
Lara Camillo, a research student from the Dermatological Unit of AOU Maggiore della Carità, Novara, Italy says: “Our study indicates that increasing the consumption of vitamin B3, which is readily available in the daily diet, will protect the skin from some of the effects of UV exposure, potentially reducing the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers. However, the protective effect of vitamin B3 is short-acting, so it should be consumed no later than 24 to 48 hours before sun exposure.”
Non-melanoma skin cancers are the most common malignancies in the Caucasian population and incidence is increasing worldwide. The main risk factor is UV radiation exposure, which damages the DNA, increases ROS production, activates local inflammation, and depletes cellular energy, leading to genomic instability and cell death.
About skin cancer:
There are two main types of skin cancer: non-melanoma skin cancer (which includes basal cell skin cancer, squamous cell skin cancer and other rare types) and melanoma skin cancer. Basal and squamous cell cancers are most often found in areas exposed to the sun, such as the head, neck, and arms, but they also can occur elsewhere (2). They are very common but are usually very treatable (2). Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops when melanocytes (the cells that give the skin its tan or brown colour) start to grow out of control (3). Melanoma is much less common than some other types of skin cancers but is more dangerous because it’s much more likely to spread to other parts of the body if not caught and treated early (3). Non-melanoma skin cancer is the 5th most commonly occurring cancer in men and women, with over 1 million diagnoses worldwide in 2018.4 Melanoma of the skin is the 19th most commonly occurring cancer in men and women, with nearly 300,000 new cases in 2018.
Founded in 1987, EADV is the leading community to further the knowledge of health professionals and advocates in the field of dermatology and venereology. It is a non-profit organization with over 7,000 members, across 113 different countries in the world, providing a valuable service for every type of dermato-venereologists professional. The EADV is committed to improving the quality of patient care, continuing medical education for all dermato-venereologists within Europe and beyond, and advocacy on behalf of the specialty and patients.
About EADV Virtual:
This year’s Congress is a first in EADV’s history. EADV Virtual – New Frontiers in Dermatology and Venereology provides an exceptional opportunity for colleagues from around the world to explore the latest developments in science and patient care that are at the heart of the academy’s mission. The user experience is immersive and simple to follow.
Passion fruit: what are the health and medicinal benefits of passion fruit? What do you know about passion fruit?
Modern lifestyle diseases, such as obesity and metabolic syndrome (MS), may lead to many complications, including hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular disease. They also accelerate the aging processes. Appropriate dietary interventions may help to regulate glucose and energy metabolism, and thus improve the outcome for affected individuals.
Among the interventions are caloric restriction, which helps reduce insulin resistance by preventing sustained hyperglycemia. This often requires long-term control of dietary choice and portion size, which is difficult to maintain for a majority of overweight subjects. For this reason, functional foods, such as passion fruit are being studied for their potential contribution to reducing weight and insulin resistance.
One compound in passion fruit, which has garnered plenty of interest is piceatannol, an analog of resveratrol. The latter is a polyphenol, which has been shown to lower glucose levels, and to increase stamina, in several rodent studies.
A clinical study on resveratrol in humans with excessively high body mass index (BMI) confirmed these results, as well as its ability to produce a reduction in blood pressure and higher mitochondrial respiration in muscle tissue, as well as the activation of several muscle kinases. Piceatannol shares many of these benefits, improving metabolic parameters and glucose breakdown, reducing vascular tone, increasing eNOS levels (which is vaso-protective), promoting collagen synthesis, and reducing ultraviolet damage to the skin. In fact, its activity is higher than that of resveratrol.
One study showed that insulin levels in serum were significantly reduced in the fasting state in overweight men with piceatannol supplementation, as well as a fall in the blood pressure and the heart rate. This was not seen in women or in men with a normal BMI. Another study in mice showed inhibition of postprandial rises in blood glucose levels as well, which points to the potential for anti-diabetic activity with piceatannol supplements. Further studies are needed to understand the variation in effect with body composition and gender, as well as to perform more sensitive and long-term evaluations of the changes in glucose and insulin parameters.
The cardiovascular effects of piceatannol seem to be mediated by the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of the polyphenol. It is known that failure of vasorelaxation, which is mediated by eNOS activity, is a characteristic of endothelial dysfunction. This would lead eventually to atherosclerosis via lipid oxidation and inflammation of blood vessels. It also activates dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase, and thus inhibits the natural deactivation of eNOS. Again, it increases eNOS stability, thus prolonging its half-life. It has other mechanisms of vascular anti-inflammatory action as well. Piceatannol thus has profound cardioprotective effects, and a central mechanism of action cannot be ruled out as well. In addition, it may help to stabilize cardiac myocytes.
Each 100g serving of passion fruit supplies about 30g potassium, or a quarter of the daily requirement. This is one of the best things to do to reduce cardiovascular risk. Potassium is a vasodilator, and it is necessary for the operation of the vital ion channels in the cell membranes.
Passion fruit also contains many other antioxidants, such as C-glycosyl flavonoids, chlorogenic acid, isovitexin, caffeic acid, quercetin, rutin, and luteolin. These also play a role in glycemic and lipid control, but the exact effects and doses have to be elucidated through further study. A single serving can contain about 30g of vitamin C, and significant amounts of carotene and cryptoxanthin, all of which are powerful antioxidant molecules lowering the risk of age-related degeneration, cancers, and cardiovascular disease. Vitamin C also stimulates collagen synthesis and improves epithelial health, as well as being an immunomodulator to boost innate immunity.
Passion fruits also contain large amounts of dietary fiber (98% of the daily recommended intake), which helps improve intestinal health, reduces the pH and ammonia levels in the colon and thus encourages healthy intestinal microbiota, and relieves constipation and flatulence. Again, fiber reduces appetite and this again leads to lower insulin levels and reversal of the metabolic syndrome. It also results in lower levels of cholesterol in the blood. The rind of the fruit is also rich in soluble fiber, which has independent anti-diabetic and anti-dyslipidemic effects. Fiber also lowers the risk of colorectal cancer. Piceatannol also counteracts colonic irritation leading to intestinal inflammation.
The large amounts of vitamin A in passion fruit can safeguard eye health against age-related macular degeneration, prevent cataracts, and lower the rate of skin aging and wrinkling.
Passion fruit also contains appreciable amounts of copper, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, contributing to bone health and to normal RBC counts, which helps to counter anemia.
Some rodent studies found a marked anxiolytic and sedative effect upon supplementing the diet with passion fruit, due to the alkaloid harman. This can also help to relieve insomnia.
Anticancer effects include apoptotic actions upon human cancer cell lines, as well as inhibition of migration and epithelial anchoring of metastatic cells in breast and prostate cancer. Piceatannol also inhibits HDL uptake by neurons to which ecto-F1-ATPase autoantibodies are bound. It may thus may slow the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. It may also inhibit antigen-induced WBC degranulation and thus prevent allergic reactions.
Passion fruit is not just a delicious tropical addition to the menu, but a powerhouse of several potential health benefits and should become a part of a varied and rich diet whenever available in season.
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