Ask Cobalt

What flake food should I be feeding my tank? – Ryan H, NC

This is a great question that pops up rather frequently at fish stores, shows, and events. Frozen foods, live foods, freeze dried foods, flake foods, pellet foods – the amount of choices are growing every year. Walk in to any fish store and you’ll see flake foods still reign supreme, and for good reason. They’re affordable, easy to use, and readily eaten by most fish. They also offer great shelf life, are easy to store, and easy to feed. This month we will take an in-depth look at flake foods and how you can pick the flavors that are right for your fish.

Just like you, fish don’t want to eat the same thing every day. Unfortunately, a lot of fish only get the same food day in and day out. This can lead to stagnant growth, digestive issues, loss or lack of color, and lethargy among other symptoms. Whenever we get asked which food is right for a specific tank, we always encourage multiple flavors to keep fish at their peak. That’s why we offer over 15 varieties of flakes, each one specifically blended to meet the dietary requirements of different fish. Our question this month comes from Ryan, who has a freshwater tank featuring barbs, tetras, angelfish, gouramis, and corydoras catfish. We refer to tanks like this as tropical community tanks, where various species of tropical fish are mixed together in the same environment. Here at Cobalt we offer many varieties that will work for this tank. For Ryan, I suggest a base of Cobalt Tropical flakes. This is a blend specifically designed for community aquariums and provides a great general diet for most tropical fish. In addition, I would supplement the Tropical flakes with Cobalt’s ULTRA Color flakes, a blend specifically designed to bring out vivid colors in tropical fish. Finally, I would also include Cobalt Mysis Spirulina flakes as a bi-weekly treat for your fishy friends. This blend of high protein mysis shrimp and nutritional spirulina algae is loaded with natural Omega 3s for continued good health.

Cobalt flake foods not only provide a balanced diet for your fish, but they also feature Probiotics and Prebiotics to ensure optimum digestive health. Better digestion means less waste, and less waste leaves a cleaner aquarium! Additionally, Cobalt’s flake foods all feature our unique Blue Flake, which is a specially formulated flake packed with triple the standard amount of vitamins and minerals. This ensures a healthy immune system and maximum growth potential in your fish.

At Cobalt, we know choosing the right foods for your fish can be a challenging task. We are always here to help you pick out the correct flake foods (or any other variety) for your pets. Also, all our labels have pictures of some of the fish that food is best suited for to help make choosing the right foods easier. Have mollies? Check out our Ultra Spirulina and Color flakes. Got tangs? Ultra Spirulina, Marine Vegi, and Mysis Spirulina are perfect for you. How about clownfish? I bet they can’t resist our Marine Omni or Brine Shrimp flakes!

Cobalt is working hard every day to bring your aquatic pets the absolute best in nutrition. Whether it be frozen, pellet, or flake foods, Cobalt is here to help!


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How Do I Set Up A Saltwater Canister Filter? - Linda S, OH

When setting up a new tank, choosing filtration can be a daunting task. Hang-on-backs, internals, overflow boxes, canister filters, sumps – it can be an overwhelming experience for a new aquarium keeper. Canister filters are one of the most popular choices for fish keepers of all skill levels, and for good reason. They are typically quiet, easily maintained, minimize the amount of equipment visible in a tank, and are extremely versatile. What most aquarists don’t realize, however, is that canisters often come optimized for freshwater tanks. Luckily it is easy to convert them to powerful saltwater filters with a few simple changes.

Most canisters, such as the innovative Cobalt EXT, come with media trays featuring various filter medias. These typically include a coarse sponge for large debris removal, ceramic rings, balls, or bioballs for bacterial cultivation, carbon for organic waste removal, and a fine floss for water polishing and particulate removal. While this setup is ideal for freshwater tanks, saltwater enthusiast may find it lacking or unable to keep up with their saltwater tank demands. Luckily optimizing a canister is easy.

For most saltwater tanks, ceramic rings, balls, pellets, bioballs, or any other media designed to harbor bacteria is largely unnecessary. This is because the live rock found in saltwater tanks provides the exact same bacteria harboring ability, but at levels far superior to anything available on the market. To optimize a canister for saltwater, start by removing the ceramic rings or bioballs and replacing them with a high quality phosphate absorption media, such as Cobalt Blend-Tech Advanced or Cobalt Anti-Phosphate resin. Phosphate is a key contributor to most common saltwater problems, including hair algae, cyanobacteria, bryopsis, coral tissue necrosis, and many others. In addition to changing out the ceramics for a phosphate absorption resin, supplementing the carbon with a synthetic organic waste remover will yield impressive results in saltwater tanks. Cobalt Blend-Tech Total Organics or Cobalt Anti-Nitrate resin are ideal choices for this. Additionally, Cobalt Blend-Tech Total Reef combines a carbon blend, organic waste removal resin, and nitrate absorption resin to create the perfect filter media for saltwater aquariums.

By following these few easy changes, a canister filter can provide excellent primary or supplementary filtration for a saltwater tank or reef aquarium. We’re happy to answer any questions for you or your clients, and we are always available to help you choose the right gear for your aquarium!
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