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Filtration, Part 2 – The Difference Between Mechanical, Biological and Chemical Filtration

Most aquarium keepers rely on a combination of three different filtration methods to keep the water quality up in their aquarium: mechanical filtration, biological filtration and chemical filtration. Mechanical filtration will remove larger debris from the water, biological filtration is performed by bacteria that convert dangerous waste products into less harmful compounds, and chemical filtration is typically performed by activated carbon that will bind toxic compounds, traces of medication etc.Several types of filtration can take place in the same piece of equipment. When you look at the basic corner filter filled with sponge used by many novice aquarium keepers, you might consider it to be just a way of performing mechanical filtration. The truth is however that the sponge is an ideal home for beneficial bacteria that can perform biological filtration. The corner filter is typically combined with a pump that causes a water flow and constantly provides the bacteria with biological waste products that are dissolved in the water. If you place a piece of activated carbon in your corner filter, it will perform chemical filtration of the water that is pumped through. This way, you can have three different types of filtration going on in the same piece of equipment.Mechanical filtrationMechanical filtration will remove larger debris form the water. You can get internal mechanical filters as well as external ones. A mechanical filter is typically combined with a pump that forces water through some form of filter media, e.g. sponge, foam or floss. Before you purchase a mechanical filter you should always find out how much water it will circulate and how fine the filter media is. A general rule of thumb states that a mechanical filter should pass roughly twice the amount of water in the tank every hour, but this is not true for all types of aquariums.The fineness of the filter media in a mechanical is very important. A very fine filter medium will catch even small debris from the water, but is on the other hand prone to clogging and must be cleaned very often. A coarse filter media is less prone to clogging, but will on the other hand allow a lot of debris to pass through. Many aquarium keepers use a combination of several filter media, where a coarse filter traps large particles before the water is forced through a finer medium.Biological filtration During biological filtration, harmful nitrogenous compounds produced by the animals in the aquarium will be converted into less harmful nitrogenous compounds by two different types of bacteria. The metabolism of your fish will produce ammonia that is excreted through the gills and present in the fish poop. High levels of ammonia are unhealthy for fish, and really high levels can even be lethal. There is however a certain type of bacteria that feed on ammonia. This type of bacteria will ingest ammonia and excrete nitrite. Unfortunately for your fish, nitrite is even more poisonous than ammonia. For successful biological filtration, a second type of bacteria is therefore necessary. This type of bacteria ingests nitrite and excrete nitrate. Nitrate is less poisonous than ammonia and nitrite, but you must steel keep an eye on the levels of nitrate in the aquarium and remove the nitrate by performing frequent water changes.You can support the colonies of beneficial bacteria by providing them with suitable materials to colonize, such as sponge and floss filter media, gravel, sand, plant leaves etc. When you start up a new aquarium, you should let it go through a process known a cycling. During this process, large colonies of both types of bacteria will establish themselves in the aquarium. You can jump start the cycling process in a new aquarium by introducing bacteria from an already cycled aquarium, e.g. by taking some gravel or filter media from it. You can also purchase a solution filled with the right type of bacteria from an aquarium shop. If you use materials form an established aquarium, you always risk introducing undesirable organisms together with the beneficial bacteria.Chemical filtrationThe most commonly used material for chemical filtration is activated carbon. Activated carbon will bind a wide range of different compounds to it self and thereby remove them from circulation. It is common for aquarium keepers to use chemical filtration for shorter periods only. When you have completed the treatment of a disease or parasite in the aquarium, you can for instance use chemical filtration to remove any traces of left over medication from the water. The use of activated carbon is quite controversial, and many keepers of planted aquariums refrain from using activated carbon for any longer periods of time since they suspect that it might lead to a depletion of nutrients.

Property Management – Checklist in Finding Your Property Managers

Managing rental properties like apartment, studio, condominium, townhouses or house and lot requires a lot of money, time and effort. It also needs near-constant availability to ensure that you meet the needs of your tenants. Property Management Company is the answer to many property owners and investors who are having a hard time managing their properties. This property management company is composed of professional people who are tasked to build a good relationship between the landlord and the tenant. Their duties include the collection of rent, responding to maintenance issues and repair damages of the property, evictions, and monthly financial reporting.Not all property management companies are alike. Like any products or services in the market, there are hundreds of property management companies who are promising to offer a good service but only few deliver the best-in-class service. Thus, you have to be very critical in selecting the company to manage your properties. Below are some tips on how to find the company to trust in managing you properties:1) Good Reputation. Reputation is an intangible and multifaceted concept, which takes time and experience to build. The company’s reputation speaks a lot of its identity and the kind of service that it offers to its clients. A good property management company must be consistently professional, responsive and thorough. In addition, the company must be a licensed real estate broker and must have a team of experts to manage you properties. Pick the one who values your property.2) Cost Efficient. Understanding financial statements, profit and loss, income taxes and budgeting are all very essential for the property manager. Expertise and competitive rental properties is necessary. The real estate property management company should work closely with the landlord in order to maximize rental income and return on investment for the property.3.) MARKETING STRATEGIES- Good marketing strategies of a company can attract more potential tenants to lease your property. Effective competition in the market place necessitates more than just a word of mouth; it needs a solid marketing. Advertisements should be consistent and up-to-date. An effective marketing strategy can maximize occupancy and rental rates.4.) Quick and Responsive- Quick and responsive communication are the solution to business development and service improvement. The skill to communicate effectively with customers and respond to their needs is essential because it only reflects how customers are valued. The property manager must then respond to their requests, monitor their activities as regards the lease requirements, collect rent in a timely manner, and continually assess the tenants’ satisfaction as regards the property’s amenities versus those of competing rental properties in the area. Services and communication must respond to the members’ needs.5.) Conflict Management Skills. Lastly, a quality property manager should be excellent in conflict management. Real estate matters are so sensitive; therefore, crucial situations are being dealt here. Knowledge of existing laws is important towards the implementation of the business policy to avoid unwanted outcomes. They should know how to deal with the complexities of running rental properties.

Kids’ Party Entertainers – How To Make The Party Fun

When it comes to hiring kids entertainers for your child’s next birthday party, the problem is often in the choosing. After all, there are so many choices out there! To make things easier for yourself, narrow your pickings down by (1) deciding on a party theme, and (2) taking your child’s age group into consideration.Everything Starts With The ThemeHaving a party theme to work with makes everything easier! When you have a theme, it’s a lot easier to choose the right kind of kids party entertainers. Choosing the food and drinks, the decorations, and the party favours is also a lot simpler when you have a theme handy.Consider The Child’s AgeAnother thing to consider when choosing children’s party entertainers is your child’s age. Younger kids won’t mind having clowns around, so no worries there. Just make sure the clowns aren’t scary — you know how some people are with clowns!It’s often better to offer something unexpected and unfamiliar when it comes to entertainment. Kids may like quieter, more mature, and more creative kids entertainers, such as face painters, balloon artists, comedians, and magicians. Even themed pony shows are great ways to keep the kids occupied throughout the party.What’s Your Budget?There will always be entertainers out there who charge ridiculously cheap rates, and it’s tempting to hire such entertainers when you’re on a tight budget. But remember the saying “you get what you pay for” and a first birthday or a 5th birthday only gets celebrated once, why risk the memories hiring a cheap kids party entertainer (newbie, less experienced performers). It’s a whole lot better to shell out a little extra money for the peace of mind of working with true professional entertainers.Check Their BackgroundHere’s one last tip to consider — when choosing kids party entertainers, check their track record. How long have they been in business? What are people saying about them? Are there any places on the Internet where people have left feedback about them? (Hint: log on to Facebook and see if they have a fan page.)Also, don’t hesitate to call them up. When talking to them, trust your gut – do you feel like you can trust them? Would you be comfortable having these entertainers around your kids?Here’s a bonus tip: If you’re in Australia, check if the entertainer has a Working With Children Police Check (WWCC) card. Also, check if they carry public liability. They are, after all, running a business – make sure they’re 100% legit! While things almost never go wrong at a kid’s party, it’s always better to work with a team of entertainers who are passionate enough about their profession to cover all the bases!

Investing Online: Guide to Low Risk Investment Strategies for Online Stocks

Just because one invests in safe assets does not mean that there is no risk involved. Any low risk investment has a degree of uncertainty in returns and losses. Investors are advised to understand that different perspectives can lead to different investment decisions. To make the right decision, you may want to look at the various strategies by successful persons who have taken on low risk investment.Among the reasons to invest in stocks can be to put your children through education. Your strategy may not be the same when your child is young and when college approaches. When you start early, you may begin with an aggressive strategy but when college approaches you can switch to a more conservative strategy.The other reason is to have financial stability in your retirement. To invest for retirement you may need to avoid online stocks with high unnecessary risks, penalties and transaction fees. To successfully achieve your investment goals a low risk investment strategy is necessary. A high payout investment strategy with low risks is what you should aim to have.i). How you spend your time is important. Time is essential in everything we do and investing is no exception. Spend the time you have where it will benefit you financially. Your time can be spent on saving money that will be invested in stocks later. Budgeting can help you save money to invest in low risk options.ii). Since you are saving money to invest, you may be in a better position to invest money you can afford to lose. This is because you are not going to put all your money at once hoping for a windfall and end up losing the little that you have if the investment doesn’t go your way. You will have enough money to diversify on your stocks portfolio.iii). When investing, consider the risks, income, dividend yield, access to your money and if there are any fees involved. Regular income from your low risk investment portfolio is important. Therefore, you should seek stocks that are safer and from strong stable companies.Investing for income in low risk options aims at providing you a steady stream of income on a regular basis usually annually, quarterly and semi-annually. Since everyone has different circumstances and needs when investing, your investment strategy may not be acceptable for another person.To choose the best low risk investment strategy, you may want to consider your financial position in life, investment timeframe, investment goals and tolerance to risk. Do your research and choose the option you fill most comfortable with. Follow your strategy and soon you will see your money multiply.