Saturday, July 16, 2011

12 Quick Tips for Aquarium Beginners...

1. Buy at least a 20 gallon (90L) tank if you can afford it and have enough space. Despite marketing to the contrary, small tanks are not 'ideal for the beginner'. A large tank is more stable in terms of temperature and water chemistry.

2. Wash filter sponges and other 'biological' media in tank water, NOT tap water, to avoid killing beneficial bacteria.

3. Carry out water changes regularly - 25% per month should probably be considered a MINIMUM for a lightly stocked community tank - every 1-2 weeks is much better.

4. Do not overfeed. Feed small quantities of food and watch fish eat it before adding more. Do not be tempted to feed fish because they 'look hungry' - 2 times daily is sufficient.

5. Do check the requirements and compatibility of species BEFORE buying.

6. Observe fish carefully before buying, avoid any with split fins, damaged gills, etc.

7. Release new fish into the tank gradually - float the bag for at least 15 minutes to equalise temperature.

8. Use a quarantine tank for new fish wherever possible.

9. Read up on the 'cycling' process and its consequences.

10. Stock slowly to give the bacterial population time to increase to match the additional waste load.

11. Do not overstock. 1" of fish per gallon is often used as a general guideline, but this cannot be used as a hard and fast rule - you can't put a 10" fish in a 10 gallon tank! Remember that your tank will be easier to keep healthy if you understock.

12. Avoid the use of too many chemical additives unless you fully understand the consequences of their use.

Top 10 Study Tips

The lessons taught in middle school are building blocks for high school and college. Starting good study habits now will help you later in life. It does take more effort to study and to become organized; however, academic success will make you feel good about yourself and your parents smile.....

Study Tip Number 10 – Select a consistent place to study. Some people need total quiet and other can study well with music in the background. The key is to find a comfortable place and study there regularly, such as the kitchen table, a desk, a favorite chair, bed, etc.

Study Tip Number 9 – Don’t wait until the last minute. Study a little every night instead of cramming late the night before the test. A good night’s sleep helps. Bleary eyes and a tired body do not.

Study Tip Number 8 – Buy an agenda book and use it. Most students have an agenda book, but they don’t write anything in it. On Monday, write down all of the week’s assignments. Most teachers have them posted in the classroom.

Study Tip Number 7 – Dedicate a space for every class in your book bag. In the department store aisles, there are boxes and boxes of binders, folders and organizational tools. For every class, dedicate a binder, folder or notebook. There should be a place for class notes, handouts and homework assignments. Some of the larger binders can accommodate all classes. It is really a matter of personal choice; just keep papers separated by class.

Study Tip Number 6 – Stay organized throughout the year. Most students have many binders and folders, but they do not use them. Many stuff every single paper from school into one binder. Half of their papers become misplaced or lost. Do not use the “shove” method when papers are returned, i.e. shove everything in one binder. Place them in the correct folder. If you are using a three-ring binder to keep papers organized, take the time to open the metal prongs and place them securely in it. If someone helps you organize your papers, take the time to continue putting everything in its place.

Study Tip Number 5— Make study cards. On the front of a note card write the word or idea. On the back, write the definition or important information. Have a friend or parent ask you about the word and you need to give the definition or visa versa.

Study Tip Number 4 – Make your own study guide. One great way to study is to make a list of the important information from a chapter and write it in your own words. Copy down any words that are written in bold or in italics. Look at chapter headings, section headings and review sections at the end of a chapter for other important information to add to your study guide. Merge this information with class notes.

Study Tip Number 3 – Talk about assignments with friends. Discussing assignments with friends is another way to study. This is very helpful for studying for novel tests. Friendly discussions about books help deepen understanding.

Study Tip Number 2 – If you are struggling, ask for help. Start by talking to the teacher. The guidance counselor generally has a list of tutors in the area. Some high school students need to complete community service hours to be in clubs or in honor societies. You may be able to get a free tutor.

Study Tip Number 1 – Make academics a focus in your life. Studying takes time and effort. Get organized, ask for help and put forth effort in improving your study habits now.

10 Favorite “Best Photo Tips”…. for You!

In no particular order they are…

1. “Think BEFORE you press the shutter”

2. “Do you REALLY want a photo of this?” or “Would you put it on your wall?”

3. “Light is EVERYTHING in photography”, similarly…“Don’t take photographs of subjects, take photographs of the light” and very succinctly put…“Your photo will be no better than the quality of the light… if the light is mediocre, do not expect anything more than a mediocre photo”

4. “The difference between great photographers and a not so great photographers is that the great ones don’t show their crappy pictures.”

5. “K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid”

6. “Try to express your emotion in photo.”

7. “It’s not the camera”

8. “Take notes on every shot – you will learn far more from your failures.”

9. “Bring your camera with you.”

10. “Never stop learning.”