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Aquarium ornaments are a great way to improve the look of your aquarium with relative ease. They do not release compounds that can affect the water chemistry (tannins from wood, carbonates from limestone rocks, for example). They are made from aquarium safe plastics and decorated using aquarium safe paints. They can be made to look very realistic (some artificial rocks are almost impossible to tell apart from the real deal), or can be obviously fake. Plastic plants also provide easy way to recreate the natural look, without the hassle and worry of looking after real aquatic plants.


Over time, these plastic ornaments and plants will build up algae and detritus that will spoil the look of the decoration. There are a few ways to help bring back the original look or even help prevent this from happening in the aquarium.


Aquarium janitors

There are a few species of fish and invertebrates that will help keep the aquarium in good condition.

- Bristlenose catfish are very good at most types of algae (except hair algae)

- Otocinclus catfish are also very good algae eaters, preferring brown diatom algae

- Nerite snails are effective at most algae types

- Siamese algae eaters are particularly effective at black beard and hair algae

- Freshwater shrimps are very effective at eating and controlling hair algae

These species generally do a very good job at keeping algae in control in the aquarium. Over time however, the ornaments will eventually need removing and cleaning.


Manual / chemical cleaning

When ornaments and plastic plants get to the point of needing removing and cleaning, there are a few options. Like many hobbyists over the years, a lot of fishkeepers will physically remove dirt and algae using hot water and an old toothbrush, in an attempt to bring it back to its former glory.


A much easier solution restoring ornaments is using Plastic Plant Cleaner. The two part process first involves soaking the ornaments in a bucket with 10 litres of water and one cleaning tablet. Leave to soak for a minimum of 8 hours before draining, rinsing and re-soaking in 10 litres of fresh water containing the neutraliser solution for 15 minutes. The ornaments can then be reintroduced without fear of contamination and should be restored to their former glory!


It is important to note this cleaning solution is only effective on plastic plants and ornaments, and should not be used with decor made of natural stone or wood.


If attempting to clean and restore natural stone or wood, the manual cleaning method works best. A high pressure hose can be very effective at stripping away dirt and algae off most natural surfaces. Sometimes simply leaving decor outside to face the sun and the rain can work at removing algae build up. If Texas holey rock that has turned green over time is left outside, given a few weeks usually returns to its original white form.  

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It’s been great to watch this highly successful and innovative company develop its product range to meet the challenging needs of Koi Keepers. It’s great to have a definitive go to brand.
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It will be manufactures like NT Labs who give support to retail shops that be rewarded in the long term for their support to the trade
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We have been working closely with NT labs for many years now. We stock their Pond range and test kits, we strongly believe they are the best liquid test kits on the market, we use them in-store and have sold many over the years. Last year we have began stocking more of their fantastic ranges including their Pro-f food range and Aquarium range of water treatments.
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Excellent technical department that knows it's chemicals as well as it's fish!
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At FishCove Aquatics we are huge fans of NT labs range of products we have seen fantastic results using the food and even bigger results with the liquid fertiliser. Tried and tested by us recommend by many.
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“I Just wanted to say thank you for the help with bacterial issues I had in my pond. I can happily say that the mouth rot of one fish and the fin rot of two others has cleared up to near perfection now. I have been really impressed with the service from your technical team. I have already recommended online that people ask NT Labs about their products and recommended usage.”
Richard Pashley

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Your Probiotic food is absolutely brilliant! I bought twenty one 1 year old Japanese Koi via a fish farm in Ogata, Japan about 3 years ago. I’ve been feeding them on Probiotic and Probiotic Growth in the summer months. Some of are now 2ft in length and of superior quality. It’s not cheap, but you get what you pay for.
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I have used many products for the eradication of aiptasia over the last 15 years. Often with poor results. After purchasing the Anti-Aiptasia, I was astonished with the results! Absolutely fantastic and not like the competitors which normally contains some form of hydroxide. I would highly recommend NT Labs Anti-Aiptasia. This is arguably the best in the market!
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I work at a pet store in Durban (South Africa) and have had the best results with my salt water aquariums that I have EVER seen. I have been in the industry for about 10 years now and seriously recommend the products supplied by NT Labs. All our customers that have used anti-aiptasia swear by this product and have said that it over rules every other product out there. Highly recommended.
Brandon Baker - South Africa

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"I called your offices for support and was put in touch with one of your Aquatic Biologists. He has been incredibly helpful... Without your help, my fish would be suffering and I might have had to stop keeping Koi. I cannot recommend your products, or staff, enough."
John - Customer Service Review

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I’ve used and sold NT Labs products for many years. Now I have my own shop I always recommend their products as I know the quality is there and trust that my customers will see this too. They are a great company to deal with and always find Nigel, my sales representative is so helpful.
Daryl - Harborough Aquatics