Aquarium Maintenance Tips from the Pros
Have you decided to start a fish tank or install an aquarium in your home? Well, this is one of the best decisions you will make in life because fish keeping is a rewarding activity. While ornamental fish species will boost the curb appeal of your space, pet fish will always cheer you up and lighten up your mood whenever you look at them dancing and swimming inside the six walls of water.
However, you will still need to keep their living environment well maintained so you can enjoy the said benefits. This means changing the water regularly, ensuring the ideal temperatures, supplying sufficient amounts of oxygen, and getting rid of the waste that could otherwise affect your fish health. In other words, you will need to keep track of several maintenance tasks, most of which do not need to be done manually. This piece shares a few maintenance tips you can borrow from the pros.
1. General Checkup
Maintenance is a continuous process that is done daily or periodically. Daily activities include feeding, temperature checking, and behavior observation. This is done to ensure that the fish are alive and healthy. If you notice that your fish tank is cloudy the folks at Aquarium Store Depot suggest checking that you are not overfeeding your fish or you don’t have too many fish in the tank. A cloudy tank could also be caused by dead fish, decaying matter, faulty glass, or an improper substrate.
Knowing how well your fish are fairing will guide you in the area of concern. As a practice, monitor their feeding habits, as well as the eyes and skin color. For routine checks, it is necessary to ensure that the pumps and lights are working efficiently. A blocked pump slows down water motion, limiting the air available for the fish. On the other hand, proper lighting provides photosynthetic energy and oxygen for the fish. They need to be in good working condition, which is why changing them at least once a year is recommended.
2. Testing Water Quality
If you are noticing signs of stunted growth, diseases, or stress among your fish, you should consider checking your water quality. This simple activity takes less than 30 minutes but can save your aquatic animals. You do not have to be a marine biologist to do quality checking. However, having a basic idea will come in handy. Fish release ammonia which in excess is toxic to them. Besides, existing matter in the aquarium converts it into nitrate form, which leads to algae growth. By testing at least once per month, you will know ammonia and nitrate levels so you can take action. The test should also be inclusive of:
- Water temperature
- Water PH
- Calcium levels
- Phosphate levels
Good water quality will result in healthy and vibrant fish.
3. Cleaning the Aquarium
A clean tank is pleasing to the eye and good for your fish health and well-being. Over time, material buildup will cause the aquarium to be dirty. When cleaning your aquarium, first wash the glass with a cloth to remove algae that may have built up. Secondly, shake and wipe the plants and other ornaments to remove debris. When cleaning, you should avoid using ammonia-based substances since they are not good for the fish.
4. Filter Maintenance
Filtration helps to keep the water clean by removing contaminants in the aquarium which can suffocate the fish. Besides, it ensures a steady supply of fresh air. Therefore, it is important to keep the filtration system clean. While cleaning the filters, the goal is not to make them excessively clean because they accumulate good bacteria. This is important for supporting the nitrogen cycle.
Also, you are supposed to change the filters occasionally to prevent them from jamming. This enhances the system performance hence a better environment for your aquatic life. Another form of maintenance is ensuring the system is of the appropriate size. If it is too small, it may not work efficiently and a big one will push the fish around. Therefore, there should be a balance.
And there you have it. As much as you may not have a clue as to a beginner in fish keeping, aquarium maintenance doesn’t have to be an overly frustrating task. The above few tips should get you started as you become more experienced in this lovely activity.