Nothing can beat the blues out of you than watching little fishes swim in the aquarium at the comforts of your home or office. Aquariums not just add to the aesthetic appeal of one’s living room, but they spruce up the natural feel of one’s space and are therapeutic in nature too. However, keeping fish as pets requires certain amount of preciseness and knowledge, since these water critters often find it difficult to flourish in unnatural environment. If you are one of those fish lovers who wish to possess an aquarium, educating yourself well on the care and maintenance of it may help you to make an informed choice. Maintaining aquarium can be an interesting task, as it can help you to take proper fish care and preserve the habitat of your piscine companions. A well-maintained aquarium is the first step for ensuring healthy life of the fishes. A poorly kept aquarium not only looks bad, but is also life-threatening for the fishes. So, if you are planning to buy an aquarium or already have one at you place, checking out these effective maintenance tips will help. Read on for more.
Tips For Maintaining Aquarium
Before setting up an aquarium, it is best to decide on the size of tank, you would like to go for. An aquarium may range from a small bowl to a huge fish tank. However, it is best recommended to go for a large aquarium, since it will accommodate more water, which would mean more stability in temperature, water chemistry and cleanliness. Apart from that, a big aquarium ensures more living space for your fishes and tends to get less mucky as compared to a small one.
Before buying the fishes, it’s best to find out the compatibility of different fishes and go for the ones that are most simpatico. You can ‘goggle’ it or check out with the dealers for a better understanding of fishes. Most fishes vary with each other in terms of needs and maintenance and can’t be kept together. Also it is important to buy healthy fishes, since sick ones can make other fishes weak. You can easily find out healthy fishes from weak one, as they have erect fins, clear eyes and good skin color. Regular checking of fishes is important for the healthy being of your piscine friend.
Water indeed is the key concern of any aquarium. Before filling your fish tank with water, it’s better to confirm that you are using chlorine-free water or water that solutes other gas. It is strongly advised to leave water for conditioning at least for one week, before introducing fish and plants. Once you have set your aquarium, don’t forget to change the water every once in a month. It is necessary to change only 25-30% of the total water, in order to dilute the accumulated harmful chemicals such as nitrites, nitrates and phosphates. The replaced water condition should agree with the temperature and pH condition of the existing aquarium water, in order to avert any untoward effects.
Temperature is another key concern when it comes to looking after your aquarium. Maintaining the right kind of temperature for your fishes is vital. There are basically two types of fishes - tropical fishes and cold water fishes. You can maintain up to 25 ºC for tropical fishes, while cold water fishes may need temperature lower than that to survive. Keeping your aquarium temperature constant is quintessential for assuring the healthy being of the fishes, as sudden changes in water temperature can be life threatening. To avoid temperature shock, you can place a thermometer and a heater to the fish tank.
Another important concern for most aquariums is appropriate lighting, as most fishes and plants need artificial light to survive in fish tanks. Plants need light for photosynthesis, while fishes need light for spawning. Suppression of harmful algae and planktons are possible only in presence of light. Optimum light requirement would be around 12 hours per day. Above all, fish look more beautiful in well-illuminated water.
Risk Of Overfeeding
Kids love to feed fishes, but at times they may just overdo it. Overfeeding can have disastrous consequences. Feeding once in the morning and again in the evening is just fine. Although the amount of food actually depends on the number and types of fishes in your aquarium, it is advisable to feed only as much as the fish can clean up in 5 minutes time. You can also feed them on cooked food, if you want. Keeping your fishes hungry, contrary to most popular belief, is never a great idea.
It is crucial to maintain optimum pH level for all the fishes. While pH 7 (neutral) is the most favorable level for almost all fish types, they can usually tolerate a pH ranging from 6.6-7.4. Fishes are vulnerable to fluctuating pHs. Therefore, it is important to check water hardness time to time to maintain a static pH level. Increase in phosphate level in water can destabilize the pH balance of water. It is advisable to get rid of algae and other wastes to preserve a cleaner environment and balanced pH levels.
It is always suggested to have a quarantine tank for sick fishes, in case there are any. Remember, one sick fish can kill the entire tank. So, it’s best to quarantine the sick fishes to prevent spreading of disease. Quarantine aquarium can also be used for acclimatization of newly bought fish, before introducing it to the already established aquarium. It also enables to keep a tab on disease-ridden fishes.