Compared to other things, aquariums usually require very little care and daily attention. In fact, if you started maintenance on your aquarium by the time you begin reading this article, you will probably have been through before you even finish the article. So what is involved in aquarium care? We are going to look at four aspects of aquarium care that you will find very beneficial.
One has to do with the lighting. One thing you have to remember is that aquarium light does not need to be on at all times except when observing or feeding the fish or if theaquarium contains any live plants. The room light is generally considered sufficient and will keep the finish fairly active. In fact, leaving the light on for long periods can even cause algae growth explosions which of course you do not want.
So how can you ensure consistent light and dark cycles are maintained, especially if you are a forgetful aquarium owner? You can install an inexpensive electrical timer that will turn the lights on and off and this will probably leave you with peace of mind knowing that your fish are getting the right doses of light.
Good aquarium care also means that you feed the fish two or three times per day and for only two or three minutes per feeding session. If you are a beginner, this may require some practice until you know the correct amounts of food to give. Do not overfeed the fish.
The side effects are obvious; the water quality deteriorates, there is increased algae growth, the water gets cloudy and this often results in fish being prone to infections and diseases. This is as a result of uneaten food that accumulates in the aquarium.
Good aquarium care also means taking the time to simply observe the fish behavior especially during mealtimes. Look to see if every fish has got something to eat. Look out for fish that are picky about their food. Of course, each type of fish acts differently and it may take some time to determine ‘normal’ behavior for each fish type.
If you take time each day to make this observation, your experience will grow. Also do not forget to check the aquarium equipment and ensure that everything is working as it is supposed to. Consider the various pumps, heaters and filters as the life support system of the fish. This should be done daily. Excellent aquarium care takes some time and experience and is also a source of joy when you realize that your fish are safe and happy in their aquarium habitat.
Tips on Aquarium Care and Cleaning
The proper care and cleaning of your aquarium is the most important, yet most overlooked aspect of owning an aquarium. By avoiding the care and maintenance of afish tank, not only will it lose the visual appeal, but your fish will be unhealthy and unhappy. By following a daily, weekly and monthly care program, you will maintain a beautiful, clean and healthy aquarium.
Daily Cleaning Routine
To maintain a clean aquarium, there are some daily tasks that must be done. First and foremost, it’s important to check the temperature of the tank and make sure it stays consistent. For tropical freshwater fish, the temperature should average at around 77 degrees. Too much heat in your aquarium will promote the growth of algae. Always check for sick or dead fish daily. If you have a sick fish, it should be removed from the tank immediately or it may harm the other inhabitants of the aquarium. Lastly, check that the pump and filter are functioning properly.
Weekly Cleaning Routine
Weekly maintenance is necessary to keep the tank healthy. On a weekly basis, any waste should be removed from the surface of the gravel at the bottom of the tank. Using a siphon tube will accomplish this. If water is removed during this process, be sure to replace it and keep the water in the tank at the same level. Add chemicals and chlorine weekly so the balance within the tank remains the same. At this time, it is best to test the water for the ammonia and nitrate levels. Don’t overlook testing the pH of the water as well. If you are raising live plants, tend to them each week. Trim them back if they are getting too big, and remove any dead or sick leaves. Re-anchor and new sprouts into your gravel. Also, check your tank for snails. You can remove snails by floating a piece of lettuce leaf in the tank. The snails will be attracted to the lettuce, and you can remove them using a net.
Monthly Cleaning Routine
Finally, some monthly steps will assure that your aquarium stays clean and healthy. A partial water change should be performed each month. Using a siphon hose, remove 20 to 25 percent of the water from the tank. Always make sure that your chemical balance is correct. High levels of chlorine and ammonia will cause death. Cleaning the filter should be a monthly task as well as changing the filter cartridge. Be sure not to clean the filter too thoroughly as it contains helpful bacteria that aids in stabilizing the chemical balance in the tank. During the monthly cleaning, scrape and remove all algae from the surface of the tank. If you find you are having a significant amount of algae, consider adding an algae eater to the tank. Should you already have one, be sure to keep an eye on the temperature of the tank and you may also want to limit the time in which a light is used. Any increased heat source will speed up the production of algae inside the aquarium. If your tank is located in direct sunlight and you are having an algae problem, it is best to relocate the tank.
By following a maintenance schedule, you will be sure to keep a clean, clear and healthy tank. Aquarium care is essential and must be performed regularly to ensure the long and happy life of your fish. Provide yourself with an aquarium to be proud of by keeping up with the care and cleaning.
The thought of having a dozen of brilliantly colored fish swimming gracefully at one corner of our home may be a welcoming thought for many, but it is important to realize that it comes with the huge obligation of keeping it clean and well maintained. Your collection of aquatic life will not survive for long without this. The proper daily, weekly and four weekly care is essential to keep them alive and happy.
The Daily Cleaning Regimen
There are some necessary daily steps to preserve a clean aquarium. Check to see if the temperature is consistent because this is the first step to good care habit for your fish tank. For tropical freshwater fish, the ideal temperature for them is somewhere around 77 degrees. Check daily for any signs of sick fish or dead fish. Withdraw any sick fish from the tank or it will harm the other inhabitants and check to see if the pump and filters are working well.
Remember to do your weekly upkeep as well. To get rid of all contamination from the bottom of the tank, use a siphon tube. If water is taken out be sure to replace it promptly. You need to add chlorine and chemicals Each Week to ensure water levels are maintained. Test for ammonia and nitrate. Weekly – remember to test the water pH level as well. If you have live plants, they need weekly care. If it gets too large, trim them down, then remove any unwell or dead leaves. See if there are water snails present because generally they aren’t wanted. Use a piece of lettuce to draw out the snails in the tank – the water snails will attach themselves to the leaf and you can withdraw them safely and easily.
The Four Weekly Cleaning Routine
What are the four weekly care and upkeep procedures for the aquarium? The first thing you need to do is partial water change! Remember, twenty to twenty five percent of the water needs to be removed using a siphon hose. It is fundamental to sustain the chemical equilibrium in the water. Should the level of chlorine or ammonia becomes too high, the fish will die. The four weekly care includes cleaning the filter and the cartridge be exchanged as well. So do not clean them too well! Try to get rid of as much algae as possible from the aquarium and perhaps an algae eater will be a good addition to the tank.
Check out for sources of warmth near the aquarium. Increased heat source will speed up algae growth in the tank. The tank can be moved to a different area if too much heat is present in the current location. Maintain the determined schedule to ensure that your fish tank stays clean and presentable. Aquarium care needs time and effort. Keep your tank clean and well maintained and your aquatic friends will thank you for it.
The care required for an invertebrate only tank is very similar to that of any other saltwater tank; however, the invertebrates are far less hardy than fish. It is recommended that you become skilled with a fish only tank before attempting an Invertebrate aquarium. Most Invertebrates require a specialized diet. Check with the supplier before purchasing and be sure that you are willing to make the commitment to have food delivered if necessary. There are two different types of invertebrates, tropical and cold water. Make sure that the type you are buy is compatible with its other tank mates.
A few examples of tropical invertebrates are tubeworms, red hermit crabs, cleaner shrimp and the sea apple. All of this marine life is compatible in terms of water conditions. They require a water temperature between seventy five and seventy nine degrees Fahrenheit, a P.H. between 8.2 and 8.4 and a salinity content of 1.020-1.024. As you can see, there is very little wiggle room associated with these measurements. It is extremely important to check the levels daily, or the results could be costly. These invertebrates are not compatible, however, with their food source needs. Check with the supplier for compatibility before combining tropical invertebrates.
Unlike their tropical counter parts, cold water invertebrates are usually not sold in stores. They have to be collected from tide pools. It is important to make sure that these species are not on the endangered species list before removing them from their home. It is equally important to do research in order to verify that you are able to properly feed them and care for their very specific needs. Sea Anemones, prawns, shrimp, and starfishes are a few varieties that have been successfully maintained in an aquarium. They require a water temperature between fifty four and fifty nine degrees Fahrenheit, a P.H. between 8-8.4 and a salinity content of 1.024-1.025. Luckily they do eat the same food. They feed off of a diet of small pieces of raw fish, shrimp, squid and mussels.
When keeping cold water invertebrates such as the species mention above, it is a good idea to keep a separate tank full of shrimp, mussels, and scallops to be used as a food source, if you wish to use fresh rather than frozen foods. Be careful when keeping shrimp, as all of the invertebrates listed above feed on shrimp, including shrimp themselves. It is unlikely, however that a healthy live shrimp will be eaten whole by another shrimp or starfish. Invertebrates should be fed more frequently in smaller amounts than fish. Try to feed only an amount that can be consumed in the first thirty to sixty seconds.
When setting up an invertebrate tank remember to include live rock, because some invertebrates feed on the parasites that grow on the live rock. A substrate should also be included in this type of aquarium. It will provide a place for the crabs and shrimp to dig and bury themselves. A light should be included as well, if you intend to keep anemones.
Common Mistakes Incurred in Saltwater Aquarium Care
A very common mistake by beginners incurred in the saltwater, marine or reef aquarium, can be a lack of patience. It’s natural to want to get things done now and done quickly. However, with a reef aquarium you need to take your time. You should allow time for your tank to cycle completely prior to adding any livestock. If you undertake this part of the process too quickly, a beginner will almost inevitably fail to have a healthy aquarium. Thus, the aquarium water needs to be supervised and you must wait until all the parameters are stable.
An additional problem that leads to poor care of saltwater aquariums is a good amount of people just thinks it’s easy to set up a reef aquarium. They don�t do any research and they just go out and buy a tank, some filters because the LFS (local fish store) said that is what they need, they buy some fish, and take everything home, fill the aquarium with water and they dump in the fish. This goes hand in hand with the first part that I brought up. If a beginner adds fish or livestock before the parameters are steady, the aquarium inhabitants will go crazy and this will result in death. Proper care of saltwater aquarium is to do a lot of preparation so that you will be fully educated to keep and maintain your aquarium.
Another mistake often incurred is overstocking. It’s easy to think you can add a lot of fish and other creatures in an aquarium all at one time, or even over a long period of time. But the truth is, you shouldn’t. If you have an excessive amount of fish for example, waste will collect rapidly, and so will the levels of ammonia. Your nitrate level will rise abruptly and your fish will suffer, possibly by killing one another or just plain dying on their own. Be sure to add only a few fish at a time and do this very gradually. You don’t want your tank to become unstable and if you limit the amount fish you will keep better control of the aquarium environment.
To add to the issue of care of saltwater aquarium for beginners, I must add that you should also ensure that your fish and other creatures that you plan to add are all compatible with each other. I’ve seen people put together some fish and corals and the fish ended up destroying the corals. Or I have seen fish eaten by other fish, simply because the owner didn’t realize that they did not go together.
Saltwater Care for Beginners
You must also learn how to properly mix saltwater. This seems like it would be easy but it’s amazing how quickly you can ruin the atmosphere of the saltwater aquarium just because you have the wrong mixture levels of saltwater. Some have added grand amounts of nitrate in their tanks because they used tap water instead of pure water such as RO / DI water. Something as simple as saltwater mixing needs to be done correctly. Also, you need to monitor the salinity, or the amount of salt in the water. The salinity will rise over time due to evaporation. The salt doesn’t evaporate but the freshwater does. As the freshwater disperses into the air, the remaining salt will begin to accumulate in the water, which, if unchecked, could damage the creatures in the tank.
Other Tips for the Care of the Saltwater Aquarium
I will stay on this subject for some more posts, as the care of saltwater aquarium for beginners is extremely important to know. So check occasionally to get the latest updates for the care of saltwater aquariums.
Most people who purchase an aquarium do so for it’s visual appeal. People are known to spend more money on decorating their tanks than the fish and tank itself. It’s a good idea when purchasing these decorative pieces that you consider buying pieces that are both gratifying to the eye, but also useful tools for the balance and maintenance of your tank.
Before resorting to plastic green pieces stuck into the gravel, consider using live plants. Aquatic plants are functional in many ways. Most importantly, the live plants will add oxygen to the water and will help to maintain the water chemistry. They also serve as a place where beneficial bacteria can colonize. This bacteria is essential to have and helps in breaking down waste products in the tank. Overall, the use of live plants aids keeping your aquarium clean and healthy while adding a perfect visual effect.
Once the decision to use live plants is made, you must familiarize yourself with how to grow and care for these plants. The key to growing healthy live plants is the balance between lighting and nutrients within the tank. It is best to use more lighting than what is included with standard hoods. The one bulb that comes with a hood is not enough to promote healthy plant growth. When adding extra lighting, be sure to compensate that with a nutrient supplement to stimulate plant growth and at the same time reduce the chance of algae build up. Algae eating fish will make a great addition. They will keep algae levels low and will not damage the live plants.
The decision to use live plants should be a primary one and steps need to be taken to prepare the tank for later use. It is suggested to add all your plants in the beginning and let them become established. By doing this, you will eliminate the chances algae utilizing the nutrients added and the extra lighting. Quick growing plants are recommended as well as some floating plants. Certain types of fish, such as a catfish, like to seek cover from direct light. The floating plants will provide this escape for the fish and will add a pleasing effect to the design and decoration of the aquarium.
Once your plants are established and growing well, add the fish of your choice and enjoy a beautiful tank. While keeping live plants in the tank, it is important to care for them as you would any other plant. Always remove decaying leaves as they tend to drain the nutrients out of the healthy parts of the plant. Dying roots will rot beneath the gravel. Be sure to remove any part of the plant that is dying or appears diseased. Many plants that are seeded into the gravel will reproduce. The new plant growth can be removed and planted in another part of the aquarium. If you are using a live plant that is primarily a stem plant, try to remove the lower leaves. These low leaves tend to not get the amount of light needed to remain healthy.
The use of live plants will definitely help in creating a masterpiece aquarium that is pleasing to the eye and is a happy and healthy environment for your fish. Always remember to clean your aquarium on a regular basis and inspect plants weekly for decay. Scheduled maintenance is the key to keeping a beautiful and healthy aquarium.