Aquarium Basics

//Aquarium Basics

Aquarium Basics

Unsure where to start? Here are some basic points about tropical fish keeping to get you going on your new hobby:

  • It is recommended that beginners start off with a small number of easy-to-care-for fish. When setting up an aquarium for the first time, it is best to start with just one fish, just to make sure your tank is cycled properly and the equipment is working before adding any additional fish. And remember, when selecting fish, a good guide to follow is one inch of fish per net gallon of water or fewer.
  • On average, you should leave your aquarium light on for 8-12 hours, 10 being ideal. If algae are a problem, you should reduce the amount of light time. Live plants need as much as 12 hours of light a day. Timers will help you maintain the amount of light time.
  • Since fish do not produce their own body heat, they rely on the temperature of the water to maintain their body temperature. Most tropical aquarium fish are most comfortable in water above room temperature. The best location for the heater is near the water flow from the filter. You should also keep a thermometer in the tank at all times to make sure the heater is working as it should. The average ideal temperature for freshwater tropical fish is 78º F.
  • Aeration: Use an air pump and air stone to help provide an extra boost of oxygen to the water. Fish need oxygen, too!
  • Choose a filter that best suits the size of your aquarium. Keep in mind that filter cartridges need to be changed at least every month.
  • Gravel is important because it provides a home in the aquarium for beneficial bacteria. This bacteria helps break down the wastes your fish create, and live in the gravel bed. However, the build up of debris and waste in the gravel can have the opposite effect, creating ammonia and fouling the water. It is important to use a gravel siphon and do a thorough cleaning each time you do a water change or see excessive build up. If you choose not to have gravel, you will have to change the water more often. Gravel also provides a home for live plants.
  • Decorations: Artificial plants are easy to maintain and look real. Decorative caves and tunnels give the fish a place to hide and make them feel safe. Real plants help balance certain biochemicals and nutrients. Keep in mind that live plants require maintenance, such as trimming, additional fertilizers and 12 to 14 hours of light per day. Make sure all of the decorations and plants are rinsed off and safe before you put them into the aquarium.
  • Clean the inside glass, decorations (rocks, plants), gravel and outside glass with water only before adding your fish to any aquarium. Any kind of chemicals can harm your fish.
  • Always add water treatment to the water before putting fish into your aquarium. It eliminates chlorine and heavy metals that can be found in tap water. For freshwater aquariums, adding a safe water treatment can reduce the frequency of water changes by stabilizing the water quality and replenishing essential trace elements and minerals that are depleted over time.
  • Overfeeding is the most common mistake fish owners make. Feedings should occur one to two times daily, in small doses. You can find a large selection of fish food in store, each is specially formulated for your specific aquarium.
  • You will need a net to safely remove the fish from your tank.
  • Once your aquarium is up and running, it is recommended, on average, to do a 25% water change every two weeks to keep your water refreshed and healthy. Be sure to use a dechlorinator when you are adding tap water. This keeps the water clear and helps take out some of the waste elements that cause algae and put stress on the fish.
By |2018-03-07T12:21:56+00:00March 7th, 2018|Categories: Fish|0 Comments

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