When you decide you want to create your first freshwater aquarium (or any aquarium for that matter) what you are essentially doing is saying to yourself that you are willing to adopt the responsibility of taking care of these tiny alien creatures who will rely entirely on you for their health and happiness, and in exchange you get the pleasure of having a window into a world you otherwise would never see and, hopefully, derive years of pleasure from maintaining and observing this unique and beautiful world. So what are some good ways to help maintain the health of your new alien pets? Well we certainly want to arm you with the correct and necessary knowledge for taking care of your fish, so her are a few helpful tips for the new fresh water aquarium enthusiast!
Acclimate your Fish
Like all other living things fish are fragile, and require certain parameters be in harmony for their health to be maintained. Always do your research and find out what the water levels need to be for nitrate, ammonia and pH. If you buy them form a store feel free to ask a clerk, but it always helps doing your own research first. Be sure to test your aquarium water, the greater the differences, the longer you need to acclimate your fish.
Floating your fish
While the bag is still sealed, float your fish in they’re new aquarium for at least 15 minutes, but make sure not to exceed one hour. This will allow for temperature acclimation. Next, slowly add quarter cups of water from your aquarium into the bag. Repeat this process every five minutes until the bag is full. This brings the temperature and chemistry together slowly, allowing the fish time to acclimate to their new environment without causing any unnecessary shock or trauma from sudden change. Remove the bag from the tank then slowly pour off as much water as. Lower the bag back into the aquarium allowing your fish enter their new found home.
Overcrowding your Aquarium
Too many fish crammed into a small space is unhealthy for them and can lead to fatalities. Check with a pet specialist for the right size tank for your fish. Overcrowding your new aquarium with fish can lead to low oxygen levels, and excess waste which will clog up your filter and degrade the water in your aquarium. So be sure not go crazy with indecision your first time through and put as many fish in your tank as possible, its very dangerous to them.
Pro Tip:1 fish inch per gallon of tank.
It should go with out saying: water for fish, is the equivalent of air for humans. It needs to be within certain specific parameters to be considered healthy and thus critical to your fish’s life span. Your average tap water comes with countless variables that require balance in order to support aquatic life. Use a de-chlorinating and biological aquarium supplement, these can be found at your local pet store or online. As always: do your homework first!
Maintenance Aquarium of pH Levels.
pH is the measurement of acid it your alkalinity of the water in your fish tank. You must absolutely purchase a pH test kit check the pH level in your aquarium. Depending on species your pH level needs to be between 6.6 and 7.8, this is the norm for most freshwater tanks (African cichlids have a higher pH). These levels will allow a natural, antiseptic effect to occur, guarding you fish from illness. Be sure to check the pH regularly for any fluctuations.
Aquarium Water Changes
You should change 25% of your tank water at least once a month or bi-weekly for higher populated tanks. This simple routine maintenance will allow for a clean and healthy ecosystem. Use a gravel vacuum to siphon out water and debris. This simple regular maintenance will keep stable water parameters, and promote the health of all of your fish.
Water temperature is absolutely crucial! And changes in the water temperature in your tank can be dangerous to your fish. Remember this: never place your aquarium in a window or heating and air conditioning vents. This could easily trigger drastic temperature changes and make your fish sick or even kill them. Tropical freshwater fish require very specific temperature levels, 72F – 82F (22C-28C) depending on the species,be sure to purchase a heater for your new tank. It is a necessary piece of equipment.
Clean the Walls of Your Tank
Algae buildup the glass walls of your aquarium will give water a murky look to your tank, and depending on the type of algae, depletes oxygen, which can create health concerns for your aquatic life. So not only will it look ugly, but it is also dangerous for aquatic friends. Your plants can also experience harmful effect from algae build up, it will rob plants of much needed oxygen. Purchase scrub brushes with long handles and aquarium algae magnets to scrape off the gross excess algae from the aquarium walls. Buy algae eaters.
Whatever your level of expertise in the aquarium world it is helpful to keep all the tips in mind so that you might maintain a healthy ecosystem for your fish and plants.