Maintaining an aquarium is something that intimidates allot of new fish keepers but it’s really not as bad as you think. It’s a pretty simple process but there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. Here are 10 things you should know about maintaining an aquarium.
1. Bacteria is our friend
Throughout this video you’re gonna hear us refer to bacteria. When we say that we’re referring to denitrifying or beneficial bacteria. This is the bacteria in aquariums that converts toxins like ammonia and nitrite into nitrate which is much safer for your fish. Without this bacteria your aquarium ammonia and nitrite will reach toxic levels and kill your fish so this is one of the most important aspects of fish keeping and something you should definitely understand before you set up your first tank.
2. Filter Maintenance
– The filter on your aquarium is one of the most important aspects of your tanks life support system. Filters aren’t something you can set and forget, you’ve gotta take care of them.
– Your filter isn’t something that requires daily maintenance, it’s actually best if you DON’T mess with it too much but it’s something you should get in the habit of maintaining at least every 3-4 weeks.
3. Water Conditioners
– The water in your home comes from one of two places. Either you have a well or you’re getting your water from your city or municipality.
– Water from a well is usually pretty clean but if you have city water the city is required to treat the water to make sure it’s free of bacteria so you don’t get sick when you drink or cook with it.
– They use chlorine or chloramine to kill all of the potentially harmful
bacteria in the water. So you remember when we talked about denitrifying bacteria being so important for your aquariums health.
4. Water Changes
– Water changes are the main thing we’re gonna do to maintain our aquariums.
– This is the process of removing stale dirty water from your aquarium and replacing it with clean water
– How much water you’re gonna remove during a water change is completely dependant on your set up, how many fish you have and how long it’s been since you did the last one.
– As a general rule we recommend 15-25% of the water being changed each week. Make this a routine that you do every week, don’t wait until there’s a problem.
5. Turn Off Filter and Heater
– This might seem like common sense but when you’re doing your routine weekly water change unplug your filter and heater.
6. Don’t clean too much
– We’ve been talking allot about the beneficial bacteria in your aquarium and how important it is.
– Well many new fish keepers sabotage their aquariums by actually cleaning too much, yes you can clean an aquarium too much.
– Remember beneficial bacteria grows on surfaces. If you clean all of the surfaces in your tank you’re potentially removing all of that
7. No chemicals
– This is another one that might seem like common sense but you wouldn’t believe how many stories I’ve heard of people using harsh chemicals to clean their aquariums.
8. Tools for the job
– You don’t need a ton of stuff to maintain an aquarium but there are some that will definitely make the job so much easier.
– First is good old fashioned buckets. 5 gallon buckets are cheap and versatile and they’re great to keep a few around for all different types of things like doing water changes or filling with aquarium water to rinse out your sponges like we talked about earlier.
– Next is a syphon hose. These are cheap and an absolute must if you’re gonna be successful in this hobby.
– Next is sponges. Don’t go grabbin the sponge you have sitting on the back of your kitchen sink. Get brand new ones, don’t be cheap.
– Next is nets, depending on what type of fish you keep you’ll wanna have nets handy. You never know when you might need to get a fish out in an emergency.
9. Test Kit
– A test kit is something you should buy when you buy your tank, it should be one of the first things on your list.
– Aquarium test kits test for things like ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels in your tank and they also measure your waters ph.
– Testing your water is something
you should do routinely when your tank is cycling so you know what’s going on and how far along you are.
10. Watch your fish
– An important aspect to maintaining your aquarium might sound silly but it works, trust me and that’s watch your fish.
– You’re gonna be spending quite a bit of time watching your fish but also pay attention to how they
behave. Get to know their normal tendencies and activity levels.
– One of the first signs that there is a problem in your aquarium is your fish will start to behave abnormally.