FISH TANK MAINTENANCE AND CLEANING
- Tank Placement - The reason the setup is important when it comes to maintenance and cleaning is that if you place the tank in a location hard to get to, chances are it will not be cleaned on a regular schedule. Therefore, make sure the placement of the tank is such to give you adequate room.
- Tank Size - Interestingly, a larger tank actually requires less maintenance than a smaller tank. The reason is that the larger tank has more water volume, meaning the waste excreted by the fish along with chemicals and other particles are dispersed over a much larger area. Therefore, if you buy a 10-gallon tank opposed to a 50-gallon tank, you can expect to clean the smaller one more often.
- Filtration System - A filtration system is crucial to keeping the tank clean and the environment healthy. Many people will use biological filtration, which allows the right amount of "good" bacteria to grow while maintaining the proper level of Nitrite coupled with a mechanical filter or chemical filter. The mechanical consists of a box that fits within the tank in which some type of media is used to filter out waste and other particles. The chemical filter uses chemical media such as carbon or chemical resins to absorb the waste.
- Feeding Habits - One of the most common mistakes made by fish owners is that they feed the fish too much and too often. When there is excess food in the water, it causes pollution. Therefore, purchase the appropriate food for the fish you have and read the instructions to feed them only as much as they will eat in one setting and to know how often they should be fed.
- Number of Fish - The general rule for fish is that for every gallon of water, you should have no more than one-inch of slim-bodied fish. When a tank is filled with too many fish, there is excessive waste, food particles, and chemicals floating around, making maintenance difficult as well as the tank unhealthy
- Feeding - Feed the fish, again taking care to feed only as much as what will be eaten immediately
- Water Temperature - Check the water temperature, keeping in mind temperatures will fluctuate throughout the day. Therefore, test the water each morning and then again in the evening. To maintain a healthy tank, you should keep a chart of your findings so you can identify any problems before they turn out of control.
- Equipment Check - Make sure the filter, heater, and lights are working properly
- Behavior Check - Take a few minutes to watch the fish to see if they are swimming normally. Additionally, look at their skin, looking for any sign of disease.
- Water Check - Look at the water to ensure it is not cloudy, does not have a foul odor, and
that nothing out of the norm is floating around
- Plants - If you keep live plants in your fish tank, be sure any dead leaves are removed and excess plant growth trimmed
- Algae - Using an algae magnet or scraper, clean off algae from the front glass as well as decorations
- Water Change - Using a siphon hose, remove large debris from the surface and then with a bucket nearby, siphon about 15% of the tank's water into the bucket. When finished, replace the water with clean tap water that has been treated for chlorine or chloramines. While doing this, you might place a stiff plastic divider between the area you are cleaning and the fish so that you do not accidentally suck any up in the tubing. Additionally, with the siphon running, you can tap the tip down into the gravel to help remove any fallen debris.
- Glass - Take a clean cloth and spray it with window cleaner, away from the tank so that none gets in the water and then, simply clean off the front and side glass areas.
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