PDF How to Maintain Your Freshwater Aquarium

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This requires routine maintenance and cleaning to help maintain the delicate eco system in your tank. In fact, by doing this, you kill all of the good bacteria that has built up. The larger the aquarium the easier it is to keep the water stable, you can read more about why that is, here. There are three goals you are trying to achieve when you clean your fish tank ; these are known as the three Rs. The nitrogen cycle is the process in which ammonia is converted by bacteria to nitrite and then to nitrate.

Both ammonia and nitrite are toxic to fish, and so having bacteria colonies in your fish tank is essential to convert them harmful compounds to nitrate. Before you introduce any fish to a tank, ideally it will have been cycled; there are a number of different ways to cycle your tank.

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One of the better ways is to add artificial ammonia to your tank to start building up the bacteria colony which breaks down ammonia and nitrites. Organic compounds are defined by chemists as those that are made up of both carbon and hydrogen; they can also contain other atoms too. Examples include sugars, fatty acids, vitamins, amino acids and proteins. DOM is defined as any organic material which can pass through 0.

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Organic matter includes any waste which is made as a natural by-product of having a tank full of fish which are regularly fed. Just like ammonia is broken down by the colonies of bacteria, so is food waste and other organic matters in your tank. When fish are kept in water with insufficient minerals, either too high or too low, this can result in osmotic stress, which can in turn lead to osmotic shock , and ultimately death.

Often when fish keepers add water to their tank, they use RO water, that is water, which has been through the reverse osmosis process. This process removes the vast majority of tap water impurities, but it also removes the essential minerals which your fish need. Before we begin to take a look at techniques to clean your fish tank, we are going to take a look at the regular daily and weekly maintenance tasks you should undertake to ensure your tank remains in a healthy condition in between cleans.

These daily chores will only take a few minutes and make all the difference to maintaining a healthy tank. The amount of water you need to replace, and the regularity of your water changes will entirely depend on the size of your tank , and the amount of fish you have in there.

Healthy Aquarium Water

If you maintain your tank correctly, you should never need to do a full water change, in fact, by doing this; you will be removing all the bacteria which are essential in breaking down the waste your fish create. The more fish you have, the larger the bio-load and the faster the water needs changing; the same goes for smaller tanks as the water becomes unstable. During the first few months of keeping fish, you should monitor the water conditions of the tank regularly. The parameters depend entirely on the species which you are keeping, but you can use the parameters below as a guideline.

Remember different species have more specific requirements so you should always research the fish, corals or invertebrates that you are keeping in your aquarium to check the acceptable parameters. If you have artificial plants, you can remove them if they need a clean, but never remove live plants — this will disturb the root growth. You should suck up small amounts of gravel using the siphon, the waste will then be sucked through the tube into the bucket along with some of the water, and the gravel will fall back into place.

Use your thumb to block the end of the tube to slow down the siphoning process, and make sure none of the gravel makes it into the tube. Not only does this step remove the water, but it also cleans the gravel by removing plenty of the waste that has fallen into the substrate. A magnetic algae cleaner consists of two magnets with a soft felt covering. You place one magnet on the inside of the aquarium, and attach the other to the outside of the aquarium.

Testing strips are the easiest to use since all you have to do is dunk the testing strip into the aquarium water. Other tests require you to take water samples, then mix it with a drop of the included dye. Follow the testing instructions to ensure the environment is right for your fish friends.

Setting up and maintaining your freshwater aquarium | Aquarium Factory

Saltwater fish need a pH level over 8. Each species of fish has different needs, so do some research online to find the perfect level. Ideally, the water will have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 5 to 10 parts per million of nitrate. If you have saltwater fish, make sure your kit tests for water salinity. The ideal level is 35 parts per thousand. Vacuum the gravel with a siphon at least twice a month.

Beginners Guide to Successful Fishkeeping

Fish tank siphons are long tubes with a vacuum at the end. Set the free end of the tube in a large bucket you use only for aquarium maintenance. Then, press the vacuum lightly against the gravel. Use it to collect debris in the gravel, such as uneaten fish food and algae. If it looks dirty, rinse it off in some of the siphoned tank water. Use your gravel vacuum to drain some of the water into a big bucket. Then, prepare to replace the lost water with an equal amount of clean water. The old water can be disposed of or repurposed, such as to water any plants in your home.

The vacuum will suck up some water, so combine the tasks. Refill the tank with warm, dechlorinated water. Put the water in a bucket first before adding it to the tank. Then, treat it with some bottled water conditioner from a pet supply store. For example, use an aquarium net for a safe and easy way to mix conditioner into the water. This is because any item you use elsewhere may introduce soap or bacteria into the tank water. Rinse the filter every month and replace it when it gets dirty.

Unplug the filter to turn it off, then open it up to access its internal components. You will see a cylinder or a rectangular pad inside the chamber depending on what filter you own. Slide the parts out and set them in a bowl filled with water from the tank. Swirl the filter around in the water to clean it. If it looks dirty or has algae in it, scrub it with an algae brush and water from the tank. If the filter pad still looks dirty after rinsing it, replace it.

Aquarium Care Basics

Another way to tell is by how slowly water cycles through the tank. A slowed water flow is often a sign of a clogged filter, which is fixable with a new filter pad and some scrubbing. Can I leave the oxygen in the tank on only during the day and put it off in the night? It would probably be fine, but you're better off letting it run. That way, the tank stays at a consistent equilibrium and there is no chance of an accident in case you forget to turn it back on.

Yes No. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 4. Get a good filter if you don't already have one.

Start changing out some of the water every week if you aren't already. Remove and siphon up algae, since it can quickly make a mess of your tank.