One of the main causes of illness or death in pet fish is improper tank maintenance. By scheduling regular cleaning and maintenance of your aquarium, you’ll be able to enjoy your fish for a long time to come. Here are some tips on keeping your tank clean:
- Daily: As you admire your fish each day, take time to note a few things. Check the temperature of the water, and make sure the numbers on your thermometer and your heater’s thermostat match. If they don’t, it could be time for a new heater. Check the water level, and top off any evaporated water. Look for any plants or small fish that may have died, and remove them immediately to prevent a build-up of toxic ammonia.
- Monthly: Water changes are usually done about once a month. Remove about 25% of the water in the tank and replace it with new water. This step is important, since a water change is the only way to remove harmful nitrates from the aquarium. The bacteria that convert excess food and fish waste produces these nitrates constantly, so the levels are continually rising. High nitrate levels mean that you need to change your tank’s water more often. Be sure to use a good water conditioner to remove harmful chlorine and/or chloramine from your tap water before adding new water. Check to make sure that all tank equipment is working properly. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, clean or replace filter cartridges, rinse any plants, and check the air filtration pumps and filters to ensure they’re in good working order. Replace lights according to the manufacturer’s directions (usually about every six months) to make sure that the bulbs are still producing the correct lighting.
It’s also a good idea to check any live plants for your aquarium for disease or parasites before adding them to the tank in order to prevent future problems. Pet Supermarket carries a wide selection of aquariums and supplies, and our associates can answer all your fish care questions.