Too many fish, too much food and not enough tank. If you’ve owned fish for a few years, some of these blunders may sound familiar. You may have even committed a few yourself. But whether you’re an old hand or a new fish owner, it wouldn’t hurt to read this list to make sure these mistakes don’t happen in the future.
Adding fish too quickly
In your excitement to set up your tank, you may want to fill it with water, fish and plants right away, but that would be a quick way to lose fish. After treating the water to neutralize harmful additives like chlorine and chloramines and regulating the temperature, add just a few hardy fish to begin the biological cycle process. Testing for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels will help you determine when it is safe to add to your aquarium population.
Starting with a small tank
This isn’t always a bad thing… if you’re an experienced fish owner. But even hobbyists find it hard to regulate water chemistry and temperature in a small tank. The smaller the tank, the less room you have for mistakes. For this reason, a 20-gallon tank is a good starting point.
Many new or casual fish owners are guilty of this. It may not seem like a big deal, but uneaten food could raise the level of ammonia in your tank water. Instead, feed your fish an amount they can eat within 2 or 3 minutes.
Adding too many fish
Setting up an aquarium takes patience. If your tank just went through cycling, give it some time to build up good bacteria and add fish slowly.
Buying incompatible fish
Bettas are pretty fish. They’re not compatible with Cichlids, however, and you don’t want to find that out after you buy them. Do a little research before you buy another species or ask a store associate for advice.
Not keeping up on tank maintenance
To maintain a healthy aquarium, we recommend frequent partial water changes of 25%-30% a month. Use a gravel vac to remove waste from the gravel and make sure to check the temperature and treat the water you are replacing for removal of harmful additives.
Don’t skip this step as weekly and monthly maintenance will ensure the beauty of your aquarium. Test water consistently and review your tank for signs of algae, diseased fish or malfunctioning equipment.
Owning an aquarium may take a little more work and research, but creating this small ecosystem can be both visually and mentally satisfying.
Make sure you’re prepared with aquarium supplies from Pet Supermarket.