No one likes a messy fish tank, least of all your aquatic pets! In order to keep your underwater friends happy and healthy, regular aquarium maintenance is necessary. By following a simple daily routine, you will avoid having to deal with bigger problems down the road, such as mechanical issues, disease, or worse.
The best way to keep your tank in peak condition is to take a few moments each day to make sure that everything is running smoothly. Check your filtration system to make sure that water is circulating smoothly and no debris is hindering its performance. If you have a tank that requires heating, also be sure to check that the temperature of the water is appropriate for your tank and that the temperature regulator is functioning normally.
This is also a good time for you to evaluate the condition of your underwater pets and plants. Whether you keep a tank for fish, turtles, or other aquatic life forms, the process for maintaining their health is mostly the same. Make sure that there are no visible signs of disease in your pet or the plants in the fish tank. The final part of your daily aquarium maintenance routine should be to remove any uneaten food, which can breed bacteria and clog your filtration system.
In addition to these daily practices, you should also do a thorough cleaning of your tank on a regular basis. Experts suggest changing a quarter of your tank’s water every two weeks to keep the tank fresh and healthy. However, you must be careful to add water that is the same temperature and pH level as the tank water, otherwise the shock could kill your aquatic pets. For tanks with gravel on the bottom, you must also clean the gravel – most people use a special gravel vacuum for this. Since debris and fecal matter settle at the bottom of a tank, this step is crucial.
Another type of aquarium maintenance involves cleaning the body of your tank. The exterior of your tank can be cleaned with a household glass cleaner and paper towels, though you must be careful not to get any of the glass cleaner into the tank, since the chemicals are toxic to your pets. The interior of your tank should be scrubbed with an algae scrubber pad – a special scouring pad designed to remove algae from the interior walls of your fish tank. Since algae can also grow on artificial plants or decorative objects in your tank, these should also be periodically removed and cleaned as well.
During any major tank cleaning, you must be sure to monitor the pH and nitrogen levels in your tank. Actions, such as adding new water or changing something in your filtration system, can alter the levels in your tank and potentially lead to health issues for your fish, turtles, or other aquatic pets.
By following these simple steps for aquarium maintenance, you’ll save money, keep your pets healthy, and be able to spend more time enjoying the many benefits of being a fish tank owner.
By Andrew Stratton