With appealing antics and elegance, aquatic life can be the best addition to your home. Your aquarium is itself a breathing organism as it holds the beautiful lives in it. Any aquarium, freshwater or saltwater, needs complete attention and care for keeping fish healthy.
In case you are considering bringing aquascape to your home, you must be aware of the basics to keep your pets healthy. You can maintain your aquarium in a fair and stress-free manner if only, you know the right steps to follow. It is imperative that you know your pet well, so that you can provide them with the best comfort. To start with, follow our tips to keep your aquatic lives healthy.
Testing Water before keeping Fish
Even before introducing your pets to the aquarium, buy yourself a water testing kit. This will ideally help you to measure ammonia, nitrate, pH and nitrite in the water. Properties of water are very crucial as these determine whether it is ideal for your fish. You must balance out any unnecessary minerals that are likely to harm your pets and plants. In doing so, add biological supplements so that all the minerals get cleared out.
While testing your water, the result of every parameter must be zero except pH (acid-based balanced). Depending on the species of fish kept in normal tap water, the pH level must be maintained between 7.0 to 7.8. Using test strips, you need to measure hardness, alkalinity and chlorination in water, so that while you introduce your fish, they get the best comfort in their new home.
All these are expected to keep the fish healthy during their lifetime and the natural habitat like environment would resist them from illness.
Keeping the Right Temperature
Stability in aquarium temperature can help in resisting havoc wreck on fish. It is preferable to keep your aquarium always consistent temperature throughout the lifetime of your fish. Keeping near sunlight or air vents might change the temperature as a whole, thus resulting in the untimely death of your pet.
Tropical freshwater fishes need a constant temperature between 22-28 Degrees Celsius, depending on their species. In this scenario, you can stabilise the situation by putting an aquatic heater within the tank. For saltwater fish, the temperature must range between 25-28 Degrees Celsius. This appropriate range will keep your fish hearty and lively, hence, make sure the temperature is perfect for your chosen occupant.
Proper Filtration is highly Recommended
Filtration is the centre surrounding which, a proper aquatic life grows up within an aquarium. Always keep checking the filtration for assuring that it’s working and resisting any kind of blockage.
Various filters are available for fish including under-gravel filters, hanging filters or canister filters. Under-gravel filters use a pump for removing water through it while canister filters internally pump the water out. Hanging filters draw water in through lift tube and returns through spill-way. All these work magically to keep your aquarium lives healthy by removing soluble chemical wastes and support lives within small habitat (enclosed aquarium).
Maintain the water flow through filter almost 4 times more than water volume within the aquarium, which says- a tank of 20 gallons must have a filter flow of 80 gallons per hour. Keeping filtration keeps away algae, ammonia, phosphates and contaminants, thus keeping the fish healthy.
Provide Enough Room to Swim
In order to keep your fish steady and lively, you must provide them with a look-alike environment of their natural habitat. Fish in wilds do not get trapped in small boxes and freely swim around. As this natural practice makes them active and healthy, they also need the same while in captivity. The best way to provide them with enough room for swimming is to keep them in a larger tank.
Keeping a two-inch fish needs a fourteen-inch long aquarium, as more comfort is given, more will be their healthy life. As a thumb rule says, you need a minimum of a five-gallon fish tank for a stabilised water condition.
Float Fish from Bags to Tanks
Acclimatise fish in your bag before introducing them into tank by slowly adjusting the temperature of the bag with the tank. At first, you need to float your fish in sealed bags where you are recommended to add a cup of tank water every 5-10 minutes until full. Completing the process, remove some water from the bag and dip it into the tank water.
Don’t chuck the fishes into water directly, rather introduce them slowly; the combination of which will increase the acclimation process and chemistry of the dweller with the dwelling place.
The fish will find enough room to swim freely and being previously acclimatised, they will not feel stressed.
Clean the Tank and Remove overabundance of Algae
Replacement of aquarium water at least once a month is highly recommended, as this controls concentrates in water. Using a siphon hose or gravel vacuum can help in removing unwanted materials. If not possible, remove the fishes in a small bowl for a while with the same aquarium water and change the water entirely. You can also dip a soft cloth in warm water and scrape the walls of the tank.
Freshwater aquarium remains warm and initiates the production of algae. Moreover, algae grow with a continuous presence of water within the tank. Rinse out substrates for avoiding the accumulation of salts and algae as this accumulation will deplete the oxygen level within the tank.
If you have algae eaters you can keep algae within the tank as they will scrape away all of them and will keep your tank clean. However, all fish are not algae eaters, for which removing excess algae is necessary. Use a long brush or algae magnet to clean the aquarium properly.
Many a time pH level gets fluctuated owing to unwanted plants in the tank, which further results in stress among fish. Remove them and maintain the cleanliness of your tank to keep your fish high-spirited and vibrant.
Avoid Over Stocking of Aquarium
Completely avoid overstocking of your aquarium as this might make your fish stressed and claustrophobic. In a tank for 5-6 fishes, you can never keep 10 fish as this will leave very minimum space for swimming.
If you have shy fish like Pictus Catfish or Rubber Lip Pleco, then you need to keep enough hiding place for them. They barely move and are surprisingly shy in coming out of their hides. On the other hand, you can keep Diamond Tetra or White Cloud Mountain Minnow with schools as they are shoaling fish and like communities.
However, in all these do not forget to keep a limited number of fishes in a tank as overstocking might create distress in them. Even these are community fish, they cannot thrive in the crowd.
Though depends on different species, the feeding requirement is still twice daily generally for all species of fish. Provide them with food that can be completed within 2-3 minutes. Overfeeding is not a good idea as binging will make them sick.
An extra amount of food will decompose at the bottom, increasing debris, thus causing issues like the formation of ammonia, nitrate and algae, which will eventually harm your fish.
Introduce Compatible Fish in Tank
For keeping your fish healthy from the onset, introduce them to conditioned water and with compatible colonies. Small fishes cannot be kept with larger ones as they might become a feeder to larger carnivorous fishes. Some fish are territorial, while others prefer to live alone. Research on characteristics of species before stocking your tank.
Patience, research and constant learning is the key to have a picturesque aquarium with vibrant lives within it. Keep checking all parameters once a week and ensure there is no extra occurrence of waste. Once you keep your fish healthy, your aquarium will brightly betray its liveliness.