How to take Care of Your Aquarium
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated November 26, 2013)
Maintaining your aquarium is a task that many fish owners really don't relish. For some reason they think that it is a task that has to be long, drawn out, boring, and somewhat disgusting. The truth is that if you are maintaining your aquarium the right way, it really isn't like that at all. To illustrate that point, here are a few simple things that you can do, which will allow you to ensure that your aquarium is in the best possible working order.
- Look at your fish. Take the time to actually watch your fish long enough to know their mannerisms, and the general way that they behave. This can be a huge help in letting you know if any of them become ill or are injured in any way. After that, simply look at your fish for a few minutes each day to make sure that they are still in good health.
- Do not overfeed your fish. It is a mistaken belief that fish need to be fed each and every day. The truth is that most fish really only need to be fed every other day, so make sure that you don't miss a feeding. At the same time you want to make sure that you don't over feed the fish as well. Over feeding will lead to gunked up water, filters that go bad quicker, and a load of organic matter that needs to be cleaned out of the gravel.
- Refill using dechlorinated water. For some reason many people forget that water likes to evaporate when it is exposed to the air when that water is in an aquarium. Take the time to refill the water to the appropriate level every few days. When you do this, make sure that you are only using dechlorinated water, or you could end up making your fish sick. A good rule of thumb is to simply replace about 10 percent of the total water with dechlorinated water every week to help keep the water in proper pH balance.
- Regularly check the pH balance. You can purchase pH balance testing kits from your local pet store, and you should take advantage of them. While you do not need to test your water each week, it is a good idea to test the water once every two weeks. When testing your water, you will want to make sure that you test the water at least two days after you have replaced the evaporated water. If you don't, you won't get an accurate reading on your kit. If the results come back saying that you have a problem, make the appropriate changes to the water to bring it back into balance.
- Replace the filters. The filters on your fish tank need to be checked every two weeks at a minimum. When you look at them make sure that they are still in good working order, and that they are not dirty. If they are, then you will need to either replace the filters or clean them. Often times it is much more economically feasible to purchase the reusable filters, even though they may be more expensive initially.
- Clean the gravel. One thing that you don't want to forget to do is clean the gravel at the bottom of the fish tank at least once a month. One way that you can extend that amount of time is if you include a bottom feeder in your aquarium. These kinds of fish live off of the waste matter from the other fish, and can therefore help keep the aquarium clean. You will still want to check the gravel to make sure that it clean every month though.