Caring for fish is much easier than caring for most other pets. These tips for maintaining the tank will help your fish be healthy and happy.
Three basic rules. Animal Planet lays out three basic rules for making sure the tank is properly maintained and that the fish in it remain healthy. If removing dead or diseased fish is a regular part of your tank maintenance, there's a good chance you're neglecting one of these three basic rules.
- Don't overstock the tank. It's much better to have four live, healthy fish than seven dead ones. When increasing the fish population, do so gradually. When introducing new fish, it's best to provide a quarantine tank so you can observe the fish before it enters the main tank. Buying your fish from reputable sources doesn't guarantee your fish will be free of disease, but it does increase the chances of purchasing a healthy fish and preventing a new fish from polluting the tank.
- Don't feed the fish too much. They don't need a feast. As much food as they can eat in a few minutes is sufficient for most types. Remove excess food once those few minutes are up. Using flake foods makes this task much easier. You'll have more success with a regular feeding schedule. This not only helps the fish, it also helps the fish guardians maintain the tank.
- Do partial water changes regularly. Change out 10 percent to 25 percent of the tank water every seven to 10 days. How much water you change depends on the tank size—the smaller the tank, the higher percentage of water you need to change. Large fish that eat a lot of food and produce a lot of waste need a higher percentage of water replaced also.
Filters. If the three basic rules of tank maintenance are followed, taking care of the filter and other equipment becomes considerably easier. According to the Fish Channel, most filters need to be cleaned every four to eight weeks. Because there are different kinds of filters, it's important to check manufacturer recommendations for proper filter cleaning and changing. It's important to observe the water when determining how often to clean the filter.
Other regular maintenance. In addition to partially changing the water each week, you'll want to clean the aquarium glass every seven to 10 days. If the three basic rules of tank maintenance are followed, glass cleaning can be done every other week. It's also important to regularly check water temperature.
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