The presence of an aquarium in your home can be quite the hassle. Understanding the requirements of these aquatic habitats is crucial to fish survival and cannot be overlooked. By utilizing some very basic concepts, you can ensure that your aquarium will not only continue to be the highlight of a room, but also a healthy environment for your fish.
Fish need to live in a clean environment much like we do. Cleaning your aquarium should be done at least once a week. This can help ensure that illnesses do not plague your tank. Left over fish food and their excrement will release ammonia and nitrite, which are toxic to fish if allowed to surpass safe levels. You will be able to tell if the fish are becoming sick due to this by judging the cleanliness of the tank.
To clean a freshwater tank, you will need to do a few simple tasks. Start off by siphoning about 25% of the total water out. While siphoning, get as close to the base of the tank so that some of the debris in the gravel is removed. It is a good idea to occasionally shift the gravel with the hose and remove the floating debris that will come loose. Once this is completed, you can begin cleaning the inside glass.
The glass should look brand new when completed. The inside walls can become clouded and covered with algae. To remove these issues, utilize an algae pad. These can be purchased at nearly every local pet store and they do a terrific job of making the glass look like new. Scrub the inside lightly until all debris is removed, this will require a separate bucket of water to rinse the pad. To reduce the accumulation of algae, reduce the amount of fish food placed inside the tank. The remaining food will often assist the growth of that gooey substance. Plus, consider adding snails to you fish habitat. Snails will feed off the algae and help provide an overall cleaner atmosphere.
Next, remove any decorations inside the tank. The best way to clean these is by using a separate tank of clean water and the algae pad. This can even be done with the water used for rinsing the pad in the previous step. Use the pad to remove any debris and be sure to clean the small nooks. If you are using any artificial plants, be sure to clean the stems and leaves of these as well. To provide a healthier habitat, consider growing real plants inside the tank. These will add natural benefits such as oxygen and provide a breeding hotspot for beneficial bacteria to grow.
At least once a month, change the filter cartridge. Every week, these need to be removed and rinsed with clean water. Since most of the beneficial bacteria that grows typically forms in the gravel or on plants, there is no need for it to accumulate on the filters. The filter is crucial to maintaining a clean freshwater tank and should be replaced monthly because of this.
Once all the previous steps have been completed, replace the 25% of water that was already removed. Be sure to leave a gap of about two inches from the top rim of the tank. After the water has been replaced, it will take some time for the water to lose that cloudy appearance. Allow at least four hours for this to settle, if not settled within that time frame, repeat the process over.