If you have just got a new fish aquarium, congratulations! You have a great addition to your house. Spending time watching your fish in the aquarium can be calming, and your kids will love it. Once you get an aquarium you need to take proper care of it.
The fish aquarium needs proper maintenance. There are many things to do once you get an aquarium. We have a guide for you that explains how to look after your aquarium in the best possible way.
Maintaining your fish aquarium
1) The filter system
Fish aquarium filtration is one of the key requirements of an aquarium. The aquarium needs clean water that is free from toxic chemicals. This will ensure your fish remains healthy and thrives. For this, you need to have filtration system in the aquarium. The filter will ensure the aquarium is clean.
The filters are of three types:
- A biological filter is where toxic ammonia in the water is broken down into nitrate. This is done by using beneficial bacteria. Biological filtration is vital for an aquarium. Without it, the fish can die. The process of growing healthy bacteria is called cycling. You will get a packet with the aquarium, you can add it to start the cycling process. Introduce the fish to the aquarium only after it is cycled.
- A chemical filter is where you add activated carbon to filter chemicals like chlorine, ammonia, and phosphate from the water. The activated carbon needs to be replaced periodically, Follow the instructions given by the vendor.
- Mechanical filtration uses an air pump where water is removed to a filter from where solid particles are removed. This ensures water circulation and removal of fish solid waste, dead plant parts, etc. from the aquarium. Many people confuse mechanical filtration with real filtration. It is just one element that keeps the aquarium clean.
There are different types of filtration system like box filters, canister filters, sponge filters, and power filters. You need to choose the filtration system based on the size of the aquarium you have and the number of fish in it. Once you install the filtration system, it needs to be taken care of. You need to clean the filter itself and replace the activated carbon or the sponge used in the filter.
2) Aquarium aeration
Fish aquarium aeration is important since it ensures the water is oxygen rich. This allows your fish to breathe properly and be healthy. It is also required for any plants you have in the water. Aeration is also essential for the good bacteria in the aquarium to thrive. This ensures the bacteria carries out biological filtration.
You need to ensure there is sufficient aeration in the aquarium. You may not need to do anything extra for it. Just install a good quality filtration system. The filter ensure the water is aerated and there is sufficient oxygen. When the filter circulates water, it ensures oxygen-rich water moves into the lower regions. This allows for even spread of oxygen-rich water.
Sometimes filters don’t work effectively, especially with larger tanks. There may be a few dead spots that do not have sufficient aeration. You can then consider adding a power head. This device takes out water from the tank and mixes it with air.
Aerating ornaments are an interesting option to use. They are accessories that look like a pirate ship or a diver. These decorations make your aquarium look attractive. At the same time, they are connected to an air pump and produce bubbles. It ensures proper circulation and aeration.
Another simple options is to add more aquatic plants to your aquarium. Live plants will help keep the water oxygen-rich. However, you should add these plants only if the flow rate is less. Else, the plant may get uprooted. Keep such plants away from the filter.
3) Test the aquarium water frequently
Fish aquarium testing kits will help you test the water content. This is an important accessory that you need for your aquarium. It helps you know if the water is safe for the fish. A testing kit is very useful it can help you make the water safe.
The following information tells you all you need to know about testing kits for an aquarium.
- Waste that your fish release contaminates the water. This can cause ammonia levels to increase, which can be toxic for your fish. You need to know if the levels of ammonia in the water are less or more. Too much ammonia can kill the fish.
- When you get a testing kit, it will have all you need to test for ammonia content. The test kit would have a test tube to collect water and chemicals to add to detect ammonia levels. A detailed instruction guide would be available. Follow the instructions to find out if the ammonia level is safe or not. This is a test you need to do every week. Using a biological filter will help get rid of the ammonia.
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- Nitrite is another toxic substance that can harm your fish. Nitrite testing will help you know if there is too much nitrite in the aquarium. You can and should then add salt to reduce the toxicity.
- The pH test helps you find out if the water has the right acid-base balance. Changes in the water pH can affect the fish. Even a minor change of 0.2 in pH levels can kill fish. Test the pH using the kit or pH paper provided. Follow the instructions that have been given in case the pH changes.
- Alkalinity or the carbonate hardness (KH) is another important test parameter. Your aquarium testing kit will allow you to check for the alkalinity of water. If the levels are not as per parameters, you can add buffering compounds to rectify the problem.
- Phosphate testing is also important since increased phosphate can help algae grow in the aquarium. If phosphate levels are high, you can add filtering materials to remove the phosphate.