Aquarium Maintenance: A Beginner’s Guide

Aquarium Maintenance Aquarium Maintenance – A Beginner’s Guide. A clean aquarium is the best habitat for all freshwater aquarium fish. Your fish and plants will live a longer, healthy life in a clean aquarium, providing you with years of enjoyment. The best system to keep an aquarium healthy and sparkling is a regular system. Freshwater aquarium maintenance is simply having a regular schedule of activities that you follow faithfully is the surest way to have clear water and healthy, active fish.

It is vital that you use the proper equipment to maintain your aquarium. Fish and other aquatic animals and plants are sensitive to changes in their environment, and it is important that you follow some basic principles.

Never use household cleaners to clean your fish tank. These are deadly to your fish. No matter how well you rinse, these chemicals leave a residue that is toxic to aquatic life.

One tip for keeping your aquarium clean is to keep the water supply clean. A dirty pump is not going to fill your aquarium with clean water. A good, clean filter is vital to the life of your aquarium’s ecosystem. However, a clean filter does not mean a spotless filter. Your filter media contains good bacteria that help to break down toxins and waste in your aquarium. Removing all of the bacteria can allow harmful levels of things like ammonia to develop in your water. Gently rinsing your filter media on a regular basis should be all it needs. Your filter manufacturer will provide a suggested maintenance schedule for you to follow. This will prevent you from cleaning it too often and harming the bacteria balance, or too seldom, allowing to great a build up of waste in the media, which will prevent it from cycling the water as frequently as it should.

Many aquariums experts recommend cleaning the ornaments and the fish tank glass every two weeks. This will prevent algae from building up on them. If the aquarium is made from acrylic, it should be cleaned weekly.

Whenever you are cleaning your aquarium, check your mechanical items and make sure they are functioning properly. Your air pump is important to ensure the water of your aquarium is adequately oxygenated. Your filter needs to be circulating the water through it in order to keep the water clear and the toxins out.

The most important freshwater aquarium maintenance you can do to keep your tank clean and your fish healthy is to perform scheduled partial water changes. This is vital for the health of your ecosystem. An aquarium is a closed ecosystem. Whatever is put in to it stays in it until you remove it. Waste and toxins do build up and the only way to keep the environment safe and healthy is to change the water and vacuum the gravel or sand to remove excess waste.

When you replace the water in your tanks, whether during partial water changes, or just adding new water to replace what has evaporated, always use a water conditioner. Water conditioners not only remove chlorine from tap water, but they will also help remove other impurities such as excess ammonia. Remember to read the instructions on every product you use.

Make sure you keep a regular maintenance schedule, treat your aquarium with love and it will flourish.

Helpful Tips to Freshwater Aquarium Maintenance

Do you want to know how to have a clean and healthy freshwater aquarium that’s easy to maintain? One of the core concerns after owning an aquarium is its regular maintenance. It’s an ugly task, critical for all fish hobbyists but it’s not as tough as most think. This article is to help you stop procrastinate over cleaning your fish tank and educate you on easy to resolve problems related to freshwater aquarium maintenance.

Possible concerns with freshwater aquarium maintenance could be:

1. Murky water and/or floating debris is a health hazard and needs immediate attention. If not tackled early, this problem will lead to algae growth and can also result in disease.

2. Algae formed due to dirty water, uprooted plants caused by fish trying to eat them and its waste thrives in aquariums. Too much can lead to a deadly process called eutrophication. In this process, algae consumes oxygen in the water to decompose thereby lowering oxygen levels in water which will result in the death of the aquariums inhabitants.

3. Irregular or infrequent change of water results in fowl odor which is caused by the development of unwanted bacteria. This can be a prime breeding ground for bacteria that can cause disease and result in the death of your fish.

Ensuring easy freshwater aquarium maintenance:

• Check your filter. Chemical filtration of dirty water using power filter removes unwanted materials, debris, excrements and impurities. Depending upon how bad the water is these filters should be replaced with new ones every 3 or 4 weeks. Those, who are regular in changing filters enjoy less maintenance and are able to give healthy environment to their fish.

• Nature itself brings an answer to the question of controlling algae. Algae can be consumed by fish called Plecostomus, a.k.a the sucker fish. They’re not the prettiest fish in the tank but it’s a great and cost effective way of regulating algae levels in your freshwater aquarium. If keeping Plecostomus is not an option, then try placing your aquarium in an area which is not directly exposed to sunlight. This will help in reducing algae growth. You can also buy tools from your local pet store to remove algae. Ultimately, algae must be removed from the tank to ensure a healthy system.

• Odor occurs due to the growth of unwanted bacteria. This can happen from too much excrement in the water due to inadequate filtration, something rotting like plants or fish or over feeding. First step is to take a head count of all the inhabitants and see if anyone is missing. If all inhabitants are accounted for, then the problem could be with filter not able to purify excessive waste which could be due to overpopulation in the tank. If these are not the culprit, then you might need to replace the water at more frequent intervals. Try keeping a log on a calendar. Normally, one needs to add 10 to 15 percent new water on weekly basis. Check your ph levels and make sure they are adequate. Finally check the amount of food being given to the fish as fish will only eat until they are full and leave what they do not want resulting in it decomposing in the water.

• Quality and temperature of water are also very important. If you are using tap water, you will need a dechlorinator to avoid fish and live plants exposure to excessive chlorine. Otherwise, use distilled water available in grocery stores. Appropriate water temperature is essential. Make sure your tank temperature is the right temperature before putting your fish in their aquarium.

• Siphon tube is another popular tool used in purifying dirty water for freshwater aquariums at regular intervals. It is available at local pet stores and operated by putting one end of the tube in the aquarium and suck out the dirty water into a bucket.

• Lastly the tank itself becomes dirty over time due to atmospheric reactions between air and water. Rust can develop near connections with filter or water inlets, etc. The dust could adhere to the walls of the tank which needs to be cleaned on regular basis without using soap as it is poisonous for fish. A sponge and clean water is all it takes.

• Decorations and substrate should also be kept clean. Gravel vacuums are a great for cleaning Substrate and can be found at your local pet shop.

Setting Up An Aquarium Maintenance Schedule

Aquarium maintenance is probably the last thing a new hobbyist considers when first deciding on keeping fish. While it is really not too tedious a task, there are still responsibilities that need to be perform to maintain your little ecosystem and many people get flustered at the early stage.

The amount of work you put in largely depends on a number of factors including:

  • Where you place your tank – If you place your aquarium in a location that enjoys too much of natural light source, you will be encouraging algae growth. Also, placing an aquarium in a place that makes it hard to clean it will actually make it more of a chore and one that might make people avoid doing.
  • The size of the tank – A lot of new hobbyist are reluctant to own a large aquarium but they might be surprised to know that a smaller aquarium is actually harder to maintain. In a large fish tank, the bigger water volume actually buffers the waste and needing less maintenance. So smaller aquariums need to be cleaned more often.
  • Over feeding the fish – Fish always look hungry and it is easy for people new to the hobby to feed them too much and too often. This will cause the excess food to sink to the bottom as waste and need to be removed before they rot. The key is to feed a little at a time and if there is excess food, to remove it before it sinks down.
  • The amount of fish in the tank – The more fish you have in the aquarium, the more waste they will excrete and therefore the more maintenance the fish tank needs.

Setting Up Your Aquarium Maintenance Schedule

Once you have considered what type of fish tank you have and counter effect factors that might your job more difficult, then it’s time to work out your aquarium maintenance schedule. The task can be broken down into a daily and a weekly set of tasks.

A. Daily Maintenance Tasks

  • Feed your fish
  • Check the water temperature
  • Make sure all the equipment (fish tank filters, heater and lights) are functioning properly
  • Visually check your fish to ensure that they are healthy
  • Visually check e water for cloudiness, excess waste and smell it for foul odor

B. Weekly Maintenance Tasks

  • Remove dead leaves and dying plants
  • Clean off any algae manually
  • Do a proper water change
  • Clean the glass and outside of the aquarium

These are the basics that you need to do on a daily and weekly basis. As you begin to get a feel of your fish tank, you will begin to develop a flow of how the tasks need to be performed and it will no longer become a task that is hard to but one that you will do with pride.

Tools For Freshwater Aquarium Maintenance

Tidy and clean freshwater aquarium is something a hobbyist can truly be proud of. In order to achieve a clean sparkling water tank regular maintenance should be done. Cleaning can be messy and tiring in the sense that you have to prepare things such as tools and cleaning agents to ensure a more appropriate fish living here are the suggested 7 tools to prepare to start your cleaning process.

Gravel Vacuums

They are specifically called aquarium gravel vacuums. These vacuums greatly work on absorbing and sucking off excess aquarium dirt such as food and waste materials. These waste materials if not timely collected will cause much stress and bad effects on fish and other aquatic plants.

Algae Pads/Scraper/Scrubber

These tools specifically remove algae from the aquarium’s whole surrounding. Scraper or scrubber is more commonly used on glass tanks while softer algae pads are generally used for acrylic tanks because they can be easily scratched.

Fish Nets

Fish nets serve a variety of uses to your freshwater aquarium. These nets can be utilized to separate fish from its kinds just like a conventional fish farmer when they grow and catch fish of varying types in the sea. Fish nets can also transport and transfer dead fish from the live ones. Accordingly fish net’s holes determine their uses, most small holed fish nets are ideal for small fry and the large ones for the bigger fish.

Forceps or Tongs

Tongs are for picking small or certain mini objects that may cause obstruction to your aquarium such as dead fish, dry plants and dirty stuffs that are not useful to your freshwater aquarium. Be careful not to put much pressure on the tongs when you dip it to the water for it might accidentally lift small fish on the side. Look for some rust found on your tongs it might affect the water chemistry level of the water.


Pails are the most commonly used water container for your aquarium. They can be manually utilized for cleaning your freshwater aquarium. You can easily replace the water inside your water tank through using the pail.

Siphon Tubes

Siphon tubes are used to drain the water inside the aquarium conveniently without having to move your aquarium or tilt it sideways. Ideally minimum in length siphon tubes must be at least able to reach the floor from the rim of the aquarium.

Water PH Testing Kits

Testing kits for water pH levels is one of the most desired tools to have for your fresh water aquarium maintenance because of its noted importance on water chemistry change. These are readily available in your local aquarium shops everywhere. PH testing kits are used to test the acidity of any substance such as water for its acidity or alkalinity. Before supplying tap water to your freshwater aquarium, tap water must be tested first for its pH level. If it is found to be safe to use then by all means tap water can be supplied to your home aquarium. Litmus paper and pH solutions can be used to test pH level on water. Very easy to use if you have pH solutions at home drop 2 to 3 times of your pH solutions to the water and you can readily assess if its acidic or not. When the water turns yellow or orange it is then acidic if its blue or green the water is alkaline. PH level of less than 7.0 is acidic; more than 7.0 it is alkaline. These are basically the most practical way of testing your water pH levels.

Read: Marbled Hatchetfish: Tips on Care and Spawning

Keeping a freshwater aquarium can be made easy with these tools mentioned above. As a hobbyist it is your duty to safeguard your aquarium from any disturbances and stress it may cause to your fish. Moreover making it clean and tidy all the time is something you have to do right because a dirty aquarium is not lovely to look at and it is not suitable for your fish to live it. Maintain its cleanliness, apply due diligence when cleaning and you are off for a great start for your fresh water aquarium.

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