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10 RULES OF AQUARIUM MAINTENANCE

December 13, 2018 | By Tom Sarac

by Tom Sarac

The old adage of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is very true in aquarium keeping. An aquarium is a closed system and, as such, it requires your intervention to ensure proper water quality is maintained, support hardware is functioning correctly and, of course, that the fish that depend on you are taken care of properly.

With that said, here are some simple rules you can follow to guarantee your aquarium (as well as the fish and plant life inside it) remains well cared for:

RULE #1

Perform a 20-30% water change every 2 weeks. Use a gravel washer to pull trapped debris out. This will help stabilize pH, KH and export dissolved impurities out of your aquarium.

 

RULE #2

Top off water lost due to evaporation at least every 3 to 4 days. This will help avoid mineral deposit lines on aquarium glass and, in marine tanks, support consistent salinity levels.

 

RULE #3

Clean your aquarium glass every week. You may not always see it, but bio-films and algae do slowly populate on aquarium glass. To keep things totally transparent, use a glass cleaning magnet and run it over the inside of the glass, while using a proper aquarium glass cleaner to wipe the outside.

 

RULE #4

Clean your aquarium lighting lenses and fluorescent bulbs every 2 weeks at minimum. Deposits here will drastically reduce light entering your aquarium.

 

RULE #5

Filter maintenance is key. Fluval filters are designed to rapidly and effectively allow easy mechanical media access for rinsing, so do this regularly (at least once a month) to ensure organic pollutants do not deteriorate water quality or impair the chemical and biological media.

 

RULE #6

If you maintain live plants, then trim and prune the species that require it regularly and consider a small Co2 injection system. Plants are almost 50% carbon by dry weight, and Co2 gas is the most direct way to nourish them with their ultimate macro-nutrient.

 

RULE #7

Check water temperature and filter operation daily. This takes seconds to do and is key to the survival of your fish.

 

RULE #8

Check fish behaviour daily, especially after introducing new specimens. Catching a disease early will make a big difference in successful treatment down the road.

 

RULE #9

Quarantine all new fish for at least 2 weeks, making sure they are eating properly and free of any disease. If they do need treatment, doing so in a bare quarantine aquarium is more effective and not damaging to the main display aquarium.

 

RULE #10

Test both tap water and aquarium water regularly. The following tests are recommended: pH, KH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and phosphate.There you have it – 10 simple rules that will make all the difference in helping you run a successful aquarium. It really doesn’t take much time, but it does require discipline and consistency. Good luck!

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