A few tips for people who are new to the aquarium hobby and are looking for additional information.
- Choosing the right size aquarium
Small aquariums from 9 to 55 liters are great for fish like bettas (fighting fish) and young goldfish. They will add aesthetics to the home or office. The super small from 0.5 to 9 liters are good for shrimp and snail farming with plants serving as food and biological filtration.
But many experts advise a 55 to 200 liters as a first aquarium to beginners. The reason for this is that large aquariums are easier to clean due to the larger volume of water. This means that the nitrate and ammonia that the fish cannot tolerate takes longer to build up in the tank and you, as a beginner, have more time to figure out what works for your tank. But that is of course if you are not on a budget and have extra space in your room for a full sized aquarium.
Before you put all your favorite fish in the aquarium
The new aquarium setup should be running for a few days before adding fish.
Buy an aquarium and everything you need to set it up (like a filter, heater, gravel, plants) and let it run for 2-3 days before going on a fish shopping spree.
The aquarium is like a small ecosystem, and it will have its own helpful bacteria that help maintain the biological balance in the tank. If you buy a new aquarium, there are no biobacteria in it yet. It is therefore advisable to try it with a small number of fish at first, giving them food and using a test kit to check that ammonia and nitrite levels remain near zero in the water. , just to see if your filtration system is working as it should. If all is well for 2-4 weeks, you can then add other creatures to your tank.
Remember: Colonies of biobacteria that filter the water and create balance in the aquarium take time to establish, and a sudden overload of fish waste can cause ammonia and nitrite levels to rise to extremes. dangerous and even deadly levels. It is therefore best to take your time with the setup of the aquarium.
It is advisable to test your water
Without testing the water, it is impossible to know if ammonia and/or nitrite problems are developing, as we cannot see or smell them. Keep in mind that fish in the tank often adapt to slowly rising ammonia and nitrite levels and may not show signs of distress until it is too late. Newly purchased fish can be seriously affected if added to an aquarium with high levels of ammonia or nitrites as they do not have time to adapt. So test your water with a test kit (pH and TDS) to make sure you are doing a good job of keeping your fish healthy.
Feed your fish enough
It's normal to worry that your fish might be hungry or not have enough to eat, but you can actually cause more harm by feeding them too much. Fish should be fed once a day and all food should be consumed within two minutes. Uneaten food can pollute water and cause increased ammonia and nitrite levels.
Choose the right filter
You can't really over-filter an aquarium, but it's easy enough to under-filter it. Most beginner aquarium filters are rated by how many liters the aquarium holds. This rating system works well for most, however, heavily populated aquariums, or those with large predatory fish or fish that generate large amounts of waste should be equipped with oversized or multiple filters. For best results, buy a filter designed for an aquarium a little larger than the one you own.
Your fish needs night light
Like all animals, fish need a rest period, and it should be the same period every day. In nature, the day/night cycle is quite constant, especially in the tropics. Leaving the aquarium light on all the time stresses your fish and also contributes to unsightly algae growth. Put on the light of your aquarium on a timer is an easy way to provide a consistent light cycle.
- Beware of excessive cleaning
When setting up an aquarium, the biological balance is fragile and unstable. Avoid scrubbing ornaments, stirring or vacuuming gravel, or cleaning the filter when it doesn't really need it, as this can destroy colonies of beneficial bacteria and upset the balance.
If your aquarium or filter seems to need cleaning within the first 2-3 weeks after installation, the filter may be too small or not suitable for your tank, you may have too many fish or you may be overfeeding .
When cleaning your filter, rinse the filter media under tap water, without using chemicals or overwashing them, so as not to eliminate or damage the colonies of biobacteria that occupy them and which play a very important role in filtration.
Adding water is not an alternative, you must change it regularly
Adding water to your aquarium as it evaporates can have a beneficial effect on pH and water quality. But it is not an alternative to having to change the water. Doing this instead of performing a water change on a regular basis will cause a buildup of pollutants such as nitrate and phosphate and a drop in pH and alkalinity. This can make your fish more susceptible to disease.
Change 10% of your aquarium water every week or 25% every 2 weeks.
- Provide hiding places
Aquarium decorations provide a natural and aesthetic look to your aquarium, but also provide habitat, secure your fish, reduce stress, allow them to reproduce and improve their colors and the survival rate of young. Fish often stress out because there aren't enough hiding places in the aquarium, seeking shelter behind a heater, filter tube, or other object. So remember to provide them with enough shelter.