Regular maintenance on your aquarium is a large part of ensuring your fish are living healthy. More often than not, people who purchase fish and keep an aquarium overlook regular maintenance, and their fish may in turn face consequences ranging from stress, disease and even death. Unlike outdoor water systems, aquariums are closed, which means nothing is being added constantly, and toxins are not being filtered out as quickly as they should, even if you do use a water filter. Fish tanks are truly a breeding ground for disease and bacteria, as it is a much smaller system, due to food decay, fish waste, and other potentially harmful byproducts. Think of it like your own room; if you don’t clean it frequently, bugs can start to flourish, mice could start to move in, and it’s all downhill from there.
Thankfully, maintenance of the aquarium isn’t a back breaking task to perform. Daily and easy tasks that should be performed are visual checks of the tank and equipment, to ensure there are no leaks, the filter is running at full speed, and to make sure that the temperature is adequate for your fish. Bi-weekly and weekly requirements is to maintain the water in the tank. It is suggested that the water is partially changed weekly, as this slows down the growth of bacteria and algae. The tank is to be wiped down on the outside surfaces with an aquarium safe cleanser, or just use a damp cloth. From there, all the plants that are inside the tank should be gently shook to dislodge debris, food and other things. After that, another partial water change is in order. Between these steps, a break for around ten or fifteen minutes should be taken, so that everything can settle.
Monthly checks should also be in order to check levels of different parameters such as pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. If there is an algae problem in the aquarium, perform water tests to check other levels, such as phosphates, to find the root of the problem. Also, as far as testing goes, the filters should be cleaned, light bulbs should be replaced, air pumps should be inspected, and if live plants are used they should be fertilized.
It is recommended that specialized tools are purchased to ensure the process goes smoothly, and that contaminants are not put back into the aquarium. Now, these are not necessary, but it makes it a lot easier and cleaner. One bucket should be used for the cleaning process, a few brushes, a siphon, aquarium-safe cleaner, replacement filters and replacement bulbs should be in the arsenal while tackling the task.
In conclusion, if the health of your fish is important, not only should the pets be cared for by proper nutrition, but it should have a clean place to live, as well. It is not healthy to live in a dirty environment; and it is not fair for your beloved pets either. Routine maintenance of your pet’s habitat doesn’t necessarily have to be a chore, and once you get used to doing it regularly you might even find it enjoyable. It can even be a nice hobby to take your mind off of daily things and stress, and your fish will thank you for it.