These tips will help you with the setup
Setting up a successful aquarium begins with a basic understanding of the needs of the fish. Most importantly, the water quality needs to be pristine. Fish pass waste products into the water and these waste products need to be removed regularly, otherwise the poor fish are effectively swimming in sewage. Naturally, this will make them very ill or even cause them to die.
Cleaning aquarium water
The aquarium water is cleaned in two ways. The first is by regular water changes where you remove some of the tank water and replace it with fresh water. Fish do not like sudden changes, so regular partial water changes are preferable to completely replacing the water when fouled.
The second method is by using a biological filter. Filters remove cloudiness and particulates from the water, but their main purpose is to break down the ammonia that the fish produce as waste into less harmful nitrate, which is used for growth by live plants and is also removed via water changes.
New tank disease
There is a condition known as ‘new tank disease’. This is where you place fish into a newly established tank and all goes well for a week or two until the fish suddenly begin to die. What has happened is that you have not given the filter time to mature and fill up with bacteria. The fish have been producing waste that the filter is not able to process yet, and when that waste builds up too much it kills the fish.
How does one prevent this? Firstly, the tank should be set up in an area with a stable temperature and away from direct sunlight, which causes algal growth. The new water should be treated with a product that removes chlorine and heavy metals, as these will kill fish and filters.
Your tank then needs to be cycled, meaning that the tank must be run for a few weeks without fish to mature the filter and ensure a healthy environment. During this time, place a small amount of fish food into the tank daily (just a pinch). The fish food will break down and begin to provide ammonia for the filter bacteria to feed on.
Visit Family Pet Centre for products that can be added to the water to speed up the process, and water testing kits to ensure excellent water quality.
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