5 Steps To A Healthy Aquarium

Aquarium Fish

A beautiful aquarium can bring hours of joy to the household, but it has to be well maintained and cared for to avoid dying or sick fish. It is useful to remember that an aquarium is essentially a miniature ecosystem and you have to keep this ecosystem balanced at all times.

Nutrition Make sure you know what type of fish you have and what you should be feeding it. Only feed them the recommended food and avoid overfeeding. Do keep in mind that fishes will need a variety of food to ensure they get all the nutrients they need. The eating habits of the fish species are divided into carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. Depending on their diet type, they can be fed 3 main categories of food, namely manufactured food (eg flakes), freeze-dried feeds (eg worms, shrimp) and live foods (eg maggots, feeder fish). For example, the omnivore Goldfish can be fed a variety of flakes, cooked peas, and insect larvae. A carnivorous Catfish eats worms and other live food as well as exotic stuff like beef heart. Few fish are completely herbivorous, but in general, most types of fishes include a significant amount of plants in their diet.

Water Quality
Unknown to some aquarium owners, you don't have to change all of the water at once. Changing about 20% of the water in the tank per week should suffice.

Pet Bites

Poor water quality can put stress on the fish and lead to infections. Just because the water looks clear doesn't mean that you don't have to change it. You have to judge from a number of factors, like the size of your tank, the number of fish, feeding schedule and filtration system, to see if the scheduled water change needs to be tweaked.

A water pump is recommended for aquariums with more than 38 litres of water. The pump will clean out fish waste and leftover food and keep the water well oxygenated. If you have a saltwater aquarium, you will need to maintain the right level of salinity. You can check this easily with a hydrometer.
Consistent Water Temperature
Most tropical aquariums do best with temperatures ranging from 23 to 28 degrees Celsius. Cold water fishes, on the other hand, prefer temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius and lower.

Pet Bites

It is very important that the water temperature be consistent as fishes, unlike humans, cannot regulate their own body temperature. Check with your pet store owner or read up on the ideal temperature for your particular breed of fish. Set this temperature with an aquarium heater and thermostat.

Lighting This aspect is often neglected. Proper lighting is important for photosynthesis of the plants, to prevent algae growth and to emulate a natural setting for the fish. Most fish require about 12 hours of light daily. The different types of lighting (fluorescent, incandescent etc) would depend on your type of fish (saltwater or freshwater), presence of the type of plant life and reef.

One Big Happy Family
The larger the aquarium, the easier it will be to mix fish with different behaviours.

Pet Bites

Mixing fish can prove to be a challenge if done incorrectly. To have a harmonious aquarium, your fish mix should be compatible in preferred water conditions, size, and temperament. It's best not to mix aggressive fishes with passive ones but if you really like fishes with differing temperaments, add the peaceful fishes first, followed by the relatively more aggressive ones a few weeks later.