How To Maintain Fish Tanks: 5 Facts You Need to Know

Keeping fish tanks seems to be low maintenance but that doesn’t mean you can ignore them for too long. Whether you decide to get a freshwater tank or saltwater fish tank, there are things you need to take note of in order to provide a healthy and comfortable habitat for your fish. For the most part, the decisions you need to take before setting up a fish tank are not to be rushed, regardless of the fact that fish tank maintenance is not demanding. Get enlightened on the various steps to take if you want to start fish-keeping.

How To Set up Fish Tanks

Take your time and make the right decisions to get the best from fish tanks.

1. What kind of fish to get

First off, you need to decide the kind of fish you want to keep – saltwater or freshwater. This will determine the kind of tank you will get. If you are new to fish keeping, you might want to go for a freshwater tank which beginners generally find easy to maintain.

2. What size of fish do you want?

Another important step that will also influence your initial decisions is deciding the size of fish you want to keep in the tank. The species of fish which will have specific sizes should be considered before getting the tank. Swimming is natural to fish and you need to provide enough space for them to move around freely. Don’t be misguided by the notion that as a beginner, getting a small tank is the best. In fact, smaller fish tanks are more difficult to maintain but with larger tanks and a good volume of water, you spend less time on maintenance.

3. Setting up the tank

Now that you have purchased a fish tank, it’s time to assemble it and get it ready for fish to inhabit. This can take hours or even the whole day, depending on the size of the tank and the things that are going inside it. The easier one to set up is the fresh water tank. All you need to do is set the stand with the tank on it. Decorate the inside of the tank with gravel and other things, then add water, filter, and heater if necessary. For a saltwater tank, the water needs to be prepared before adding to the tank and this could take about a week.

When to Put Fish in a New Tank

Your fish tank might look ready to accommodate fish but you shouldn’t start adding them immediately. First, you need to cycle your tank which involves building up bacteria in the filter. This helps to get rid of the toxins produced by fish and reduces the need to change the water often. The cycling process takes time, about one or two months, and can be started by adding one or two small species of fish in the tank to build ammonia that will then help in multiplying bacteria.

Allow the fish to stay a week and test the water for ammonia and nitrite. Continue feeding the fish for better results. Notably, Cycling takes up to weeks to complete and you will know it’s done when the ammonia and nitrite have dropped to trace levels After cycling is complete, you can now go ahead and add more fish to the tank, according to the size of the container.

When adding fish to the tank, do it slowly. This will allow the fish to gradually adjust to the temperature and environment in the tank. After introducing a fish to the new habitat and family in the tank, be sure to monitor how they are faring and settling in. All you need to do now is feed the fish and maintain the tank by cleaning when necessary.

How To Maintain Fish Tank

Fish Tanks

These steps will guide you on easier maintenance of fish tanks:

1. Keep the filter active

The filter ensures you have clean, safe water in the tank at all times. Therefore, you need to check and make sure it’s working and change to a new one if there is any need for that. If you have a faulty filter in the tank, the water can turn cloudy and dirty, causing life-threatening harm to the fish therein.

2. Control the growth of algae in the tank

Having too much food in the tank, more than the fish can eat might lead to the formation of algae which is not healthy. Also, exposing the tank to excess light, whether natural or artificial, might encourage the growth of algae but this can be controlled by cleaning the tank before it gets out of hand. Introducing fish that eat algae also helps.

3. Clean the decorations

Those beautiful decorations will need cleaning every once in a while or they might contaminate the water and put the fish in danger. Important to note that you shouldn’t take out all the decorations at once to avoid putting the fish in distress.

4. Full or Partial water change

While you can go up to a month without changing the water in the tank, it is important to do a partial water change on a weekly basis. Take out and replace 20% of the water every week before the complete water change can be done. Keeping fish in dirty water can cause serious health issues for them.

5. Don’t Allow Debris in the Tank

To further avoid contamination and also keep the tank clean, fish tanks need to be cleared of debris. Debris can be spotted easily, floating on the water or in the gravel and a siphon hose can be used to suck them up. If left for a long time, the debris can encourage the growth of algae.

Perform Routine Check on Tank Equipment

The different equipment that keeps the tank running must be in good working condition for the fish to survive. As such, the filter should be checked and the sponges cleaned, preferably with water from the tank. Washing filter sponges with tank water preserves the good bacteria needed to keep the fish healthy. Again, you need to ensure the heaters are working perfectly to avoid a sudden change in temperature.

How Much is a Fish Tank?

Apparently, the size of the fish tank determines the price tag that will be hanging on it and since the bigger the better, you might need to fork out a lot of money to get one. The estimated cost of a small fish tank is about $100 which does not include the accessories like the stand ($85), light/hood ($35), and of course, the fish. However, if you are going for a 50-gallon tank, you might pay up to $370 and above. Then, if you are ready to pull all the stops for a 200-gallon tank, be ready to part with at least $4,500.

Read Also: How To Breed Turtles: 12 Steps To Follow

What Size of Fish Tank Should I Buy?

making sure you get the right size is important for the comfort of the fish that would live in it. The bigger the better but the kind of fish you want to keep influences the size. A freshwater fish would be comfortable in a 10-gallon tank (per fish) while the saltwater fish requires a 30-gallon tank to keep it healthy.

Are Fish Tanks Cruel?

This may depend on a lot of things but if you look at it from the perspective that these fishes were taken from their natural habitat in the ocean and forced to live in a tank, you might as well say it is cruel to put them in tanks. Notwithstanding, there are ways to make the fish get comfortable in the tanks, most importantly, by keeping the habitat clean and safe.

Keep the water filtered and clean and also clean the decorations in the tank to avoid contaminating the water. Provide adequate heat and light required to make the fish feel more at home. Also, the size of your fish tank also matters as you don’t expect fish to feel comfortable in a small space. Since they always swim around, they need space to do that and also require holes and hidden spots where they can play their hide and seek like in their natural habitats.

Again, to make sure you are not being cruel to your pet fish, don’t miss the big ones with the smaller species that can easily turn into food. Not feeding the fish in the tank when due is another cruelty to them. If you think you are equal to the task to provide a conducive environment for your pet fish and feed them when they need food, there is no cruelty in having them in fish tanks.

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