Aquariums have many components, but none is more important than the filter. Whether you own a fishbowl or a gigantic tank, you cannot develop and sustain a healthy environment for your plants and fish without one.
Aquarium maintenance seems like a daunting task, but with a few tricks, you can turn into any tank into an aquatic mecca for you and your home. Here are seven useful tips for maintaining your aquarium.
1. Don’t overclean the filter
Under no circumstances should you clean your aquarium filter. Do not use soap, do not dip it in hot water, you shouldn’t even rinse it under running tap water. The chlorine will kill all the good bacteria in the filter, resetting the cycle. Switching out at least a third or so of the aquarium water every other week should be enough.
2. Cleaning the aquarium regularly
While regular cleaning should be a no-brainer, many aquarium owners still forget to clean the aquarium on a regular basis. Without regular cleaning, gunk and muck will start to accumulate within the aquarium, which will affect the plants and fish. And the detritus buildup in the filter might produce chemicals that feed algae. An algal bloom can kill your fish, as the algae consume all the oxygen in the water that your fish need to live.
If your filter is a set-and-forget type, apart from monthly checkups and cleaning, you only need to clean the filter if the water flow slows down or if the water is backing up into the tank through the overflow outlet. If the water is too cold for the finish, you might want to consider a water heater installation.
3. Don’t overdo the carbon
If your aquarium has activated carbon in it, you can throw it away after a month or so. This will improve water flow through the now-empty bag and keep the filter clear.
While you don’t need to replace the carbon, I highly recommend keeping a bag or two in storage in case you need to filter out excess chemicals or medicine from the water. Never forget that the carbon might release previously absorbed chemicals so you need to remove it as soon as it has done its job.
4. Dilute the water
One of the best ways to keep the aquarium and its filter in good condition is a frequent replacement of old water with clean water. Make it a point to check with fish shops if the local tap water is clean enough for aquariums. In certain places, tap water is filled with chlorine and fluorine that could kill fish. You’ve done half the work of keeping your fish alive if you keep that in mind.
Aquariums require constant maintenance to ensure your fish and aquatic plants remain happy and healthy. It’s not a hobby that you can set and forget, and leave alone for long periods of time. It requires a serious commitment on your part, and keeping these tips in mind can make your life a lot easier.