A Schedule For Your Child's Fish Tank Maintenance

By Leonard Boyler

Fish are great starter pets for kids. They do not need a great deal of attention or special care, like a dog might. They are quiet, reliable pets. Though the fish themselves require minimal care, there is much aquarium maintenance that one needs to think about. If a fish is the first pet your child ever has, teach them proper care. It is a good foundation for taking further responsibility with more complicated pets later on.

Bigger aquariums tend to be much better than smaller. Though it is tempting to save money by buying the traditional bowl, the water will almost always be more easily contaminated. Bigger tanks can firstly support different filtration systems. Secondly, bigger tanks have more water, which means that if there is a slight impurity in the water, it will be less problem to the fish than being in a smaller bowl. More water means more dilution for imperfections.

Larger tanks also mean you can have more fish. While you may want to start your child out slowly and make sure they can tend to a single fish, the death of a single fish may be overlooked by the child and the other fish if it is just one among several. Also, the difference between one fish and ten is small because the start-up costs are almost always for the tank, not for the fish.

A normal ecological environment can never be reached in a tank, but it is important for the longevity of your fish's life that you try. You will want as much normal activity and genetic diversity in a tank as possible while still making sure that the fish will not eat each other.

Tank maintenance depends on several factors. The leading factor is what kind of fish you have: salt or fresh water. Fresh water fish tend to be less exotic and may lower the costs of your equipment. Salt water can be a great and rewarding challenge, but may not be a good option for kids just starting out. It is just one more factor you have to check and maintain.

The specific components of the system should be discussed with a professional at the pet store. They can help you fit the tank to your budget and your fish. There are a few things to do regardless of what type of system you have. Clean up any large messes, but most importantly you need to change out a third of the water and put in new about every two weeks. If you use EcoBio-Block products, you can reduce this part of your maintenance to once a month or less. EcoBio-Block contains beneficial bacteria that create a healthy environment for your fish. These bacteria which are found in nature, break down toxic organic waste into safer by-products, clarify your water and eliminate odors. All you have to do is put the block in the water and wait for the bacteria to build up in the tank. Just be sure to monitor your ammonia and nitrite levels on a regular basis.

The gravel should be vacuumed occasionally, removing large pieces of organic waste. (This job will also be reduced with the use of the EcoBio-Block). You should check the filters every couple of weeks to look for any clogs (if they are left too long, you will definitely notice a dirty tank and probably some dead fish). You can also test the water for pH levels occasionally, or more often if they seem stressed and you can't find any other possible reason.

Filter inserts should be automatically changed every month, even if you think they look fine. On a daily basis you should just watch life in the tank. Fish can bully or abuse others, or eat more than their share of food. You should count the fish to make sure one has not died and you may need to separate fish if there is an unhappy relationship. - 32185

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