Happy Fish Means Clean Tanks

By Teri Autumn

Proper maintenance of tropical fish tanks involve doing some tasks that you have to accomplish daily, monthly, weekly, bi-annually, and yearly. Doing these regularly and diligently will ensure the good health of your fish and prevent major problems from occurring.

Daily schedule

The daily tasks involved in taking care of tropical fish tanks are simple. These are checking if your fish are complete and healthy, spotting and removing dead fish and dead plant matter, and examining the temperature readings of your heater and thermometer. The temperature readings should match. Otherwise, it could mean that there is something wrong with your heater.

You should also check the water level. If it has dropped, replace the evaporated water to prevent salinity and pH levels from fluctuating.

Weekly maintenance tasks

Water change and light cleaning of tropical fish tanks are usually done during the weekly maintenance checks. You have to remove and clean dirty ornaments, clean the tank walls, siphon off floating particles and dirt, and prune and re-anchor live plants if you have them in your tank. When changing the water, do not remove more than 25% of the water in the tank. Before you put in the new water, make sure that it is filtered, dechlorinated, aerated, and of the correct temperature. You can leave the fish inside the tank while cleaning as long as you won't make sudden movements that will disturb them.

Monthly maintenance

Cleaning and replacement of some of the equipment of tropical fish tanks are done monthly. These are your filter media and filter cartridges. Do the monthly cleaning together with the scheduled water change so you can use the discarded water to clean the mechanical and chemical filter media of your fish tank. However, do not replace nor replace the biological media as this will wipe out the bacteria colonies needed for filtration. Make sure that you test the levels of ammonia, pH, nitrates, and nitrites in the fish tank.

It is advisable to keep a record book where your observations, activities, and testing results are noted down. Referring to those notes will help you later on in case concerns regarding water conditions or fish health will arise.

Bi-annual maintenance tasks

Tropical fish tanks are equipped with pumps, light bulbs, filters, pipes, and protein skimmers, and you need to clean or replace them at least every six months. Make sure that the pumps are working properly by checking for impeller cracks or any missing blades. For pipes, you have to clean them thoroughly to make sure that they'll work properly. It's best to replace the light bulbs of tropical fish tanks one at a time and when they're cool enough. Check the manual as a guide for replacing and cleaning any of these equipment.

Tools for maintenance

To complete the task diligently, arm yourself with the needed tools for maintenance. Among them are the algae pads, gravel vacuums, scrapers, tongs, gloves, tongs, and magnetic cleaners. Also use cleaning fluids such as salt creep removers, lime dissolvers, and glass polishers. - 32185

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