The hobby of aquatics from the outside eye may seem like a very simple hobby. Water, fish, food and all good right? Although in many ways these are the basics there are things to be aware of when owning an aquarium. Mostly simple things but can be crucial when it comes to optimally running the best aquarium possible. Great thing folks at Cleartank Island have tons of experience and would love to help! Look through the things to look out for below and keep us in mind when looking to add a home aquarium.
Placement of the tank can be crucial in many ways and we can go through some of the reasons. Starting with avoiding to place aquarium by the window or in direct sunlight. A little sunlight to the aquarium wouldn't hurt. However, if it was placed at in an area where it comes in contact with sunlight all day, algae growth could really become a problem especially if contains live plants and is lots of fertilizer is involved. Look to place aquarium in an area that receives sunlight but not to where it would be under the suns rays all day where it is also prone to overheating or even in areas that may overcool the tank. This is also a big reason why avoiding furnaces is a must do because the water temperature has certain limits it cannot cross to ensure fish safety. Areas safely out of the way but in a visible area are the best places to place aquarium. Shouldn't be in anyone's walkway in order to avoid bumping or knocking over and in a fairly quiet area.
Size of the aquarium should be considered when approximating location. Larger aquariums unlike smaller ones obtain more water which in turn means more weight. Although larger tanks are heavier in general, it is important to determine the weight of your tank in advance and be sure the area your planning on placing the tank is in fact a level and sturdy surface. A gallon weights close to 9 pounds and will be a good indicator on how much your tank weights and the where best location to place it will be.
There is a very important safety concern that is expected when dealing with water and electricity. Lighting, heating, and filtering are the main three thing in the standard aquarium that will more than likely need an outlet for each. It is crucial that the power strip outlet used is not on the ground and is hung on the wall preferably considering the goal is to avoid shortages and possible fires that come with splashes and water trickling down the wire. Handling this area of the hobby without care isn’t advised considering it can lead to fire and can put the owner and pet at risk of injury. Responsibility goes a long way.
Surge protector strip power outlet we do recommend considering the security benefits. It protects from you guessed it, "surges". If power in the home was to ever surge or forbid gets struck by lightning, the equipment could be ruined by being plugged in the homes electricity at that time. If it was plugged into a surge protector it would be protected from breakage because of its automatic shutoff feature.
Note: Electricity wire should always run up wards from the tank to the strip outlet to avoid water trickling into the outlets.
Conditions of the water for a fish is like air quality to a human. Take these steps to ensure the proper setting for your pet. When starting up your aquarium, its important to add fresh, purified water as a base. This ensures pure water to begin without possible toxins and/or additives from tap water. pH levels in the aquarium are critical to the success of aquarium and purified water allows more control over pH parameters. Operatign mechanical filters in the tank
Water changes are important in maintenance considering a few things. Food and fish waste contribute to the pollution of the tank overtime and must be changed regularly. If water changes aren't happening tank conditions could become harmful to aquarium in the formulation of nitrate and phosphate. Changing the water keeps fish strong because pH levels will drop if it doesn't happen. First off aquariums have a certain amount of water that must consist of enough beneficial bacteria the fish need to survive. If a tanks full of fish were to experience an change of the entire body of water, the fish could suffer from too much freshwater. Although doing the required amount of water changing is almost like the nutrients for the fish, there are products to help with regulating the bacterial conditions in the tank to ensure safe conditions for fish if too much water happens to be extracted from a change. Make sure to allow water to sit for a day or so to regulate room temperature and dissolve any gasses.
Keeping a consistent maintenance schedule would help to avoid forgetting to clean or cleaning to often which is also a health fish to the fish. Before creating a schedule it is important to weight in all of the parameters of you aquarium. Size of tank and number of fish are two main thing that will effect number of times a month water changes occurs. A larger, less populated fish tank would need less changes than a smaller, more populated one would need because of less fish and more space. Rule of thumb is change about 15% of the tank once a week and about a 25% for heavily populated aquariums. As for lightly populated ones, 15% every two or three weeks should be fine.
Note: Water does evaporate even in an aquarium. When doing these water changes for maintenance be sure to clean the gravel and clean inner and outer panels of aquarium. Don't just top off when water evaporates. This does not clean water and pollution will still remain in aquarium. Vacuum gravel while siphoning water.
Automatic fish feeders is a great modern tool allowing for fish to be fed at the same time everyday. Would be no overfeeding, missed meals, manual feeding, etc. However, would be important to remember to keep food in the feeder. Fish such as humans aren't all the same and can require different diets. Considering there are hundreds of different species of fish, it would be safe to do some research on the type of fish that captures interest.
Twice a day is standard rule for amount of time fish should be fed. Morning and night preferably, given that what your schedule allows. Fish is one animal that can and will eat themselves to sickness. They may look hungry with mouths open at the top of the tank but overfeeding can make them ill or even lead to death. It's important to only feed them at feeding time and now when you think they look hungry. Overfeeding fish leaves lots of uneaten food that sinks to the bottom which overtime turns to bacteria and contributes to the overall pollution of the tank.
Number of Fish per Tank
Having a bunch of fish can be beautiful and satisfying but when is the number of fish in your tank start to become counterproductive? There is a universal rule of thumb in determining the number of fish your aquarium can hold. One Inch per Gallon = One inch of fish for every gallon or two gallon. Although this rule isn’t exact and personally believe as long as you have good filtration turnover and filtration equals amount of fish waste omitted then it’s ok to have a highly populated tank. Remember to keep in mind that the fish are here 24/7 so comfort, accessibility, mobility are all things your going to want get right. Don't want too much fish, plants, decor, etc. Simple works great in aquariums.
Keep in mind that if you for example had a 60 gallon tank but have lots of plants, gravel, rock, decor etc. then your tank is actually only holding around maybe 50 gallons. This should be understood for multiple reasons. Water changes, expected water filtration turnover, pH level changes, aquarium weight to name a few reasons. A good way to determine how much water is being used in a furnished aquarium is to add gallon by gallon or count by 5 gallons and keep track of amount of water poured in. This would mean entire water change because all water would taken out.
Algae. One of the main contributors to the overall waste buildup on the inside of tank. Not only does it build up accumulate on the tank walls panels but filter, gravel, decor and overall water conditions could becomes sickening or even lethal to the fish depending on severity. It is however dealt with across the hobby and maintained in different ways. There are many different variations of algae that can grow in the aquarium and for the most part is harmless in moderation.
Algae growth is however not completely preventable and in some like a lawn. If someone cuts the lawn regularly they will have nice grass and maybe few dandelions which j is tolerable not too harmful to the grass. However if the lawn was filled with dandelions and uncut grass it’s a little less tolerable. Harder to walk in, bugs and insects move in and much harder to clean after three months than after every two weeks becoming more of a hassle.
Same with aquariums, allow algae to pile on itself will only create inefficiency in the tank. Ever seen the Disney movie Finding Nemo? Clogged up filter so algae would accumulate and the owner would have no choice but to clean it, giving them the opportunity to escape.
Filters are one of the easiest things in the aquarium to forget to clean and maintain. Sponges, media sock, filter pads are used to filter unwanted particles in aquarium. When this is not maintained, these particles can start to stem back into the tank making it unsafe for fish. Filters should be replaced and cleaned regularly. By removing the debris before it gets backed up on itself it will keep your aquarium free of piled on algae and harmful contaminants. Aside from that the filters job in all this is to sift out waste from the living area recycling it back in to ensure a healthy environment. This area should be cleaned regularly in order to ensure that it’s job is being done properly. In a case where the filter hasn’t been cleaned and algae causes backup, then efficentcy of the filter may decrease putting pet at risk.
Tell us how you feel about this post. What would you add? How do you do go about handling these topics yourself? Comments are appreciated.