You can prevent spending lots of money and time on serious fish tank problems and fish health if you practice good maintenance on your aquarium. After carefully following instructions to set up your tank and putting the fish or fishes that you have purchased, there is still other maintenance tasks that you would need to do regularly. If you haven’t purchased your aquarium yet, you can check out this 20 gallon fish tank buyer’s guide to help you decide on what tank to get for your fish. Given that everything is in place, after a few weeks of enjoying your fish swimming around the tank, here is what you should do next.
- Check all the equipment and make sure they are running properly. Check the filters and the lighting. If you have a heating system, make sure that the temperature is also controlled.
- Check for molds or algae growth as they could obscure the growth of your fish and alter the parameters of your water condition.
- Take note of your fish’s behavior when they eat and swim around.
- Test your water parameters and make sure that pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are low. There are some additives or chemicals that you can use to control them. However, it is best to try and avoid using them as much as possible.
- Make water changes every two weeks. Take off a quarter or less of the water each time and replace it with clean and controlled water.
- Vacuum the substrate. Just hover a small distance above the substrate to avoid sucking all the rocks up with the dirt.
- Use some filter floss to clean the walls of your aquarium.
- Every two weeks, clean the cartridges of the filter. It is recommended to use the water that you removed from the tank to prevent sudden change in the water and contamination from other water sources.
- Check your lighting and clean the canopy that holds it. Inspect any damages in the bulbs and make sure that the wires are still intact. Wipe the top of the canopy and the underside with clean microfiber cloth to remove any dirt or molds that may have accumulated there.
- Inspect the tubes, skimmers, airstones and other connections. Be sure that they are functioning properly for the best aeration of your tank.
- Make certain replacements on your filter cartridges and inserts, carbon, floss and other parts. One of the most important equipment in the tank is your filter. So, make it a point to always check that all the parts are clean and functioning properly.
- Get new test kits and other aquarium supplies such as additives and fish food when they are expired. Having a healthy tank with happy and healthy fish requires patience and dedication.
Always remember that the creatures in your aquarium are living things as well. You would need to do your research well and know exactly what you need to do in order for them to live to their fullest.