Aquariums house delicate ecosystems. Before you fill your tank with various aquatic critters, here are five tips to ensure you create a hospitable environment.
Choose compatible species
Not all fish sold at your local pet store can co-exist peacefully. Some species are aggressive and might eat your other fish. In addition, you should find out which species have similar habitat and dietary needs before you make your selection.
Less is more when it comes to setting up an aquarium. Many species can become stressed or aggressive in a crowded environment. Find out how much space each fish needs to reach its healthy adult size. You should also consider whether a species is very active or territorial.
Test the water often
Even if the water in the tank is clear, it might not be a safe environment for your fish. Be sure to purchase a testing kit so you can regularly check the water’s ammonia, nitrate, nitrite and pH levels. Add chemicals or fresh water as needed to maintain a healthy aquarium.
While you might enjoy treating your pets with snacks, giving your fish too much food is detrimental to their health. Overfeeding leads to an accumulation of uneaten food and fish waste that can create a deadly chemical imbalance in the water, not to mention a dirtier tank.
Clean the tank regularly
Use a siphon to vacuum up debris that settles at the bottom of the aquarium. Remove the various decorations and give them a thorough scrub. Remember to clean the inside walls and the filter as well. Once a month, replace a quarter of the water with dechlorinated water that’s the same temperature.
All of these steps are essential to proper aquarium maintenance. The reward is a beautiful, thriving aquatic environment.