Aquatic life can be the perfect visual aspect of your household as long as you care for it properly. A recently conducted survey by the Pet Products Association showed that 13.1 million American households have fish as pets, meaning they come in third in popularity after felines and canines.
If you would like some aquatic pets in your household, you need to prepare by first setting up your fish tank and having a deep understanding of the necessary maintenance. This will help make caring for your fish a success.
As long as you know what it entails, maintaining an aquarium should be a fairly easy affair, and the following steps can make you a happy aquarium and fish parent.
Choose A Fitting Aquarium
Fish tank sizes range from desktop aquariums to large aquariums suitable for many fish. The aquarium size will be determined by the fish you decide to keep. You have quite a number of species to choose from, and they all come from:
- Freshwater fish
- Saltwater fish
Also, how many fish you will keep will determine the size of the aquarium. It’s essential to consider the habitat before bringing home any fish.
Depleted levels of oxygen can be a major issue as a result of overcrowding. In addition to excess waste, you will be looking at fatalities rather than a thriving aquarium.
Your local pet store can be a good source of information and advice on the right size of aquarium for you, depending on the space you are working with at home and, of course, the species you intend to keep.
What Are The Optimal Water Conditions In An Aquarium?
It is essential to provide the right environment for underwater creatures. All types of aquatic life are supported by varied water conditions. The follow are factors to think of before you become a fish caregiver:
- Conditioned Water – For tap water to support aquatic life, the countless properties constituted in the water must be balanced. For proper conditioning of the water, adechlorinating agent and an aquarium supplement should be used.
- Sufficient pH Levels – How acidic or alkaline your tank water is will be measured by a pH level indicator. Invest in a test kit to ascertain the pH levels. Levels between 6.8 pH and 7.5 pH are suitable for freshwater fish. That range offers a conducive environment, helping your fish resist natural fatality causes.
It’s of vital importance to regularly check for fluctuations of pH and make the required changes. That means you must recalibrate the levels regularly as the need arises.
- Stable Temperatures – Aquatic life is extremely sensitive to any change in water temperature and if not properly monitored can wreak havoc. Your aquarium should never be placed next to a window that lets in plenty of sun. Neither should it be situated next to a heating appliance or air vents. These things can impact the water temperature rapidly, causing the fish distress. Temperatures between 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 82 degrees Fahrenheit are perfect for most tropical freshwater fish. An aquatic heater helps maintain proper temperatures.
- Adequate Maintenance Of A Fish Tank – Proper maintenance of your aquarium or tank starts with monitoring the water conditions frequently, in addition to regular cleaning. Make it a habit to change 25 percent of your aquarium’s water monthly to ensure you promote water cleanliness in the tank. This will also keep nitrate presence at an optimal level
Debris from the base of your tank can be siphoned out using a gravel vacuum. You should also look for algae and other dirt build-ups. These appear as a cloudy deposit on the tank’s glass or murky looking water. Unfortunately, this will lead to a drop in the water’s oxygen. Use an aquarium algae magnet to get rid of the algae.
How To Adapt The Proper Aquarium Environment
Aquatic life is easily affected by environmental changes. Whatever fish species you settle for, ask the pet store for advice on the right water environment for the relevant nutrients like ammonia and nitrite.
Once at home, let the fish float in the aquarium for a minimum of 15 minutes inside a sealed bag before opening the bag or letting them loose. That will help with temperature acclimatization. At first, allow only a quarter of a cup in. Repeat at five minute intervals until the bag fills up with aquarium water.
This process slowly unifies chemistry in the bag with the aquarium, effectively allowing the fish to become used to their new aquatic home. Slowly pour as much water as possible from the bag after removing it from the aquarium. Don’t expose the fish to air. Next, allow your new aquatic friend to find their way into their new home by fully lowering the bag into the aquarium and letting them out.
Keep An Eye On Changes In The Aquatic Life
Keep an eye on your fish and other water based creatures regularly. Look for any changes in behavior, appearance, and even appetite. This enables you to arrest shortcomings before they spiral out of control.
Before you even bring your aquatic friend home, a little planning and some foresight can lead to a well-managed aquarium.
Tips To Consider
Many experts recommend a larger tank because it allows for more water volume, and therefore takes longer for the water to become dirty. It’s safer to opt for a larger tank with fewer fish, though opinions differ about the correct number of fish to keep compared to the size of the tank.
A regular source of light is also beneficial to your freshwater fish and aquatic plants, though too much light promotes algae growth in the tank. Therefore, it is essential to regularly scrape the algae from the tank’s side and the decorative items within the aquarium. An aquarium with a light timer is ideal for controlling light exposure. The light can be automatically turned off when you are asleep or away and then turned on when you are home.
With the proper maintenance, you will be able to enjoy many hours watching your fish swim around inside the comfort of your home.