A freshwater aquarium is a familiar way to brighten up your home or office. Delightful freshwater fish are like living jewels. They’re easier to care for than saltwater species, and generally undemanding for the amount of pleasure they provide. However, if you have a freshwater aquarium, it’s important to take care of it properly, so your fish will grow and thrive. Here are some tips on setting up and caring for a freshwater aquarium that will make you proud.
The first thing you should do is to plan what kind of fish you intend to get. Not all fish live in harmony together, and some species require special care. If you already have the aquarium you’re going to use, purchase fish that will fit it. Many people put too many fish in their aquarium, causing the water to become dirty and the fish sick. A good rule is to keep a gallon of water in the aquarium for every inch long your fish is. Therefore, a four inch fish needs at least that much water. Two five inch fish should live in no less than a ten gallon tank. If you make sure not to overpopulate your tank, you’ll be able to keep your fish beautiful and healthy.
Another common mistake when buying fish is not to learn how large they’ll grow. Many common pet fish are actually capable of becoming very large in time. Don’t believe the myth that keeping them in a small tank will keep them small. A single gold fish can live upwards of ten years and get to be a foot long! There are other fish that can get even bigger. If you don’t want to keep investing in larger aquariums, buy a small fish that will stay small.
Your fish tank has a nitrogen cycle going on inside. The waste your fish give off creates nitrogen, which forms ammonia. If you have the right bacteria living in your tank, the ammonia will be oxidized, turning into nitrites and nitrates. The latter the go to feed your plants and re-enter the nitrogen cycle. You must change your tank water to make sure that the nitrates are not able to poison your fish. When you set up your tank, you will want to make sure that the conditions are right for the fish before you put them in. Use a water testing kit to check the ammonia and nitrate levels. Don’t just dump the fish straight in. Put a little bit of their water into the tank and a little bit tank water into their container every fifteen minutes or so. This way, they’ll be able to adjust to the new environment.
When you care for your fish, be sure to change their water out partially every couple of weeks. A full water change will shock them and could kill them, so it’s best to change only half of it. If you live in the city, let the water you’re putting into the tank stand overnight to remove the chlorine. Make sure you feed your fish a quality food that is well suited to them. Do not over feed your fish. Rotting fish food at the bottom of the tank will poison the water more quickly and make your fish more likely to become sick.