Unless you are an experienced in keeping fish as pets, most people don’t know how to keep a fish tank clean and hygienic. Keeping freshwater fish are an inexpensive way to own a pet and there is an array of them available to stock the aquarium. The fish tank they are kept in has a great impact on the health of the fish, which is why it is important to know how to clean it properly and maintain a healthy environment for them to thrive in.
Don’t Make Sudden Changes
To the fish, the aquarium is a biosphere, which means it is a self-contained atmosphere where it isn’t just the fish inside it. There are bacteria who live there too, and they are important to help keep the fish healthy by ridding the tank of feces and any uneaten food.
If you were to suddenly take the fish out and completely change the water, it would have detrimental effects on the fish. Any big changes in the temperature or pH of the water could cause them to become ill or even die. The trick is keeping the tank clean without the killing of any of the bacteria that live alongside the fish.
Test the Water
Before you decide when it’s time to change the water, you need to test and monitor the water parameters. The pH of the water, as well as the levels of ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites, need to be at a certain level for the fish to thrive. Buying a water testing kit is key to knowing when you need to change the water, with clear and easy to read results so it isn’t confusing.
When it comes to the ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites, they need to have low levels and when left alone, it can build up until it is unhealthy for the fish and bacteria. You will also want the pH level of the water to be just right and if it isn’t, chemicals can be added to make it right.
Change the Water Regularly
To keep the water clean and still allow the bacteria to thrive, you need to make regular water changes, but this doesn’t involve completely emptying the tank. Instead, you need to empty a third of the tank every week and add in fresh water to replace it. This will dilute any of the chemicals without the need to add more chemicals to lower it.
Doing this regularly will make sure that the water parameters are just right for the fish, making the water healthier. By monitoring the chemicals and pH of the water, you will have a better idea of how regularly you need to change the water, which could be every other week instead.
Manage the Light
There is nothing worse than noticing algae growing in your fish tank, which thrive in the light as they are plants. The problem is that most tanks have lights, so the fish can be seen, but you can combat the algae growth by managing the light that shines on the tanks. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure the tank isn’t placed in direct sunlight and the tank light should only be on for a maximum of 12 hours a day. At the end of the day, the fish don’t need to light to see, so you can keep it turned off when you aren’t home or when you’re sleeping at night.
Don’t Use Chemicals
Doing a deep clean requires moving all the water to a new tank while you scrub the old one, but you should never make the mistake of using chemicals to clean it. Using washing up liquid or household bleach will infect the water when it is added back in and could damage the fish. The fish are sensitive and even the slightest hint of a household chemical can make them ill. Instead, use special equipment that you can buy from the pet store to clean the inside of the tank and make sure you use the same equipment each time.
Following these simple rules to clean the tank will help your aquarium to thrive, keeping the fish happy and healthy.