When you buy a new fish and you put it into your aquarium make sure that you have room for them to swim comfortably. If you are a beginner start with a 20-gallon tank and work your way up. It is easier to keep the water clean with a larger tank with a filter. It's very important to give the tank time to become established before adding fish. Buy a test water pH kit. Most fish do best with a balanced ph7 some fish like more acidic.
If it is a new tank let it sit for at least a week before you add any fish.
Before you put gravel in the tank rinse out with water very well. Add one pound of gravel per gallon of water. Have your fluorescent light on the tank only half of the day and the other half the day off. Keep the hood of the tank closed so that the fish don't jump out. Fish like to hide, make sure that you give them places where they can hide. Like plants, rocks and aquarium figurines.
Choose a high-quality filtration system that is the size of your tank. Be sure you change the filter according to the filtration instruction. If the water looks cloudy it is time to change water or the filter. Remove any uneaten food and waste with a net every other day.
Take out 10% to 15% of the water from the tank once a week and replace it with clean water. Also, test the water quality with a kit and scrape any algae build up from the glass. Any bucket you use for your fish should be used for fish only.
Starting an aquarium is challenging. The most common problems are: too many fish, overfeeding, and tap water--I recommend you use reverse osmosis water from your fish supplier store or you can buy reverse osmosis systems. Choose the right size aquarium. With a 55 gallon or larger you can have a greater number of fish and more variety. The larger volume of water keeps the water chemistry stable and less likely to have sudden changes. What you are going to need for your tank: heater, filter, air pump, hood, cover, light fixture. If you are going to use live plants you need a CO2 planted aquarium substrate--put this in first and then add the gravel if you are not going to use live plants--all you need is gravel. Your heater--be sure you buy a high quality heater and select the correct size for your aquarium. If you have tropical fish they require a steady water temperature of 76 to 78 F. Fluctuating water temperatures will stress your fish and make them more vulnerable to disease. Be sure you buy a good filter with a good flow rate for your aquarium. The filter removes debris and harmful pollution--it adds oxygen to the water.
Air pump is good for bubbling ornaments, and the bubbles agitate the surface of the water and it adds oxygen to your water. It is also good for adequate water movement.
Buy a hood to keep your fish from jumping out plus it helps reduce water evaporation. Light fixtures are used to illuminate the inside of the aquarium so that you can view your fish.
Do not use tap water--it is not safe for your fish. It could be full of dangerous chemicals that could harm your fish.
Let your aquarium develop the natural balance and then add a few fish. Add the new fish and let the unopened bag float in the aquarium for 10 minutes to allow the fish to adjust to the water temperature. Net the fish out of the bag and do not add the bag of water into your aquarium. The bag of water may contain fish waste and ammonia. If too many fish are added all at once or too much food is added, ammonia and nitrite levels will reach poisonous levels.
Be sure to add water conditioner to help relieve stress.
Test each week for pH, ammonia and nitrite levels.
Clean your filter once month.
Change water once a week--be sure you use a gravel siphon to remove debris from gravel.
The aquarium light should be on no longer than 6 hours each day.
Keep your aquarium clean for healthy fish.
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