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Fish Tank Water Quality

However good your aquarium's filtration system may be, you still need frequent, partial water changes to maintain the quality of the water. Don't be over-zealous though, as this does more harm than good. Too many water changes are bad because you will not give the nitrifying bacteria enough time to become established. You will also stress the fish if you are constantly scrubbing and moving things around in the tank.

  • The temperature of the replacement water should be close to that of the water in the tank.
  • Make the water safer for your fish first by getting rid of chlorine and other undesirable chemicals in it.
  • Use additives where appropriate to reproduce the water conditions your fish are accustomed to. Aquarium fish come from different parts of the world and each species requires specific water parameters to survive and remain healthy.

Testing for nitrates is a good way to measure water quality. As you establish your maintenance schedule, perform a nitrate test before and after each water change, as well as once in between. Your goal is to keep it at the lowest level possible. Keep a record of water changes. Once you determine a schedule that works, you'll need less frequent testing to confirm the adequacy of the routine.

Feeding Your Fish

Most fish commonly sold in aquarium shops can subsist on processed fish food, which is usually available in flake, stick and pellet forms. Though some fish can thrive on such food, it is good for them to have variety in their diet. This helps ensure that they get enough of the nutrients they need. The nutritional value of fishes' diet influences their appearance, growth and breeding potential. Overfed fish can end up with deformed bodies and health problems.

Types Of Fish Food

Five Main Types Are Available

  • Processed food formulated for omnivorous, herbivorous and carnivorous fish
  • Fresh food, such as beefheart and lettuce
  • Live food, such as brine shrimp, blood worms, insect larvae, daphnia
  • Freeze-dried food
  • Frozen food 

Feeding Pattern

The build-up of uneaten food in an aquarium can lead to water quality problems, which in turn could result in poor health of the entire aquatic system. The general rule is: Feed your fish only what they can eat within three minutes. If you fear that your ravenous fish may be starved if you follow this guideline, gauge the amount they need by observing their feeding behavior.

Feed them what you think would be just sufficient for them, watch how they consume the food and note the amount of leftovers falling to the bottom. If you don't have any fish that are primarily bottom feeders (such as corydoras and loaches), see if any of your fish will scour the bottom for scraps (gouramis often will, and rainbows generally would not). If you do have bottom feeders, observe how fast they eat. If there is practically no food to be seen after two minutes (except for the bit that has sunk to the bottom), it is probably safe to give them some more. But keep on watching to make sure they eat up all of the second batch of food too. It is better to feed your fish tiny portions of food several times a day, rather than one big batch at a time. Your fish may then eat more of the algae and other edible biological matter available in the aquarium. However, if this sort of feeding routine isn't practical for you, your fish should do fine if they are given a five-minute ration once daily.


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