Want to learn the secrets to a healthy fish tank? Proper fish tank or pond maintenance takes patience to learn but is easy to master. Once you find a routine that works for you, your water will always be perfect and your fish will thank you for it.
Not to mention all the money you’ll save on veterinary bills!
Seven Secrets to a Healthy Fish Tank
- Do you understand your fish tank’s filtration? Identify the different parts of your system and follow the water flowing through all your components. (**hint: draw a picture!!**)
- Know how to safety turn off your system without overflowing or running pumps dry. If your system is maintained by another person or company, have them show you how to do this. If there is ever an emergency, you need to know how to stop everything, just in case.
- Identify what maintenance needs to occur daily. For outdoor ponds, this usually includes skimming debris off the surface or emptying your skimmer. For saltwater tanks, you probably need to top off with freshwater daily. Here’s a cheat sheet for tanks and ponds.
- Identify your mechanical and biological filtration components. Mechanical filtration physically removes debris and includes settling tanks, mesh screening, drum filters, floss, etc. Biological filtration are specific media where good bacteria is cultured. This good bacteria is essential to converting your fish’s ammonia waste into safe nitrate. (Don’t remember this? You need to watch our webinar!) When cleaning these components, you DO NOT want them sparkling clean! Cleaning biological filtration too thoroughly can reset your filters to ZERO.
- Routinely remove old water from your system and replace with new, fresh, clean water (What you hear us refer to as a WATER CHANGE, or backwash for certain filter types). The size of your system, the amount of fish you have and your filtration capability will determine how often this needs to occur. It is important to watch your water parameters and learn how your system changes daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally, etc.
- Learn how to clean up after your fish. In a tank, you will need to master how to use a gravel siphon. Ponds may require the use of a pond vacuum. Watch our YouTube video about how to properly clean your fish tank. Using the siphon or vacuum also counts as a WATER CHANGE!!
- If you need assistance, contact a local fish tank/pond cleaning professional and have them teach you the steps. If you want, they can do all the hard work for you, leaving you with the easy job of simply enjoying your fish. But always make sure they know what they’re doing. Not all maintenance companies set a high enough standard to maintain a healthy fish tank.
It may sound like a lot of steps, but I promise, you CAN DO IT!
Other Articles You Might Like
- Pond Bottom Cleaning – Best Practices
- Does my fish maintenance company know what they’re doing?
- When Do You NEED a Fish Vet?