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What you need to know about aquarium maintenance?

Aquarium maintenance routines vary as much as setting-up procedures, and the must be tailored to the need of the inhabitants of the aquarium and your own circumstances. However, some basic guidelines should be followed, which can be adapted as you see fit.

Daily Duties

  • Feed fish as least twice if they are active shoalers or other types with high energy requirements. Adapt the frequency to suit other kinds of fish and invertebrates
  • Check on the state of health of aquarium inhabitants and remove affected individuals for treatment of necessary
  • Check the temperature of the water
  • Switch the aquarium lights on several minutes after the room lights have been on or after daybreak
  • Check the state of health of nocturnal and/or crepuscular (twilight) species in the evening and provide for for then just before, or just after lights out
  • Switch the aquarium lights off several minutes before room lights are switched off or shortly before natural daylight fades

What you need to know about aquarium maintenance?

Weekly Duties

  • Do not feed the fish for a day (this does not apply either to fish being conditioned for spawning or to fry and juveniles)
  • Check heaters and thermostats for signs of faults such as leakages

  • Check the pH, hardness, specific gravity (marine fish), ammonia and nitrite levels of the water and take remedial action if necessary. Make sure that changes are made gradually.
  • Check on your supplies of food, water treatments and remedies.

Fortnightly Duties

  • Switch off the aeration (this does not apply to marine tanks)
  • Gently rake or otherwise stir up the surface of the bedding medium
  • Scrape excess algae growth from the front of the aquarium
  • Allow the debris to settle
  • Siphon off the debris, together with 20-25 percent of the aquarium water
  • Replace this with fresh water whose temperature, pH and hardness and salinity, if appropriate, match conditions in the aquarium. If a larger volume of water is being replaced, the fresh water must be treated with a dechlorinator
  • Switch on the aeration
  • NOTE – These regular partial water changes should not be carried out in the morning unless the water has been allowed to run for several minutes to eliminate toxic metallic ions such as copper. For marine aquaria, the interval can usually be extended to 3-4 weeks. If topping up is required at any time, use freshwater, even for marine aquaria.

Three-weekly/Monthly duties

  • Clean or replace non-biological filter media in sponge/foam, canister type or box filters
  • Rinse biological filter media in sponge/foam, canister type or box filter using aquarium water
  • If undergravel filtration is used, remove the air line from it’s airlift and scrape off any algae or calcite (hard water) from the opening
  • Introduce a siphon tube down each undergravel filter airlift and suck out a small amount of accumulated mulm (organic debris) from under the filter plates
  • Clean or scrape diffuser stones
  • Check aerator diaphragms
  • Clean the non-return valve on the air line
  • Check all lighting equipment
  • Remove any dead and dying leaves from plants and prune, thin out and generally tidy up the vegetation