It is imperative to keep fish tanks clean and functioning properly to sustain the health of the aquatic life that dwells within. There are many different tasks included in cleaning and maintaining an adequate living environment for you fish and other aquatic animals. Some of which are daily tasks, others will be performed on a weekly to monthly basis.
The cleaning schedule for fish tanks depend primarily on the size of the tank, filtration system and the number of fish in the tank and their feeding habits. The key to keeping a healthy tank is to keep the amount of fish to a manageable number for the size of tank they will be in. Do not overfeed the fish and be sure to purchase and maintain a quality filtration system.
A larger tank actually requires less maintenance than a smaller tank. The reason is that the larger tank has more water volume, meaning the waste excreted by the fish along with chemicals and other particles are dispersed over a much larger area. Therefore, if you buy a 10-gallon tank opposed to a 50-gallon tank, you can expect to clean the smaller one more often.
Do not overstock your tank with too many fish. When a tank is filled with too many fish, there is excessive waste, food particles, and chemicals floating around, making the tank unhealthy, not to mention the maintenance will be more difficult. Be sure to your tank is large enough for the aquatic life it will contain. A basic guideline to follow is to have one gallon of water for every one inch of fish. For example, if you have 10 one inch long fish, you will want to have a tank that holds no less than 10 gallons.
Do not over feed the fish in the tank. One of the most common mistakes made by fish owners is that they feed the fish too much and too often. When there is excess food in the water, it causes pollution. Purchase the appropriate food for the fish you have and feed them only as much as they will eat in one setting. Follow the instructions provided with the food and observe your fish when you feel them to know how often and how much they should be fed.
In fish tanks, filtration systems are crucial to keeping tanks clean and their environments healthy. There are different types of filtration systems available, but many people prefer to use biological filtration, which allows the right amount of "good" bacteria to grow while maintaining the proper level of nitrite coupled with a mechanical filter or chemical filter. The mechanical filter consists of a box that fits within the tank in which a type of media is used to filter out waste and other particles. The chemical filter uses chemical media such as carbon or chemical resins to absorb the waste.
Daily maintenance of fish tanks includes feeding the fish, monitoring the behavior and appearance of the fish to be sure there is no sign of disease. Check the appearance of the water, ensure it is not cloudy and does not have a foul odor. Also check the water temperature day and night and keep a record of the changes so you can detect when something is out of the norm. Lastly, confirm all the equipment, heaters and lights are all working accurately.
In addition to the daily responsibilities of owning fish, there are certain things that will need to be done on a weekly or monthly basis as well. Algae control is among the most important tasks. Fish tanks are known to collect algae whether you like it or not. To keep the algae under control use an algae magnet or scraper to clean the algae off the sides of the tank as well as any decorative ornaments in the tank. If plants inhabit your tank, but sure dead leaves are removed and excess plant growth is trimmed. Change and treat the water on a regular basis and clean the glass of the tank when necessary.