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Preparing Tropical Fish Aquariums Before Adding Fish

Aug 5, 2008
Owning tropical fish can be a fun and enjoyable hobby for anyone, especially those with children who want pets that they know aren't going to growl or snap at the kids! They're relatively easy to care for and don't need to be walked, groomed, or scooped up after. But as easy as they are to take care of there are some things you need to do in order to prepare tropical fish aquariums before you actually add any fish. Just buying one and filling it with water isn't enough for your fish to be happy and healthy in any way. So what do you need to do to tropical fish aquariums for them to be ready for your new pets?

For one thing most tropical fish aquariums have been sitting around for some time or have been packed in boxes to get sent to your pet supply store. They're usually pretty dusty or even dirty when you get them home; if they're used of course they'll need to be cleaned under any circumstances. But one mistake that many people make with tropical fish aquariums is using harsh cleansers or bleach to get them clean. Any cleanser you use and especially bleach is going to leave a residue no matter how much you rinse and wipe it away, and this residue is going to be very bad for your fish. A damp rag and lots of hot water is usually best for cleaning tropical fish aquariums, and remember that acrylic ones can't be scraped with a straight edge the way you can scrape glass as this will scratch them. Avoid steel wool rags and pads.

It's also important to prepare your decorations and any wood you're going to add to tropical fish aquariums. Sometimes the substrate or gravel you purchase will have dirt and debris, so put it in a bucket and fill it with water just enough to cover everything. Give this a stir and let it sit overnight; the next day, empty out the water and then add more, stirring it again. Repeat this process until the water is clear and this will tell you that all that residue is gone and you can now add the substrate to your tank.

Of course adding your accessories to your tropical fish aquariums is also important. You want to attach your filter and your heater and make sure they're both working properly, and give them a few days to treat the water in the tank, before adding fish to any tropical fish aquariums. Even if the tap water you've added feels warm to you it's important that you get an accurate temperature reading, and that your pH levels and other chemicals are healthy for your fish.

If you do all of these things before adding fish to tropical fish aquariums and then work to maintain it after with regular cleaning, maintenance, and a check of the water chemicals, you're sure to have happy and healthy fish.
About the Author
John Hubert is a researcher of tropical fish and has recently published an ebook covering Caring For Fish Aquariums. It is recommended you also check out his site on Tropical Fish Aquariums.
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