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Tropical Aquariums - Keeping Your Tank Healthy

Aug 26, 2008
Tropical or reef aquariums are both beautiful and a source of enjoyment and fascination to both adults and children. A well placed, and healthy aquarium filled with highly coloured fish and live plants is an attractive and therapeutic addition to any home.

For the beginner just starting their first tropical aquarium here are some points that will make it easier to set up and maintain a beautiful and healthy aquarium.

Before you Start

Before you even begin to set up your aquarium research is needed to choose the fish. A community tank contains different species chosen to live peacefully together. There are many fish to choose from, including Guppies, Hatchetfish, Lyretails, Platys, Neon Tetra and Penguin Fish. Guppies are a popular community fish that are very easy to breed. Avoid aggressive fish such as Tiger Barbs and Rosy Barbs that may appear to be peaceful when young but grow up into bullies. You should also check how large the fish will grow and avoid placing too many larger fish in a small tank. The more fish you have in the tank the more maintenance you will need to do.

Once your tank has been cycled and stocked follow the points below to keep it healthy.

1. Avoid overfeeding. Food left in the tank decays and produces toxic chemicals. Only feed as much as the fish can eat completely within about three minutes. Twice a day feeding should be plenty. If the fish do not come to the surface when you feed then they are being fed too much.

2. Never replace all of the tank water. For a lightly stocked tank replacing 25% to 50% of the water once a month should be adequate. For a more heavily stocked tank water may need to be changed once a week. Vacuum the gravel with a siphon tube at the same time and remove some of the decorations for cleaning. Never remove everything for a clean. It will destroy the beneficial bacteria that you took the time to cultivate when you cycled your tank.

3. When the water level drops replace with tap water treated to remove any chlorine and chloramine. If there is no chloramine in your water supply you can leave a covered bucket for a day pr two to allow the chlorine to evaporate.

4. Keep a small tank prepared as a quarantine tank in case any fish develops signs of disease. This will also be useful for keeping newly purchased fish away from your main tank until you can be sure that they are healthy and disease free.

5. At least once a week test the water for ammonia, nitrite and pH so that a problem is not allowed to build up. If these levels are not optimum perform a partial water change. This will usually fix the problem without the use of chemicals.

6. Lastly find a local fish hobbyist group and join in. You will learn a lot from talking to other enthusiasts and have fun.

Keeping fish is a great hobby and an endless source of fascination to you and you family. Enjoy your aquarium and with a little care your fish can enjoy happy and long lives!
About the Author
For a complete list of community fish for your tropical aquarium read Community Fish You Can Keep Together. For more information about aquariums and fish keeping and some good deals on aquariums check out Cheap Aquariums for Sale .
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