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Maintaining A Freshwater Aquarium

Oct 26, 2007
Freshwater aquariums are preferred among aquarium hobbyists for the apparent reason that they require very low maintenance. It is true that freshwater fish require lesser maintenance than seawater fishes, but that does not mean they should be neglected. Even freshwater fish need some suitable conditions for their good health, and hence it is required to maintain those needs for your tank inhabitants.

The following are the important steps you will have to perform for the care of your freshwater inhabitants:

1. Removing the organic debris from the tank.

There is a lot of pollution in aquarium tanks, whether they house freshwater fish or saltwater fish. This pollution comes from the waste products of the fish, and from the fragments of the food that has been uneaten by the fish. When microorganisms in your freshwater tank die, they will also contribute to the pollution level of the tank. You must remove all these from the tank on a regular basis. Vacuuming is the most suitable method for this purpose. You can cheaply get aquarium pumps at any reputed pet store. Vacuum your freshwater tank at least once every month.

2. Checking the conditions of water in the tank.

You must understand that fish live in the water, and for them the water is just as important as air is to us. That is why you must make every effort to check the condition of the water. This is done by setting a proper pH value for your tank. You will have to ask your aquarium supplier what will be the proper pH value for your fish, as the pH value differs for different fish types. Then you must get a pH filter that will help you keep the proper pH value. But in the initial two months or so, you will need to check the water condition once every few days. This can be reduced to a monthly checkup after the first two months are over. That is the time your aquarium will have completely set in.

3. Checking your aquarium's filtration.

There are several different filtration requirements for your aquarium, and you will need mechanical, chemical as well as biological filters for your tank. The mechanical filters are made of pads and sponges, and their work is to filter out the particulate impurities from the tank, while the chemical filters will remove all unendurable odors and colors. The biological filters are a complex bed of microorganisms in your tank - mostly bacteria - that provide your tank with the natural environment it needs. However, as time passes by, mechanical filters will get choked, chemical filters will lose their adsorptive power and biological filters could simply die out. Hence, you will need to check out the efficiency of your aquarium filters from time to time. Monthly cleaning is enough for aquarium filter maintenance.

4. Changing the water in the aquarium.

You will have to change the water in your aquarium periodically. You must replace about one-tenth of the water every week, a quarter of the water once a month and about half the water once every six months. That will ensure the water in your tank remains pure. However, you should never replace all the water in your tank because then you will be losing out on the valuable biological ecosystems that are already set up within your tank.
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