Aquarium Maintenance “Rules”

Okay so here goes, there generally are many and varied opinion in fishkeeping which masquerade as facts, instructions, orders or parameters. You know what, it it works for you and most importantly your fish, then keep doing what you are doing. You get to hear some horror stories and it still amazes me what some fish will put up with.

We’ve put together a list of ten that if you do your utmost to stick to, you shouldn’t go far wrong. As mentioned, this is by no means a definitive one and to every one “rule” there will be countless variations and opinions where fishkeepers do it differently. There are clearly some really obvious “do’s and don’ts”, but like most things written including books, articles and social media by a plethora of experts, we would always view these as a guide.

  1. Carry out a 20-30% water change every fortnight (this could be 10-15% a week). It’s best if you can use a gravel syphon to remove trapped detritus out and make sure you treat the water that you’re adding. This assists in stabilising the pH and KH and remove dissolved impurities from your aquarium.
  2. Top up any evaporated water every 3-4 days, helping to avoid mineral deposit lines on the glass and particularly in marine aquariums support the consistent salinity levels required.
  3. Clean the glass weekly. It’s difficult to see but bio-films and algae populate onto the glass. A magnet or a scrub will remove this and keep things totally transparent.
  4. Clean your light lenses and flourescent tubes every couple of weeks. Evaporated deposits reduce the output and therefore the amount of light entering the tank.
  5. To ensure that organic pollutants do not deteriorate your water quality, clean your filter media every month. This should be rinsed in the aquarium water you have removed as part of one of your partial water changes
  6. Trim and prune plants, some do need it. They also need nourishment either in the form of a plant food or a small Co2 system.
  7. Check water temperature and filter operation every day. It takes a couple of seconds but is key to your fishes survival.
  8. Check the behaviour of your fish, especially after a water change or new introductions. Catching diseases early makes a huge difference.
  9. Test your aquarium and tap water regularly – pH, KH, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate and ammonia.
  10. Not essential this one, but if you can, they help massively. Run a bare quarantine tank for new fish or ones that require treatment. Making sure they are eating properly and free from any disease before being introduced to your main aquarium