Fish don’t come to mind right away when one thinks of pets. But our small swimming friends are just as much a pet as any cat or dog. Studies actually show that having fish at home can help reduce stress and anxiety and are conducive to a good night’s sleep. Having an aquarium in your home is a fine idea by all accounts. But to make sure your fish live a long, healthy life, you need to properly maintain your aquarium. This may sound complex but fret not because it’s actually quite simple.
By following just a few simple steps you can maintain your aquarium to give your fish the home they deserve.
Maintain The Right pH
Water pH is the measure indicating its level of acidity or alkalinity. The scale goes from 1 — most acidic — to 14 — most alkaline — and 7 is the neutral point. This begs the question, what is the appropriate pH level? Well, this will vary depending on the species of fish you maintain. However, most fish will live in water that is in the 6.5 to 7.5 range. Modern designed aquariums come with automated pH regulation units. Find the appropriate pH level and be sure to maintain it to ensure your fish remain healthy.
Regulate the Temperature
Just like any animal, different fish live in different climates. Depending on the fish you have you need to adjust the temperature of the water. Some fish like warm water while others prefer a cooler environment. Water temperature will directly affect your fishes’ health. Tropical freshwater fish live best in water that has a temperature between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. To maintain that temperature, you’re likely going to need a heater. Now, again, most modern designed aquariums will come with a built-in temperature regulation system, but if you have a basic model it’s critical you invest in an appropriate heater. Be sure to check the heating capacity of the heater you purchase and make sure it can comfortably heat the water capacity of your aquarium.
Choose an Appropriate Motor
Every aquarium needs a motor to create a current and aerate the water. In layman’s terms, the motor makes the water shake and adds air to it. It seems weird to need air in water, but it’s how the fish get oxygen. Don’t confuse motors with wavemakers; they serve different purposes. Now, water motors come in all shapes and sizes, and selecting the right one can get confusing. When selecting a return pump you need to consider whether it will run on an AC or DC power supply, its size, and if you need an internal or external model. These choices will depend on the size of your aquarium and the type of fish you have. You can always check with the aquarium salesmen on the right motor for you.
Regularly Change the Water
Changing water is critical. Just as you clean your cat or dog’s environment, you need to do the same for your aquatic friends. Many people use chemicals to adjust the parameters of the aquarium’s water but there’s a limit to how many chemicals you can use and your best solution is to regularly change your water. Now, this doesn’t mean replacing all the water. Instead, remove about one-third of it and replace it with clean water. This will dilute the chemicals in use. If you don’t change your water frequently, you’ll actually find it more difficult to manage your water’s parameters. Don’t forget to also clean debris from the bottom of your tank. Even if your aquarium uses a water filter you may have debris at the base. Some aquariums have water changers but if yours doesn’t, the process only takes a few minutes and you only need to do it about once a week.
Maintaining an aquarium at home may seem complex and burdensome at first, but with time and a regular routine, you will find that it’s incredibly simple. It’ll become second nature and you’ll do it as an afterthought. But never act haphazardly with aquarium maintenance as it can be detrimental to your fishes’ health. With these simple tips, you can make sure your fine water-based buddies have the perfect home. You can bask in their calming energy and bring nature into your home. Be sure to understand the needs of your fish and make sure if you have more than one species in there that they are compatible to live with one another. Invest in the right aquarium tools and being a pet owner will be a walk in the park… or a swim in an aquarium.