Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Aquarium Maintenance Procedure and Vacation Tips (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/aquarium-maintenance-procedure-vacation-tips-77/)

Lupin 08-04-2006 07:24 AM

Aquarium Maintenance Procedure and Vacation Tips
 
Daily
1. Feed the fish adequately. Never overfeed the fish because uneaten food will only contribute to the deterioration of the tank water. Rule of thumb is to feed only what the fish can finish in five minutes.
Overfeeding can also result to the production of planaria. Planaria are harmless worms and will be eaten by the fish but it is best to avoid them by minimizing feeding.
2. Check filters, pumps, lights and other accessories to make sure they are running properly.
3. Check if the aquarium cover is in place. This is especially true with high leaping fish like arowana, swordtails, hatchetfish, etc.
4. Remove floating debris like detached leaves, dead fish, uneaten food or unsightly fish wastes parading in front of the tank.

Weekly
1. Remove algae growing on the sides of the aquarium. You may use a sponge, algae magnet cleaner or toothbrush.

Monthly
1. Wipe off dust that may have gathered on the aquarium glass cover and light holders.
2. Trim plants if necessary.

Quarterly
1. Remove calcium deposits on the glass using household muriatic acid. Wipe deposits with a rag soaked in muriatic acid. Remember that extreme caution should be taken when working with acids.


Miscellaneous
Water Changes
Scheduling water changes really depends on how heavily stocked your tank is. Weekly basis of 10-20% is fine with a tank which is not heavily stocked. However if you are keeping sensitive fish like altum angels, discus, apistos, etc., you may need 3 times water changes on weekly basis.
Daily, every other day or three times a week water changes for heavily-stocked tanks.

Water Parameters
If keeping sensitive fish, check the water parameters monthly or if necessary. For average tanks, monthly or quarterly is fine.
In case of sudden unusual behavior of fish, check the water parameters daily and continue monitoring the fish for any abnormal or changes in behavior.
If you have anything to adjust, pls ask for help before attempting to do that.
Do not use pH Up and pH Down chemicals. They can adjust your pH but you can't control the adjustments easily. This alone can cause more harm than good.

When you are on vacation
Before vacation
Before you go on your trip:
1. Do a few water changes in a few days.
2. Minimize feeding.
3. If you are using automatic feeders, test them for a few days and see if they work. The rotating wheels may be probably jammed but lubricants can remedy that.
4. If you are relying on a friend or sitter, give him/her your feeding schedule, teach him on what else to do and finally, when giving him/her the food rations, try to pack each ration individually rather than a whole pack which adds the risk of overfeeding.
After vacation
1. Do small partial water changes and gradually increase in a few days. Vacuum the substrate thoroughly.
2. Ask your sitter how he/she maintained your tank during your vacation.
3. Check your fish to make sure not one is missing. If there's a missing fish, check your water parameters(in case of sudden wrong water stats), decors(in case the fish is hiding due to circumstances) and the sitter(he/she probably knows where the fish is).
4. Check all your equipments to make sure they are working well.
What to Avoid:
Pls avoid those holiday blocks. While they may seem possible to ensure that the fish can eat, they contain plaster of Paris which can mess up your water quality. Fish can survive without food for about 3 weeks but this will not apply to the fry or juveniles as starvation will hinder their growths thus resulting into "stunted growth".


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