One of the most important parts of setting up a new aquarium is ’cycling’ the tank. Once the tank is decorated, the water has been added and the equipment is operating, you have to allow the tank time to build up good bacteria.
This process can take weeks depending upon the size of your tank. Check the tank’s water every couple of days to be sure that the cycling process is complete, before adding fish.
Do not change more than 20% of the water at once
If you change too much water you upset the balance in the tank. You will be killing off good bacteria. If you add less than 20% you don’t have to treat the water for chlorine and chloamine. If you add more than 20% you should. If the two water temperatures, i.e. the tank and the new water are not the same, you could send your fish into shock.
Do not put too many fish in your tank
Over crowded fish are prone to stress and disease. Your fish need room to swim and grow. They also need oxygen. Too many fish in the tank may mean insufficient amounts of oxygen.
Do not over clean
It is not necessary to clean everything in the tank at once. See our article on cleaning your tank for advice on the best way to go about it.
Do not over feed
Fish will over eat and they will get fat. This condition is just as unhealthy for fish as it is for us.
Do not buy more than 3 or 4 fish at once
Even if your tank has been up and running for a long time, you do not want to bring home large numbers of fish. You still need to give the tank time to balance itself out before adding new residents.
Reducing the number of fish being added also gives you time to make sure that there is not going to be any problems caused by the new additions.
Do not depend solely on scavengers
While scavengers do help to keep both the gravel and the glass clean, you are still going to have to help them. The gravel will still need to be cleaned and the glass will need to be scraped.