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It's a Dog's Life
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Won't You Be My Neigh-Bor?
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Fish Tank Maintenance

Friday, November 26, 2010

Once you own an aquarium the tank maintenance will be one of your most important responsibilities. It is certainly not as much fun as you get from decorating the tank or selecting your fish, but without proper fish tank maintenance, you will be endangering the lives of your fish.

Fish tank maintenance is an essential part of your new hobby as an aquarist, and neglecting this will lead to problems with both the fish tank and the long-term health of the fish. Fish tank maintenance can sometimes seem like a bother for the aquarium owner but it doesn't have to be that way. Perform your fish tank maintenance on a regular schedule and you’ll ensure that you never miss out on what needs to be done.

Serpae Tetras by Corey Wendorf
Now that you have learned about establishing a fish tank and you understand the cycling process, you will better understand the process of maintenance and cleaning. If your tank contains too many fish there will be excessive waste, food particles, and chemicals in the water, making maintenance difficult and the tank unhealthy. Set up your tank with a manageable number of fish and develop a schedule for carrying out regular aquarium maintenance tasks and it will make your hobby more enjoyable. Arrange the fish tank so that future tank maintenance tasks remain as easy and efficient as possible.

Your maintenance and cleaning schedule should not take very long to keep your aquarium sparkling and healthy. Cleaning your fish tank not only helps with the appearance of the tank by removing algae but can also prolong the life of your fish, as no pet can live in an unhealthy environment. Algae can be removed from the tank glass with an algae magnet or scraper. Remember to regularly remove any dead leaves from live plants. Do not overfeed your fish as this will cause excess waste in the water which will settle at the bottom of the tank and need to be removed.

Filter Maintenance
Aquarium maintenance must include regular cleaning of the filtration system as well as the interior of the tank. Cleaning the filter is usually a monthly task. This involves removing the filter medium and cleaning it under running water. When the filter medium becomes too worn it will need to be replaced. Remember, however, that the filtration system also contains “good bacteria” which aids in the breaking down of ammonia and balancing the nitrites in the tank, so rinse the filter quickly to remove large particles but do not be over-zealous in your cleaning.

Once you have your fish tank setup and cycling correctly, you need to set a schedule for cleaning that is strictly followed. Fish tank maintenance is an important aspect of your setup and it is necessary to integrate this into your overall scheme.

Some aquarium owners perform too much fish tank maintenance. Ideally you want the fish tank to become a self-sustaining system and not one where you are burdened with fish tank maintenance all the time. Establish a regular schedule for cleaning and maintenance every two to three weeks and your fish should remain healthy and happy and your aquarium should sparkle.

About the Author: Alison Stevens is an online author and maintains The Goldfish Site to assist anyone who wants to get started with setting up an aquarium fish tank and gain an understanding of fish tank maintenance.

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