Aquarium for beginners. How to maintain.

The long-awaited point in time has finally arrived! The aquarium is now operational! Fish swim and plants slide from side to side like waves. It appears that you can sit on it at any time and watch your submerged kingdom. But it is not as easy! It is necessary to keep the residents of your home aquarium and plants healthy, as well as the aquarium looking the same as it did when it was first installed, by keeping it in shape and taking care of it on a regular basis.

The frequency and pattern of aquarium care are determined by a variety of aspects, including the aquarium’s size, type of installation, inhabitants, and equipment. Taking care of a container with live plants, for example, differs significantly from taking care of a container with no planting or artificial plant life. We provide general guidelines, and you should already adapt the timetable to your aquarium’s unique characteristics.

To start caring for your underwater kingdom, set aside 10 minutes per day and 1-2 hours per week. It is also good to create additional time when it is necessary to complete irregular tasks (solving current problems).

Cleaning Equipment for Aquariums Aquarium Maintenance on a Daily Basis

You should check every day to see if all of the animals are in their proper places and observe their behavior, in addition to feeding fish and other residents. It is also essential to ensure that all of the hardware is in good working order.

Residents evaluation.

Investigate the contents of the fish tank while it is being fed. Because almost everyone swims out of their shelters during feeding, this is the best time to do it. If one of the animals exhibits unusual behavior or appears to be sick, keep an eye on it and try to figure out what’s causing it, then take appropriate action. You can also separate the suspect from the rest of the aquarium’s inhabitants by placing it in a separate aquarium or container. If you see a dead fish, get it out of the water right away.

Examining the aquarium’s hardware

When feeding the fish or turning on and off the aquarium light, you can also check the equipment. Check that the water temperature is within the specified range, that the lighting is continuing to work, that the water is flowing freely via the filter, and that the air compressor is producing air.

Once a week, clean the aquarium.

During weekly maintenance, a portion of the water is usually replaced with new water. In addition, make notes about where and what else needs to be done, such as putting the plants in order (pruning, thinning, removing rotting parts, etc. ), cleaning the glass of algae, removing fish waste that is not caught by the filter, and so on.

Water changes

How to do a WATER CHANGE: Doing WATER CHANGES in the PLANTED TANK. What TO DO and what NOT to do

The form of the aquarium, the number of inhabitants, the presence of plant species, as well as water parameters, determine the number of times and in what ratio to the total amount of water, it is necessary to replace. You can exchange about a quarter of the volume of water at first, but if the nitrate content starts to rise, you’ll need to increase the amount of water exchanged. If there are no complicating factors (such as poisoning), no more than a third of the capacity is substituted at once.

To replace the water, a siphon is used to remove the required amount of water, and fresh dechlorinated water of the very same temperature and chemical properties as the aquarium water is poured into the same volume. The water is usually pumped out from the aquarium soil, which also removes the detritus.

Cleaning of the substrate

When pumping out the water, some aquarists clean the gravel with a special tool that allows them to remove the detritus that has accumulated in the soil. However, keep in mind that regular interference disrupts the soil’s structure, which can have an adverse effect on the biological treatment of waste that occurs within its depth. The effectiveness of soil filtration will decrease if the filter layer is regularly violated.

If you stir the bottom substrate in a fish tank that doesn’t have a filter, you might end up with an increase in ammonia and nitrate levels. This is because aerobic bacteria involved in the nitrogen cycle frequently coat particles in the soil’s superficial layer, which contains the oxygen required by the bacteria. As a result, most of these bacteria will die due to a lack of oxygen if the surface layer moves down when cleaning the gravel.

The remnants of food and waste products from the fish will not get into the lower layers of your aquarium if the bottom is not very large. Because it is ordinary neutral waste left over from bacterial treatment, such waste, which is usually found in the bottom of any aquarium, poses no threat. However, if the substrate is seriously contaminated with big residues, it must be cleaned. Besides that, the amount of fish food should be reduced in order to reduce waste accumulation.

In addition to changing the water and cleaning the substrate every week, it is critical to measure the plants, remove algae as needed, and inspect the operation of all equipment.
Care for vegetation

Aquarium vegetation maintenance

How to Maintain Aquarium Plants

Aquarium vegetation should be maintained on a regular basis-thin out, if required, cut off, eliminate dead leaves, and apply fertilizers.

First and foremost, long-stemmed plants such as hygrophila, ludwigia, rotala, ceratophyllum, and others must be pruned. In the absence of care, many of them can rapidly grow to the water’s surface, after which they either crawl along the surface or stretch even higher. However, the lower part of the grown plant is frequently leafless, which is not appealing at all.

To mitigate this effect, plants should be pruned on a regular basis; this will allow horizontal shoots to emerge from the leaf axils below the cut. They will begin to branch if you also cut off the fast-growing tops of such shoots. As a result, you will have a beautiful shrub rather than a single long and thin trunk.

By the way, there are other ways to use cut parts, such as cuttings for growing new shoots. You can fill empty spaces on the aquarium’s bottom with seedlings or decorate other aquariums with algae cuttings, or you can give algae cuttings to your aquarist friends.

Keep in mind that fast-growing plants that multiply by shoots, such as vallisneria, can quickly fill an aquarium, resulting in a significant reduction in space. Thin them out on a regular basis.

Fertilizing plants

Nitrates, which are formed from the waste products of aquarium inhabitants, are the plants’ “food.” Even in aquariums with plants, however, the chronic question of how to get rid of large amounts of nitrates, for which the water is exchanged, arises frequently. As a result, fertilizing the plants with additional nitrates is usually unnecessary.

If the plants aren’t in good shape, it doesn’t mean they’re deficient in nitrogen or other macronutrients. This is most likely due to a lack of trace elements such as boron, iron, manganese, and other minerals that are also required for flora. As a result, feeding the plants a small amount of aquarium complex fertilizers with trace elements is the best option.

Removing algae

You could use a variety of special hardware to remove algae from your aquarium, and there is more than enough on the marketplace today. When cleaning with a scraper with a metal blade, be careful not to scratch the glass or damage the silicone sealant that fills the aquarium’s joints. Plastic-bladed scrapers are far more convenient and safe to use.

Algae removal from the aquarium Aquarium equipment maintenance Lighting
The light intensity of fluorescent tubes decreases over time. If you have plants in your aquarium, you should replace the lamps on a regular basis (for example, twice a year), rather than waiting until they fail.

Care for aquarium hardware

Lighting

Lighting

The piston air pumps must be lubricated on a regular basis and sent to the workshop for routine maintenance. The hoses of the air ducts harden, lose flexibility, and can even become brittle over time – this is especially true in areas where water is present. Replace the hose with a new one or cut the old one if any of these problems occur.

Clean or replace the sprinkler if it is congested clean it with limescale or something similar. In addition, the air filters should be changed or cleaned on a regular basis. These pumps and valves may also have rubber membranes that will lose their elasticity over time and should be replaced. New membranes can be installed in the air pumps, but if the control valves are malfunctioning, a complete replacement is required.

Filter

The type of filtration (mechanical, biological, or chemical), the type and model of filtration system, and the filter materials used all influence how the filter is maintained. Filter materials like a bundle of artificial threads or a sponge, for example, can only be washed and must be replaced on a regular basis. Some chemical filter materials (coal, peat, and so forth) must be replaced on a regular basis, while others can be repaired (for example, zeolite).

Cleaning the filter part of the bottom filter as infrequently as possible is preferable, as this will kill the majority of the beneficial bacteria.

The mechanical filter system must be kept in good working order.

Solid-particle-collecting filter materials must be cleaned frequently to prevent decomposition into toxic substances. Cleaning will be required almost every day in some cases.

The biological filtration system must be looked after.

A mechanical filter can remove most solid particles from your biological filter if it is frequently clogged. Clean the biological filtration systems in the aquarium in turn if there are two or more of them.

Allow time for the microorganisms to colonize the cleaned filter medium before cleaning the biological filter. That is, it is necessary to reduce the amount of fish waste, for which you will reduce the amount of your daily feed the day before the scheduled filter cleaning. Increase the amount of food to its previous level after that. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend doing this over the course of 3-6 days.

When cleaning the biological filter, keep in mind that it must be turned back on as soon as possible to avoid the death of the aquarium’s beneficial bacteria.

Chemical filtration system upkeep

It may be necessary to replace the filter materials on a regular basis. Those that can’t be updated as frequently (like limestone rubble) must be washed on a regular basis to get rid of the accumulated sludge. The flow of water in the system can be used to estimate the cleaning time: if it has slowed, the material has become clogged.

limestone rubble

Filtration systems with multiple components

The presence of several sections containing various filter materials, as well as the fact that they need cleaning in three ways: biologically, mechanically, and chemically, is a distinguishing feature of these filters.

Keep in mind that each filter material necessitates attention at a different time. In such a system, there may be, for example:

  • a solid particle-holding sponge layer in mechanical cleaning;
  • oxidizing water in a bag of peat in the dry cleaning department;
  • Gravel is used in the biological cleaning department to keep harmful microorganisms out of the aquarium’s water.

Because the sponge tends to settle, you should wash it once a week at the very least. Peat should be replaced every two to three weeks or twice a month. Once every 6 weeks, or even less frequently, a third of the gravel will suffice to wash.

If your aquarium’s biological cleaning filler requires more frequent attention, it’s possible that the volume of this material is insufficient. It could also mean that the basin is overcrowded or that you’re overfeeding the fish.