Tropical Fish Tanks Maintenance Guide


German blue ram
Fish guru
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Chicago Area
Proper maintenance of tropical fish tanks involve doing some tasks that you have to accomplish daily, monthly, weekly, bi-annually, and yearly. Doing these regularly and diligently will ensure the good health of your fish and prevent major problems from occurring.

Daily schedule

The daily tasks involved in taking care of tropical fish tanks are simple. These are checking if your fish are complete and healthy, spotting and removing dead fish and dead plant matter, and examining the temperature readings of your heater and thermometer. The temperature readings should match. Otherwise, it could mean that there is something wrong with your heater.

You should also check the water level. If it has dropped, replace the evaporated water to prevent salinity and pH levels from fluctuating.

Weekly schedule

Every week, tropical fish tanks need to be cleaned and its water changed. Dirty decorations should be removed and cleaned, while live plants should be pruned and re-anchored. The tank walls should also be cleaned, and floating particles and gravel dirt should be siphoned out. After cleaning, remove 25% of the aquarium water. Replace it with new water but make sure that it is filtered, aerated, and dechlorinated first. The temperature of the new water should also be the same as with the water in the tank.

Monthly schedule

Tropical fish tanks need a more thorough cleaning every month. Aside from cleaning the tank's insides and the other weekly tasks, you will also need to clean the filter media and refill filter cartridges. You should test all aquarium equipment during this time. Do your monthly cleaning the same time as the water change. This way, you will be able to use the discarded water in cleaning the filter media. You do not have to clean the biological media. Only the mechanical and chemical filter media need to be cleaned. To finish your monthly maintenance, do some testing on the pH levels, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites levels.

Keep a record book of these testing results as well as any observation that need to be noted. This is for future reference in case a problem arises concerning water conditions or the health of your fish.

Bi-annual schedule

The list of tasks you have to do twice a year mainly involves checking the equipment such as the pumps, filters, light bulbs, pipes, and protein skimmers to see if they need to be cleaned or replaced. Check the impeller of the pumps if it needs to be replaced. The insides of the intake and outlet pipes should be cleaned as well. It is advisable to change light bulbs at night as they will be cool to the touch during this time.

Stuff you will need

You will need the following when doing the cleaning and maintenance checks of tropical fish tanks: magnetic aquarium cleaners, algae pads, gravel vacuums, siphons, water changing tools, brushes, scrapers and scrubbers, tongs and gloves, and cleaning fluids. Be sure to use cleaning fluids that are specially made for cleaning fish tanks since ordinary dish washing liquid is not advisable.