The Worst Aquarium Maintenance Mistakes You Need To Avoid

Aquarium Care & Maintenance Instructions

Let’s find out what are the most dangerous beginner aquarium maintenance mistakes you need to avoid at all costs. Let’s also learn how to keep your fish healthy and tank in good condition!

Fish residing in an aquarium can grow, develop, and remain healthy if the ecosystem will be well-maintained. There are things you should never do as they could be harmful upsetting the whole ecosystem. Therefore, we here at decided to list below the mistakes you should avoid. These are easy to remember and easy to follow basic care principles.

Never purchase fish and a new tank on the same day

Do not buy a new tank and the fish that will inhabit it at the same time. The reason for this is that there is need to perform cycling when setting up your new tank. Cycling refers to the nitration cycle, which is sometimes called also nitrogen cycle. It is a biochemical process mediated by bacteria that break down toxic nitrogenous wastes into harmless products.

These bacteria participate in detoxification of the aquarium. Therefore, it is important that these bacteria grow and populate the filter system. However, this natural process requires time.

If fish is put into the tank before essential bacteria develop, the nitrogenous waste produced by the fish will accumulate in the water. That pollutes and poisons the delicate environment. This will cause the fish to be stressed and develop ill-health.

Generally, you must first set-up the new tank, then add water. Thereafter, you fix the filter and then turn the lights on. Then, give the aquarium’s ecosystem enough time to adjust. Time required to grow enough beneficial bacteria depends of the size of the tank. You can also measure a number of nitrites and ammonia in the water after every few days. You will notice the spike of their concentrations. Afterward, their concentrations will decrease to a very low level, and that indicates it will be now safe to put the fish into the tank.

Never change over a fifth of the water at once

When changing water, you must ensure that you will never discard and replace over 20 percent of the old water. If you do so, you will eliminate a significant population of the good bacteria. This will not only upset the delicate balance in the ecosystem, but it will also allow nitrogenous waste to accumulate, as the remaining bacteria cannot detoxify all the waste effectively. This is because the fish will produce in such situation waste products at a rate that far exceeds the capacity of the bacteria to detoxify them.

Another benefit of changing less than a fifth of the water at once is that it does not require re-treatment with chloramine and/ or chlorine. Furthermore, you need to maintain the temperature in the aquarium, and changing lots of water does significantly change the temperature, and this negatively impacts most fish.

Avoid overcrowding problems


There needs to be enough free space

The size of the aquarium is fixed, but the fish grow and develop. Therefore, if you overcrowd your tank with young fish, their growth and development will be substantially disrupted, and they will grow unhealthy as a result of too little of space. The fish need adequate space to swim around so that they can achieve their right body size.

Moreover, overcrowding leads to increased consumption of oxygen, and this can cause the oxygen level to fall to extremely low levels. Fish need oxygen for survival, and if the oxygen level is dangerously low, they will be stressed, and some can even die.

Do not over-clean aquarium

The tank, water, and fish establish a delicate balance in the aquarium environment. Therefore, if you remove many components from the tank at once and clean those items, you will most likely upset the delicate balance, and thereby destabilize the ecosystem. For this reason, you need to clean a single (or two at most) component at a time, and then give some time for the aquarium to adjust before cleaning the next component. These components are things like filter and decor etc.

Do not use cleaning chemicals

Cleaning chemicals can introduce lethal toxins into the water. The bacteria cannot be able to detoxify these toxins, and this can result in the fish being poisoned. Also, some the equipment and decorations inside the aquarium have a coarse texture, and cleaning chemicals can react with these components and cause them to lose their texture. Moreover, some components, such as air stones can trap chemical toxins, and cause them to build up inside the aquarium.

Additionally, do not use soap during cleaning. In fact, it is best to use old tank water to clean aquarium, providing that there are not any diseases.

Do not overfeed

Overfeeding will cause quite automatically overeating, which leads easily to multiple health problems. Also, excess food can cause water cloudiness. It can even disrupt the nitrogen cycle hence leading to accumulation of toxic nitrogenous waste.

Give food one or two times a day. Ensure that all food you will give will be also consumed during each feeding. Do not give so much food that it floats on water long time without being eaten. However, of course, you should allow enough time to eat!

Buy a maximum of four fish at once

It is recommended that you will never purchase more than four fish at the same time. This is to ensure that not too many are added to the tank at any single time. Consequently, this prevents overcrowding and gives ecosystem time to adjust to newcomers.

Watch video about common beginner mistakes

Minimize dependence of scavengers


You need to help scavengers my washing gravel and glass regularly

Normally, the fish dwelling at the bottom help to keep the glass and substrate clean. These are known as scavengers. Nonetheless, you need to help the scavengers clean the tank. You can do this through regular cleaning of the gravel and the glass.

This article text “Beginner fish tank care mistakes to avoid” is (C) Copyright All Rights Reserved.

Hopefully, you found some helpful tips and ideas from this post! If you have any questions or comments about mistakes that should be avoided, please leave a reply below!

Be sure to read also the top 10 mistakes beginner aquarium hobbyists make, plus our honest reviews and find out more aquarium care and maintenance tips, or info about mistakes or interesting info about fish tanks from the front page!

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