If you are new to the world of fishkeeping, setting up your aquarium can feel like a challenge. Getting this task over with can feel like a relief, however, you may be surprised to learn that caring for your fish and their aquarium is even more overwhelming. Knowing that you are responsible for living beings and their habitat can make you feel anxious. Though, you should always remember that as soon as you get the hang of things, maintaining your fish and their fish tank will become more like second nature. To help you overcome the initial challenges as a fish keeper, we are here to tell you how to properly take care of your fish and their aquarium.

Harmony and Balance

If you just finished setting up your aquarium, you may feel doubtful about adding your fish inside, which is very normal. Though it is an artificial environment, your aquarium becomes an artificial ecosystem from the moment that you are done preparing it for your fish; it becomes a healthy and balanced habitat in which they can develop and grow. Being the owner and the person responsible for a living species’ home is a great responsibility. This is why it’s very important to be patient and allow the living system to grow slowly and at its own pace. To keep your fish safe while your aquarium is still developing, you should introduce just a few fish to their new home for about one or two weeks before adding in the rest. This will allow the necessary bacteria that are needed to filter the water adequate time to grow. You can check if you can add more fish by testing the aquarium’s water for nitrite and ammonia. You can only add more fish if the nitrite and ammonia levels are at zero.

Decorate Your Aquarium

You may be wondering how decorating your aquarium can assist you with the fish tank and fish care. Many people are unaware of the importance of using just the right amount of non-toxic materials to decorate their aquarium. Besides the fact that your tank will look more appealing, put together, and cared for, having decorations in your fish tank can be very beneficial for your fish. Fish, by nature, are prey animals; they will feel uncomfortable and stressed in an unfamiliar, exposed habitat. Using plants, rocks, or longs, depending on the preferences of your fish, will make them feel more at home. The fishkeepers at Fishlore explain that it’s important to do a little research about your fish before decorating the plant; fish that come from slow-moving rivers or shallow ponds may feel more comfortable around plants or other non-toxic, flexible, and frilly objects. Fish that come from more open, deeper, and rapid water areas may prefer logs, rocks, and larger solid objects. If your fish feel vulnerable, uncomfortable, stressed, and exposed, their immune system will depreciate, therefore affecting their ability to self-heal or fight disease. Fish that live in well-decorated aquariums are most likely to have better coloration, stay active, and show their natural behavior.

Lighting and Cleanliness

Many people keep their aquarium lights on all the time. Besides the unnecessary strain that this would put on their monthly utility bills, this is actually rather harmful to the fish. Lighting should be used to imitate a daytime and nighttime cycle, as your fish need to rest too. This will also keep your aquarium safe from algae growth, as well. Several aquarium lights come with built-in timers that can help you control the amount of light that your fish receives throughout the day. You can also get a standard light timer from any nearby hardware store. If you have a planted aquarium, provide it with 10 to 12 hours of light. If your aquarium isn’t planted, keep the light exposure between 6 to 8 hours a day. Keep in mind that you will eventually have to clean your aquarium eventually. However, do not rush the chore; allow your aquarium to find its balance for the first few weeks. When you are changing the aquarium’s water, make sure not to disturb the gravel for at least the first month, as this can mess with all the beneficial bacteria. If your filter needs cleaning, you can rinse out the cartridges. Though, leave the filter media untouched and avoid changing it during the first few weeks, as well.

Being a fish keeper is a full-time job; there are always so many things to consider when it comes to taking care of your fish and their aquarium. Although there is so much information to digest at first, maintaining your fish and their tank will become a regular part of your routine. Following these tips will help you ease into the process.

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