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Author : Deepak
Article ID : 21
Audience : Default
Version 1.00
Published Date: 2010/12/11 18:57:32
Reads : 3983

Introduction: Setting up a tropical freshwater tank is an exciting way to create a colourful and lively community of different species of fish. Relatively easy to maintain, a tropical tank can include fish from all over the world and makes a great introduction to the world of fish keeping.

Which type of Tank? There are a number of factors to consider when purchasing a tank. Some come with built in filters and heaters, others have external filters. Always ask for advice to find the best set-up for you but, remember the later the volume of water in the tank, the easier it is to control quality levels, crucial to the wellbeing of your fish. So it makes senses to buy the biggest tank possible for your situation.
Never get tempted to buy any fish on the same day as your tank will need to be set up for at least a week to allow the water temperature to balance and the filter to start maturing. This also the time to check everything is functioning correctly.

Which Type Fish? It is always best to do some research first before buying your fish. There are many species suitable for a community tank before you buy, always check they are compatible with each other. DO they like the same water quality? Are they aggressive? Should they be kept in pairs or in groups? Always ask for advice and enjoy choosing your fish.

How Many Fish? Stocking level will vary depending on filtration and husbandry however a general rule is a stocking level of 2.5cm per 65 sq cm of surface area or 5.5 cm per 10 litres volume introduces over a period of several weeks. Always test your water before introducing fish, consistently poor water quality may suggest poor husbandry or inadequate filtration – seek advice before introducing more fish. Remember the fish you buy will grow and possibly even breed.

Introducing your fish: A new filter will not work properly until it has a matured ( became colonised by beneficial bacteria which break down harmful toxins). The process can be assisted by adding a maturation liquid over a period of 4-6 weeks. Testing the water will tell you if any ammonia or nitrates are present. If all clear, you are ready to introduce your fish. Stock the tank slowly over several weeks – allowing the filter bacteria time acclimatize to each new addition of fish. As new fish are introduced, your new tank will suffer “new tank syndrome” – a drop in the water quality as the filter adjusts and matures. This is normal, but frequent part water changes and feeding less will reduce the affects and keep the possible pollution to a minimum. During this period, it is wise to test your water regularly (if possible everyday).

Feeding: Feed lightly in order to keep fish waste to a minimum. There is a wide choice of foods available for tropical fish. Take expert advice on which options are best for the species in your tank.

Maintenance & Care: A good quality filter is essential – the “friendly” bacteria contained in your filter help keep the water clean and healthy for your fish. Use a water de-chlorinator to remove harmful chlorine from the water and only clean filter parts in old tank water to help maintain stability. Weekly partial water changes (5% - 10%) will also help keep your tank healthy, but never change more than 30% of the aquarium water at one time. Never empty the entire aquarium to clean it – this will cause stress for your fish and destroy the helpful bacteria, which help maintain the balance in your tank.
When changing your filter media, do one half at a time. This helps retain the established biological balance. Never use soap or detergent on your aquarium or any products used in or around your aquarium. Try to avoid putting your hand in the water too much – oils and films from your skin can cause stress in fish.

Tips for healthy Fish:
--> A regular daily check of your aquarium’s inhabitants will help you spot any potential problems before they become serious, giving you time to decide on the right action or treatment. Early diagnosis is the key to a successful cure.
--> Check daily all the equipment is functioning correctly especially the filter and heater.
--> Always condition new water properly – chlorine, chloramines, and metals are harmful to your fish. Most importantly, its recommended to perform water tests about once a week.
--> Remember, specimens that are hiding or exhibiting torn or damaged body parts may have been fighting or involved in a territorial dispute. You may need to make changes to your stocking levels and your tank layout.
--> At the first sign of any health problems, test your water quality and check all your aquarium equipment is working properly. Seek advice as a possible on the best remedy.

Reference: WorldOfWater.com

Good Luck
Deepak

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