When cleaning the inside of your aquarium before setting it up, it is extremely important to only use tap water and paper towel. Using soap or detergents can be fatal for your fish because the oils in cleaning products will stick around on the inside of the aquarium regardless of how well you rinse it out. This oil residue will then irritate your fish’s gills and prevent them from breathing properly. Also make sure to avoid using towels or rags that have been used for anything other than cleaning your aquarium since they could also contain traces of soaps or detergents.
9 - Do not place your aquarium by a window
When picking the ideal location for your aquarium, avoid putting it near a window. Direct sunlight on the aquarium will cause unsightly green algae to reproduce at a very high rate. This means your tank will become completely green very quickly! Algae might be easy to wipe off the glass, but it can be a nightmare to remove from ornaments, plants, gravel, and other items in the aquarium. It can also cause ‘green water’ which is a type of free floating algae that will simply turn your water green like pea soup.
8 - Do not use tap water without water conditioner
Tap water contains chlorine, chloramines, heavy metals, and other contaminants that are very harmful to your fish. Water Conditioners are designed to remove or neutralize these contaminants and make your tap water safe for aquarium use. Tap water conditioner is inexpensive and very easy to use; for the sake of your fish, make sure you grab some!
7 - Do not add all your new fish at once
One of the most common mistakes when setting up a new aquarium is to add all of the fish to the aquarium at once; this is often a fatal slip-up! It is very important to only add a few fish at a time at most. Your filter is designed to harbor beneficial bacteria that will break down the waste your fish produce. When you start your aquarium, you will have almost no bacteria at all, and it takes time for the beneficial bacteria to bloom in your filter. Adding a few fish at a time makes sure that the amount of waste your fish produce isn’t more than the filter can handle. Take your time! Starting up your aquarium is not a race to the finish line, but rather, a leisurely walk in the park.
6 - Do not ignore the adult size of your new fish
A very common oversight for new aquarium owners is the adult size of the fish they are purchasing. It is very important to choose fish that will be appropriately sized for your aquarium, and that means knowing how large the fish you are purchasing will get. Most of the fish you see at your local aquarium shop are babies. Even if a fish is only an inch long, it could easily become two feet long! If you aren’t sure, just ask one of the experts and they can steer you in the right direction. If you do purchase a fish that will get too large, you will end up stunting its growth which can be fatal for the fish. Fish WILL NOT simply grow to the size of the aquarium… that is a myth.
5 - Do not leave your aquarium light on 24/7
Remember #9 we just discussed? For very much the same reason, you really shouldn’t leave your aquarium light on all the time. Not only will it cause crazy amounts of algae, but it will also mess up your fish. How? Well, much like people, fish use the light cycle to let them know when they should be awake or resting. If the light is always on, the fish won’t rest properly and that can lead to a weakened immune system and illness. If you are forgetful, grab a simple timer and set your aquarium lights so you don’t have to worry about it!
4 - Do not put your hands inside your aquarium without rinsing them first
This is super important! Rinsing your hands before you put them into your aquarium will make sure you don’t accidentally put perfumes, hand creams, detergents, oils, or other harmful contaminants into the water where your fish live. All of these things can be fatal for fish, even in small doses. A simple rinse in tap water is all you need to save your fish from a really bad time.
3 - Do not ignore maintenance
Why is something so obvious on here? Well, it’s because so many of us are guilty of it even though we should know better! Water changes and filter maintenance are the lifeblood of your aquarium. Without proper maintenance, the toxic levels in your aquarium could easily get out of control and harm your fish. A simple 25% water change every other week is enough to keep your average aquarium running happy and healthy. Don’t slack on your fish!
2 - Do not clean your filter and do a water change on the same day
1 - Do not release your pets into local bodies of water