It’s important to know how to keep your freshwater fish in good health if you’re going to keep them in your home. After all, healthy fish are happy fish! Here are just a few tips from our fish pet store in Iowa that can help you be a great fish owner:
- Make sure you acclimate your fish: Before you go ahead and dump your fish into your tank, you should take the proper steps to acclimate them. You can ask the representative at the store what the fish need with regard to water nitrate, nitrite, pH, ammonia and temperature. Test the water in your aquarium for the chemical levels listed above; the larger the difference, the longer you need to spend acclimating the fish.
- Complete the process correctly: During the acclimation process, float the fish in a sealed bag in the aquarium for at least 15 minutes and up to an hour, depending on the issues discovered in the step above. Open up the bag and add a quarter cup of water into it every five minutes until the bag is full, which will help the fish get used to the water chemistry in your tank. You can then remove the bag and slowly pour off the water as much as possible without harming your fish, then lower the bag back into the tank and allow the fish to swim freely into it.
- Conditioning: Just as humans need high-quality air to breathe, fish need properly conditioned water to be able to maintain long-term health. You may need to use de-chlorinating and biological aquarium supplements, for example, to make sure the water is properly balanced for your fish’s needs.
- Change the water regularly: Beyond just conditioning the water, regularly replacing it will also go a long way toward creating a healthier living environment for your fish. You should change about a quarter of the water in the tank on a monthly basis, which will help you to keep it clean and healthy and to maintain safe levels of nitrate concentrations. You can also use a gravel vacuum to get rid of the dirty water and any debris that might be forming.
- Keep the temperature stale: The quality of the water isn’t the only thing that’s important to the fish—the stability of the temperature is also something you’ll need to keep an eye on. Drastic changes in temperature can be catastrophic for life in your aquarium. Make sure you don’t keep your aquarium in a window that gets a lot of sun, or next to any heating or air conditioning vents, as temperature swings can kill your fish. Tropical fish require constantly warmer temperatures, which will require you to purchase aquatic heaters. Other types of fish in more temperate environments will still need stable temperatures.
- Clean tank sides: Algae is likely to begin building up in the tank, particularly on the sides. This can result in the water getting a sort of green, murky appearance, and can deplete oxygen levels in the aquarium. Ultimately, this can result in health concerns for your fish, and could result in problems for the aquarium plants you actually want in the tank. Make sure you clean out algae on a regular basis to avoid doing irreversible damage to your aquarium life.
For more tips about how you can keep your freshwater fish happy and healthy, contact Fish Store Pet Center or visit our fish pet store in Iowa to learn more about caring for your fish.