The Truth About Doing an Aquarium Water Change

Dim the lights. Put the phone off the hook. It’s time to let you in on a little secret. As you get to be a more and more experienced fish owner, you actually do not have to do an aquarium water change multiple times a month. If you know what you are doing and don’t overfeed your fish or keep too many fish in the same tank, the water will last much longer. Plus, you run the risk of killing off some of the beneficial bacteria that keeps your tank healthy when you do a aquarium water change But, sometimes you should change aquarium water.

I know. It seems confusing.

Truth is, if there are serious issues in your tank, then, by all means, you should change aquarium water. I have done other posts that can help you identify when things are going a bit funky in your tank – and, remember, it isn’t your fault or like you did something “bad” if your tank’s water goes bad. Water doesn’t stay fresh forever. You’re just one person. Don’t beat yourself up over it.

water aquarium change

If you’ve confirmed that, indeed, your aquarium water needs to be changed, the first thing you’re going to need is a bucket. (Ideally this will be a bucket designated exclusively to change aquarium water.) You’ll also need a length of clear plastic siphon tubing and a siphon starter so you don’t get a mouthful of aquarium water when you’re trying to change the aquarium water.

Put the bucket on the floor, place one end of the tube in the tank and get suckin’. At most, you should only take 25 percent of the water when you do an aquarium water change. Be careful not to siphon up any of your fish. When you start this whole process, make sure to vacuum the gravel and clean out the algae that naturally accumulates before you set your sights on the water.

And now you know the truth about changing aquarium water.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step-by-step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it.
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Choosing Fish Food Types for The Fish Tank

People eat. Fish eat. People eat things like pizza, crème brulee, and even asparagus. But fish don’t. Their diets are much more limited than ours, and while they might peck away at a Hot Pocket, they won’t really get what they need out of it. But compared to most pet food types, fish food types for the fish tank are far more numerable.

That’s great, but that also means it can be a little more confusing trying to figure out what fish food types you should buy and feed to your little wet guys. The kind of fish you have (click here to read the post on how to choose fish based on how they appear in the store and click here to read the post on how to pick fish based on their behavior) will determine the fish food types they should get.

A good way of telling this is by studying the size, shape, and position of the fish’s mouth to tell what kind of fish food types they’re designed to consume:

  • Longer jaws mean those fish approach their food from below.
  • Mouths in the middle mean fish approach their food head-on.
  • Extended upper jaws are only on fish who approach food from above.

Knowing this, you can assess what fish food types to buy because of the way your fish are.

A variety of different fish food types.

Dried foods are great because they will feed most fish. Flakes especially have been developed to nourish herbivores and carnivores, and also enhance the color of the fish as well. It’s like eating a hot dog that’s also a tofu dog that also makes your hair shiny!

Tablets are similar to flakes, but just in another form. They disintegrate when you place them in the tank, which means fish will nibble on it as it breaks apart, and it will fall to the bottom for bottom-feeders. Just be mindful, though, if you’re using flakes or tablets to only give your fish as much as they’ll be able to eat in 5 minutes. Otherwise it’ll pollute the tank, and no matter what fish food types in the fish tank,you have in store for them to eat after that, that’s just bad for morale and unhealthy to have floating around in the water.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step-by-step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it. Click here!

Thanks for reading!

Starting a fish tank: How to Add Fish to a Tank

If you think there’s nothing more to starting a fish tank than just peeling open the bag of fish and dumping them out – think again. Usually the dealer will put that plastic bag inside of a paper bag, and transportation from the store to your home is, obviously, when you fish are potentially the most vulnerable. If the weather is extremely hot or extremely cold, it might be a good idea to bring with an insulated box or cooler to assure the fish don’t overheat or get too frosty on the ride home.

You might also want to ask the people at the store to double-bag your fish if your fish has spikes or anything sharp on it that might cause the bag to leak. Whatever you do, though, make sure then bag’s corners are taped and the bag is turned inside-out so the fish doesn’t somehow accidentally get trapped in the corner and hurt itself trying to get out.

These guys wanna go home!

Once you get home with your fish, carefully open the bags. If it was a long trip home, open the bag and submerge the rest in the tank to help equalize the temperature in the bag. This is an important part of starting a fish tank, because suddenly changing the temperature abruptly is bad for fish. Make sure not to let the bag get blown around too much inside, because you’re trying to soothe and calm the fish here, not stir it up or agitate it.

Now that the temperature has been equalized a bit, gently turn the bag onto its side so the opening at the top is on the side. Slowly pull the bag back out of the water to encourage the fish to swim out. Ladies and gentlemen, that is how to start adding  fish to a tank.

Stand back and watch your fish explore their tank – it’s an exciting, special time. You may wish to video tape it. Do so – you’ll be glad you did later!

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step-by-step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it.
Click here!

Thanks for reading!

How to Choose Healthy Fish: Avoiding Sick Fish in your Tank!

So you’ve decided to pony up the cash and buy yourself some fish. Congrats! You’re not only on the right site, but you’re reading just the right article, since it’s on how to pick healthy fish. You definitely don’t want to end up with sick fish.

It’s a simple question, how to choose fish, but not exactly the easiest to answer since so much of it can boil down to personal taste, preferences, or inexplicable proclivities. The main thing is, you don’t want to pick out sick fish! Some basics, though, are the following:

  • The fish have to be healthy. That means no clamping of the fins, no rubbing, no rips, tears, bites, and no panting. They should be as active as is typical of their breed in any given environment. If they’re not doing so great in the store, it’s unlikely they’ll improve after being brought home. Sorry, Charlie. Similarly, don’t buy any fish that were in a tank with a sick fish – they could very easily have poisoned the water and the other fish around them.

Fish Doctor MD & Associates, Unltd.

  • The fish should seem well fed. Their tum-tums shouldn’t be concave, but should have rounded contours.
  • Don’t be fooled by the fish’s color. Some fish just take time to develop their full coloration. In fact, some fish won’t even form all their colors until they reach maturity. The body should have some colors and still appear smooth. If you see any bumps, patches, discolorations, etc., keep looking. It’s nothing personal, this is just how to pick a healthy (not sick) fish.

All that said, even the fish wizards out there can be fooled when picking out fish. Simply put, there’s no guarantee a seemingly healthy fish will actually be that way once you bring them home. It’s not something to freak out or stress about, just a fact – and you should take consolation in the fact that beginners and experts alike are equalized by the challenge of how to choose fish. But with these tips, you can at least make that much more of an educated and informed decision about your purchase.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step-by-step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it. Click here!

Thanks for reading!

How to Clean Up Aquarium Algae

What is aquarium algae? Well, algae are just a kind of plants that grow in the water. A little is okay, but in an aquarium, a lot can be disastrous. Aquarium algae are going to grow no matter what you do, since, like any plants, they thrive on water, sunlight, and nutrients. But you don’t want these aquarium algae to turn into weeds and become a jungle in your aquarium.

So what do you do?

Well, there are a couple things you can do. The easiest is to buy a plecostomus. It’s also known as a “sucker fish” because it sucks or eats aquarium algae. It’ll hook itself onto the sides of your tanks and go to work wolfing down aquarium algae, and will love you for letting them do it. They don’t even want any money for it or anything! They’re omnivores but usually stick to plants. So, that means they’ll help keep your tank aquarium algae-free. (Siamese flying fox and octocinclus can also be used for this same purpose, but the plecostomus is far more common.)

If you don’t have a plecostomus or don’t want to get one, that means you’re going to have to remove the aquarium algae by hand. That’s far less fun than just having a fish do it for you, but it is doable.

Yup. It’s gross.

You can also scrape the aquarium algae off as soon as you see it forming, which will make clean-up quicker and more endurable. If you have a glass tank, you can use a razor blade to take the aquarium algae off.

Changing water  after scraping a large amount of algae is often is the best way to keep nutrients from accumulating inside the tank.

You can also be mindful of how long your tank might be in the sun. As I said, algae are plants, so if your aquarium is going to be exposed to sunlight, aquarium algae will grow much quicker than if you had put it in the shade instead.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step-by-step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it.
Click here!

Thanks for reading!

How to Choose the Proper Aquarium Lighting

It might sound counterintuitive and potentially dangerous, but no fish tank is complete with aquarium lighting. Your fishy friends won’t get electrocuted from the lights, but aquarium lighting is essential for your scaly companions to live long, healthy, juicy lives.

Now, there are different types of lights, and the kind of aquarium lighting you need will be dictated by the size of your tank, how many plants you have, and whether your fish are nocturnal or not.

Lighting for Aquariums

Fish imagine all the world is a stage, mainly because they always have spotlights shining on them.

Here are the main different kinds of aquarium lighting and how to select what you’ll need if it’s right for you. Ready?

  • Fluorescent tubes: Depending on the light requirements for your plants, you might need one or more tubes. There are literally dozens and dozens of different types of plants, so, stay tuned for another post exclusively on that topic to supplement this one on aquarium lighting. At the very least, though, you’ll need one. These lights should be changed out once a year since they put out less light as time goes on.
  • Mercury vapor lights: These are ideal for tanks that are taller than 20 inches, but they’re also huge power suckers. They use a lot of electricity and therefore take a while to reach their full intensity after being switched on. These should be on for 12 to 14 hours a day, and if you don’t feel like planning your social life around your aquarium lighting setup, you can get a timer that will automatically turn them on and off even when you aren’t home.

Another aspect to be aware of is the aquarium lighting’s color. If you’re just starting out and this is your first tank, you can’t go wrong with white. If you’re more advanced, different-colored fluorescent tubes can be combined to shine different colors down on them and help add a more soothing vibe to the room the fish live in. A white light and a pink light, for example, can cover the full light spectrum and really help your fish’s color pop.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step-by-step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it.
Click here!

Thanks for reading!