Your fish will love their new home if you set up your aquarium the right way. Many new fish keepers are in a rush, and feel that they have to get started with their new aquarium immediately. It’s common to head down to the local fish store and purchase an aquarium, fish, and supplies in one stop. But in order to have a thriving aquarium, some factors must be taken into consideration before the aquarium is installed. A fish keeper should also plan on a regular schedule of aquarium maintenance. To keep your cleaning chores to a minimum, follow these handy tips during setup:

Location, Location, Location!

It’s important to choose your aquarium’s location wisely. Experts advise a quiet area to get the best results. Too much activity nearby might scare your fish, especially as they get used to their new environment. Scared fish are not happy fish.

It is also a good idea to keep your aquarium completely covered. This ensures your fish remain inside of your tank, and help to reduce loss of water due to evaporation and splash. It also reduces the overall amount of aquarium maintenance needed. If you have kids or pets, keeping your tank closed will also help keep small hands and paws out.

Avoid placing your aquarium in direct sunlight, or exposed to very strong light sources. This can create heat issues, and can also lead to unwanted algae growth inside the tank. Algae buildup can starve the tank’s water of oxygen, making it difficult for fish to breathe properly. The buildup also makes aquarium maintenance more time consuming and difficult.

Creating an Ecosystem

When starting a new aquarium, keep in mind that an aquarium is more than just a box of fish. Both freshwater aquariums and saltwater aquariums are living, thriving, ecological systems. A fish keeper creates this environment specifically for the particular underwater creatures that inhabit it. That means that the water must be as close to the fishes natural environment as a fish keeper can make it.

Aquarium maintenance must include water quality checks. You can purchase packets to add to an aquarium’s water to treat it properly. These packets contain the necessary chemicals and micro-organisms needed to re-create the aquatic environment that fishes prefer. It also pays to avoid being in a rush. Allowing an aquarium to run for a few days to a week is recommended to prepare the tank to take on fish.

Digging Your Gravel

An aquarium needs more than just water. It needs a gravel, sand, or other material to serve as a base. Gravel is ideal, because it can be easily cleaned, and it does not need to be every replaced as often as sand. Remember, with regular aquarium maintenance, the gravel must be cleaned, or sand changed at least twice a month. This ensures that toxic elements like algae, fish poop, old fish food, and other debris don’t remain in the water where they can harm your undersea creatures.

A Word About Decor

Adding decorations and a background is always fun. It creates a lively environment for your fish to thrive, and improves the overall visual effect. Your local aquarium maintenance or fish store usually has plenty of decorations on display for you to purchase. Natural objects such as coral, live plants, and shells also make wonderful additions to any display.

Keep in mind that any decorations must be rinsed thoroughly before placing them in the tank. This removes any traces of chemicals or debris created during the manufacturing process. When adding live plants, always make sure that the tank is at least half full to avoid damaging them. Place larger decorations to the rear of the tank and smaller ones towards the front. That will create a nice open swimming area for your fish to roam around in.

Filtering the Possibilities

An efficient filter plays a very important role in aquarium maintenance. The filter keeps the water in aquarium clean and free of toxic chemicals. A properly sized filter is important to maintain the health of fish.

Filters usually perform three separate stages of filtration to keep an aquarium supplied with the right balance of chemicals and flora. Mechanical filtration helps trap solid particles such as fish poop and uneaten food. Chemical filtration uses blocks or pads of material such as carbon to absorb pollutants that cause odors and discolored water. Biological filtration introduces cultures of beneficial bacteria to an aquarium tank to eliminate the toxic ammonia and nitrates that accumulates in the water.

Aquariums Just Need a Little Love

Keeping an aquarium is very rewarding, but it also requires regular aquarium maintenance. Remember to change the water at least once every two weeks.  Clean the gravel or change the sand to improve the look of the aquarium. Clean or replace the filter. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, call  Aquatech Aquarium Service for the best, most convenient aquarium maintenance anywhere. Your fish will thank you for it!