Aquariums are allot of fun and they can be really relaxing BUT they do require work, that’s what we’re talking about on this the final episode of the ultimate guide to your first aquarium…
For fish keepers it’s not uncommon to become a bit obsessive and want to do everything you can do to keep your tank in the best condition possible, we add fancy big money filters, build high tech sump systems and go to great lengths to get the best lights on the market but there are some things that no matter what kind of system you have you’ve gotta do….
The first thing to talk about is algae control. No matter how sophisticated your system is you’re gonna eventually deal with algae, it’s inevitable. More then likely when you go to do your routine maintenance you’ll find a bit of algae on the glass, this is easy enough to just wipe off with a sponge or a scraper of some kind.
If you have a major outbreak of algae there are a bunch of different ways to handle it, that’s a topic for a future video.
Next, we gotta talk about water changes.
Water changes are the most important part of aquarium maintenance. It removes water that is contaminated by left over food and fish waste and replaces it with nice clean water.
To do a water change use your syphon tube that we talked about in episode 9 to remove water from the tank while also vacuuming the substrate.
Vacuuming the substrate is an absolutely critical part to the water change process. Left over food and Fish waste accumulates in the substrate and the only way to get it out is to manually vacuum it out.
How much water you remove from your tank will depend on the type of fish you keep, your stocking levels and how often you feed your fish but will usually be anywhere from 20 to 50%.
Don’t forget to add your water conditioners when you’re refilling your tank.
Next is to make sure you’re equipment is operating properly. Check the temperature to make sure the heater is working right, check the flow of your filter, if your filter has bio wheels make sure they’re spinning. If it’s not, it’s time to work on it.
Unplug your filter and remove it from your tank with the water still in it. Dump the water that is in the filter into a bucket and then take more water from your tank to help rinse it out further.
Fill a five gallon bucket about half way with water that is from your aquarium. Remove the filter cartridges from your filter and rinse them off in the bucket. If necessary replace the cartridges but only one at a time. The sponges on these filters is a place where tons of beneficial bacteria grows, replacing them both could have an effect on your aquariums nitrogen cycle.
The reason we use water in the bucket that’s from our aquarium is because this is water that has already been conditioned and is free of chlorine and chloramine. Your filter is one of the primary locations for the growth of beneficial bacteria and we don’t wanna kill that off by using water from the tap that has chlorine in it. Chlorines sole purpose is to kill bacteria.
Once you have it rinsed out and cartridges cleaned off or replaced put everything back together and fire it up. You should see a dramatic improvement in the performance of the filter.
The last thing I would recommend putting on your list of routine maintenance is an overall inspection of your aquarium. This includes inspecting the fish to make sure you don’t have any health issues going on and a really important thing to inspect is the seals on your tank.
Take a quick peak all around your tank to make sure you don’t have any leaks. (B roll of seals). Don’t forget this step, a leak can start as just a tiny pin hole that only leaks a drop or 2 an hour but this can turn into a serious faster then you think so if you see a leak it’s time to react.
I’ll be doing individual videos in the future of all of these different things we’ve talked about like algae control and resealing an aquarium so be on the look out and subscribe so you don’t miss those.
Like I said earlier, I’m gonna be starting a new series since this one is done and it’s going to be a guide to aquarium maintenance so whether you are watching this series because you’re starting your first aquarium or if you’re an experienced fish keeper who just can’t get enough of this stuff you’re gonna wanna click this big red button and subscribe so you don’t miss any of those episodes, the first episode will go up next Sunday.
Thank you so much for watching this series, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed making it and I look forward to talking to you again next week.
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