Care For … Your Fish
Please read the following carefully as it contains important information about the care required for your Fish. Please also refer to our Legal Page, and for any further information, assistance or advice, please contact one of our stores.
Once set up, fish in a tank or aquarium are not difficult to maintain. They do have needs, just like all pets and these are listed out below. Remember; If the water condition is kept correct, fish maintenance is relatively easy.
Firstly, it is imperative to have the correct water parameters for the fish. To do this, you will need a Water Ager to remove Chlorine, Fluoride, Chloromine and heavy metals, which are all hazardous to fish and these can be found in all tap water and tank collected rain water. Filtered water and tank collected rain water is too soft (not enough minerals) and does not have enough natural good bacteria. It is best to start with tap water and treat it to remove the nasty (to fish) chemicals rather than filtered tap water.
Secondly, a Water Conditioner is used to add minerals, harden the water and improve the fish's gill function and immune system. Osmosis of the right direction comes into play when a good water conditioner is employed. This should also be used in stronger doses for sick fish.
Thirdly, you will need a Natural Bacteria booster which is "good bacteria" in a bottle. This bacteria break down the ammonia that the fish secrete and would normally take at least 8-12 weeks to build up to adequate levels naturally. This should be added when there is a filter service/change or when any tank water is replaced. For a new tank set-up, double the initial dose and add a normal dose every 2-3 days for the first 2-3 weeks.
The above three points need to be adhered to whenever water is added to the tank.
In order to check the water condition, you will need a pH test kit and Ammonia test kit. To balance the pH you will need adjusters and for best results, a general hardness tester. It would also be advantageous to test for Ammonia in a new set-up every few days and possibly Nitrite.
For feeding, you should feed a mix of quality flakes, pellets, dried/frozen bloodworms, and live plants. These foods should be interchanged to give variety to the fish and prevent them from having health issues and stringy faeces. You should feed your fish 2 - 3 times per day. Anything not consumed within 2 minutes should be removed from the tank to avoid excess waste. Fish have very small stomachs and are grazers, so a little food more often is the best feeding routine. For holiday feeding, ask about our feeding blocks or automated feeding timers.
Every tank should have gravel in it because it will act like a live breeding and feeding ground for good bacteria and the gravel will help with filtration. Gravel should be washed really well before use. You will regularly need to clean the gravel for excess food and waste to keep Ammonia levels low. A gravel cleaner or siphon is ideal for this - don't "scoop" out the water.
You must change 25% of the tank water every two weeks. Do not change too much water as it could shock the fish and remove good bacteria, and not changing enough can lead to slowly increasing nitrate levels and mineral depletion.
Live plants are great at assisting the condition of the water by helping to break down the ammonia, absorb excess nutrients that algae live on, and provide fish a place to hide. Plants are also full of vitamin C which helps the fish immune system.
Ornaments, rocks, and decorations make the tank more attractive and entertain the fish, whilst giving them a place to hide.
A heater is required for a tropical tank set up and they should be kept at 24 - 26°C. Many cold water fish do well in a tropical tank. Always submerge the heater before switching it on, and always use a thermometer to ensure the heater is set accurately.
Aquatic lights and aquatic bulbs should be used to encourage plant growth and make the fish more attractive. This light should be turned off at night.
You should always use a net to transfer the fish - never touch them with your hands. With bagged fish, you will only need to float them for 5 - 10 minutes to adjust temperature, then add a little tank water to the bag for a further 5 minutes before finally using a net to transfer them. Throw bag water away. Transport bag water should never be used in your aquarium.
It is also recommended to use foam to put the tank on to ensure even pressure distribution and never move a tank when it is full.
With fish, prevention is better than cure. Take the time to provide the right environment for them and it will lead to a less stressful relationship for both you and the fish.
We aim at giving specialist advice backed by quality products and courteous service.
We believe that this will give you the best chance at having the kind of pet you will enjoy.
We would be grateful if you keep us informed of your new family members progress and we will do our best to assist you in any way we can.
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