Caring for Tropical Fish
If you’re a beginner and would like to learn more about keeping tropical fish, remember that caring for some common freshwater varieties to start with is always advised. These fish are more resilient and less likely to get sick or die. Once you feel confident enough, you can switch to tropical varieties. It’s important to make sure that your tank has the appropriate light and heating to mimic the conditions of warm tropical waters.
After five weeks of cycling and allowing the beneficial bacteria to build up with only one species of fish in the tank, you can start to add more fish. It’s important not to add too many and plan the types of fish you’re planning to keep. The aquarium needs time to be able to adjust to the increase in fish. Depending on the type of your tank, only add one school of fish at a time as adding a single fish who would school in the wild may become stressed and unwell.
Feeding Your Tropical Fish
One of the major causes of death in pet fish is overfeeding. Most fish do best when they are fed around five days a week. The couple of days without food is good for their metabolism, and a fully cycled tank will offer a supply of edible microscopic particles for fish to snack on. You should immediately remove uneaten food as it will rot quickly in the water and cause sudden increases in ammonia. It’s important not to let flakes accumulate in the corners of the tank and scoop out what is left uneaten.
Cleaning Out the Tank
It’s important never to remove more than 25 percent of the aquarium’s water during a water change, as this will disturb the natural balance of the water’s chemistry and stress the fish. Don’t use soap or household detergents when scrubbing the tank, gravel or ornaments, as this can be harmful to the fish and kill the beneficial bacteria that has built up in the tank. It’s best to rub off algae with your finger and clean water. Always use water conditioner when adding fresh water to the tank, as this will mitigate the harmful effects of the chlorine found in tap water. You should then add aquarium salt, which is beneficial for the health of your fish. Slightly saline water helps to heal minor scratches, fin tears, and reduces stress.
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