Fish tanks are the first thing you buy when you’re starting to get into the hobby of fish-keeping. We agree that with all the options out there, it can be intimidating.
That’s why we’ve compiled this post of the most common questions that new fish-keepers have when buying their aquarium.
By the end of today’s post, we hope to answer most of the queries you may have regarding your first fish tank.
1. Will my Fish Grow only Relative to my Fish Tank’s Size?
This is a myth and you should not buy your tank according to this. You should properly research how big the fish you’re going to get can grow and get a fish tank that can accommodate that size.
Having an overly small fish tank will lead to overcrowding which can result in stress-related diseases. Small tanks can also cause stunted growth in some fish or physical deformities.
2. How long do I normally have to wait for my Fish Tank to Cycle?
“Cycling” a new aquarium means letting it breathe so that beneficial bacteria can be born and can grow inside it. This can be characterized when nitrite levels in your fish tank begin to spike.
In a new aquarium, cycling can normally take anywhere between 2 – 8 weeks. We recommend that you don’t add more fish until this cycle has been achieved as this can put more pressure on the population of bacteria and there’s a risk this might kill your fish.
3. What’s a healthy amount of Fish I can keep in my Fish Tank?
Like we mentioned previously, you should properly research how big your fish can get and get an appropriately-sized fish tank according to that.
A general rule of thumb is to have 1 gallon of water for every 1 inch of fish that you’re going to have. In almost every case, you should get the biggest aquarium that you are able to afford and feasibly place in your home. Your fish will thank you for all the extra space they’ll have to swim around.
4. There’s too much Algae in my Aquarium, what should I do?
Algae problems are normally caused by an imbalance of nutrients that your aquarium plants need. You might be giving them too much light and not enough CO2 and fertilizer or you could be giving them too much fertilizer.
Plants need a balanced ratio of all these factors in order to thrive. If this gets upset, it results in a breakout of algae.
Some slow-growing plants such as Java Fern and Anubais can also accumulate algae. We recommend manual removal of the algae in this case.
5. What’s a Good Temperature to Maintain my Aquarium At?
Cold water fish such as Goldfish don’t require temperature to be maintained. If you have cold water fish, you don’t need to worry about temperature and don’t even need to invest in a fish tank heater.
If you have tropical fish that require regulated water temperature, we recommend setting your heater to have the water temperature at 23 to 28 degrees Celsius.
6. What is pH and why is it important to monitor in my Fish Tank?
pH stands for Power of Hydrogen and is a scale from 0 to 14 that is used to measure the acidity or alkalinity of water in your fish tank. The lower the number is, the more acidic your water is. Pure water has a pH value of 7. You can get small pH testing kits from your local pet store.
It’s important to monitor the pH level as this can seriously affect the well-being of your fish. An imbalance in the pH level can cause fish to become stressed or develop many other diseases and problems such as rotting/torn fins and white spots.
7. Is it a good idea to put my Aquarium on an End Table or a Dresser?
A filled aquarium that only has water in it normally weighs about 10 pounds per gallon. So, if you have a 20-gallon aquarium, it will weigh about 200 pounds. Once you add fish, décor, lighting and a filter to it, it will weigh even more than that. As you can already tell, this is not something that most household furniture would be able to support. So, we recommend getting a stand or a base that is specifically manufactured to support the aquarium you have.
8. What’s a healthy amount of time to leave my Lights on in the Aquarium?
European fish normally require about 8 hours of light whereas African wild fish require about 10-12 hours of light.
Do not, under any circumstances, leave your lights on indefinitely. This will cause your fish to become stressed and might even result in an outbreak of algae.
9. Can Rocks I found outside on my own ne used in an Aquarium?
You can put rocks you’ve found on your own in your aquarium as long as you sterilize them thoroughly and the rocks are not calcium-based. You can scrub them and either boil or soak them in a mild bleach solution in order to clean them.
Calcium-based rocks can raise the pH levels of your water by a lot and are a big no-no. To find out if a rock is calcium-based, you can pour some white vinegar on it. If the rock fizzes, it’s calcium-based.
10. My Aquarium Water is cloudy, how can I fix this?
Cloudy water can be caused by a number of reasons.
If you have green cloudy water, then this may be due to an annoying type of algae that is hard to get rid of. We recommend moving your aquarium away from any direct sunlight and performing regular water changes in order to fix this.
If you have white cloudy water, this may be due to a bacteria boom in your fish tank. This is a cycle and will go away on its own within a few days. If the problem persists, you may want to consider the possibility that you’re overfeeding your fish. Controlling their diet and maybe a day of fasting can fix this.
11. Is it better to buy a Glass or an Acrylic Aquarium?
Both of them have pros and cons and it really depends on your needs.
Glass tanks are sturdy. They don’t scratch very easily and can be set on top stands which are more affordable. They also have open tops which makes them easier to clean and decorate and they are relatively inexpensive.
Acrylic tanks scratch more easily and can yellow over time. They are, however, much lighter and easy to handle. They come in a much wider range of shapes and sizes than glass aquariums and they can easily be drilled for custom plumbing.
12. How Do I Add New Fish To My Aquarium?
It is important to acclimate your fish before adding it to your aquarium. Float the bag you’ve brought the fish in in your aquarium for 15 minutes. Slowly add some water from your aquarium into your fish bag every 5 minutes until it’s full. Let the fish breathe in this water for 10 minutes and then open the sealed bag and let your fish swim out into its new home.
13. Where should I put my Saltwater Aquarium in my Home?
It’s ideal to have it on sturdy flat surface away from any doors, windows, air-conditioners or radiators. Any place where the temperature stays fairly consistent and stable is ideal. Never place it in direct sunlight as this can interfere with the life cycle in your aquarium and cause algae problems.
With that, we’ve come to the end of our article for the most common questions people have about aquariums and fish tanks.
We sincerely hope we were able to answer and demystify some of the problems you face while setting up a home for your little aquatic pets.