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Starting out with a new aquarium is an exciting time but once it’s all set up you can start to see problems occurring which can be heart-breaking. It’s always harder to resolve problems after the fact – it’s better to set up the aquarium correctly in the first place.
So here is our guide to some of the most common fish tank problems which happen when you set up your first tank and more importantly, what to do if they should happen to you and your aquarium.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- 1. Putting your fish in too soon
- 2. Buying a fish tank that is too small
- 3. Poisoning your fish
- 4. Only using artificial plants
- 5. Using a filter that’s not big enough
- 6. Failing to test the water regularly
- 7. Buying too many fish at once
- 8. Overfeeding fish
- 9. Not changing the water
- 10. Not doing research
- In Conclusion
1. Putting your fish in too soon
Your new fish tank needs to be settled and stabilized before you can add fish into it otherwise the water won’t be right and they will die. You need to be patient and wait until the tank has properly cycled and the water is at the right temperature, hardness, and ph levels to avoid problems.
2. Buying a fish tank that is too small
Many beginners think smaller fish tanks are easier to manage but this is a myth – it is actually easier to maintain a medium to large–sized tank as the environment needs less manual intervention than a very small tank. Small tanks don’t have much water which means any tiny change has a big impact on the environment and on your fish.
There are a number of options you can find online, you can use a site like Aquacadabra which carries a number of different sized fish tanks.
3. Poisoning your fish
It’s very common for beginners to accidentally poison their fish by not waiting until the water is at the right levels. It’s important to have the nitrogen cycle right and to avoid excessively feeding the fish to help prevent accidental poisoning.
4. Only using artificial plants
Many newbies think it’s easier to look after artificial plants and that live plants will somehow be extra work but actually, live plants can help with natural maintenance in the tank.
Live plants reduce the level of nutrients in the water which can help to reduce the level of algae – they also help to oxygenate the water.
5. Using a filter that’s not big enough
Aquarium starter packs often come with filters which are too small for the fish tank and a filtration system not working enough can cause problems to your fish’s health and you will end up with polluted water.
Make sure your filter system is big enough to cope with the size of tank you have.
6. Failing to test the water regularly
Aquariums require constant maintenance – a common problem with beginners is they think that once the tank is all set up it can be left and will remain the same. However, this is not the case, tanks require constant maintenance.
The water in a new fish tank needs to be tested every day and at least monthly in an established tank to check for changes in temperature, hardness, and PH levels, as well as the levels of nutrients in the water. Any changes need to be resolved.
7. Buying too many fish at once
Putting too many fish into a tank at once can cause problems with the water balance so you should only add three or so at a time before carrying out another nitrogen cycle. If you add too many at once the water chemicals could become imbalanced.
8. Overfeeding fish
When you feed fish you need to make sure you only feed what they need and remove any food they don’t eat. It’s a common problem to overfeed fish but this will result in excess waste both from the fish and from the debris caused by food left over.
Both of these issues can pollute the water and cause big problems within your tank.
9. Not changing the water
With any fish tank at least 15% of the water needs to be changed every week. A common mistake is not to change the water sufficiently or often enough. Unless you change the water weekly the aquarium will become unhealthy and the fish will start to suffer stress and become sick.
10. Not doing research
Starting up an aquarium is fun and exciting but it needs to be done right so do some research first so you don’t go in blindly. Have an idea of the kind of set up you want to run, the size of the tank, type of fish and plants before you even go to a pet shop to start buying items.
Don’t go in blind and without advice and information.
Starting up a new aquarium is an exciting time and set it all up properly will result in a stunning and beautiful new addition to your home so make sure you check out all of our common mistakes so you can avoid making them yourself.
That way you have a head start when setting up your new aquarium and a great chance to get it up and running right from the start.
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