Acclimate your fish to the water. Keep pH and other chemical levels in balance. Make sure the water temperature is correct. Clean tank glass and other structures.
Choose the right size for your tank. Regularly monitoring the water conditions in your aquarium or tank is a good start to proper maintenance, but there are other things you can do, including regular cleanings. Plan to replace 25 percent of the water in your aquarium once a month. This will help keep tank water clean and nitrate concentrations at a safe level.
A gravel vacuum can help remove water and debris, especially those found at the bottom of the tank. Also watch out for algae buildup. This could appear as a cloud on the glass of the tank, or the water itself could look cloudy, causing a decrease in oxygen levels in the water. To help clean algae from your aquarium, use a brush to scrub tanks or an aquarium algae magnet.
Frequent water changes are the key. You should take about a third of the water out of your tank each week and replace it with clean, fresh water. This dilutes the chemicals in the water and makes it healthier for fish. Beginners can keep a small number of community fish and learn to care for them in a real aquarium.
Tropical fish can be difficult to care for, but a few simple tips will keep your aquarium running smoothly. It is best to keep different types of fish foods and treats on hand and incorporate them into the fish diet. Different fish need different nutrients and, although current fish foods are far superior to what was available in “the old days”, you still need to know what the nutritional needs of your fish are and give them variety. If you want to have slightly more messy fish, such as goldfish or cichlids, or fish that could have babies or grow much larger, it's a good idea to buy a slightly larger model.
If this is your first attempt at fish farming, unless you're starting with a beta, consider an aquarium kit of at least 10 gallons that has all the equipment you need. Certain types of fish are fish of breeding age, which means they should be purchased in groups of no less than 6, and preferably 10 or more. I have a 30-gallon tank with 13 different species and they all get along well, especially my goldfish that I had for 6 years, I never tried to eat my smaller fish. It may all seem overwhelming, but if you incorporate these tips into your fish care routine, you'll end up with a beautiful fish tank full of healthy fish.
Fortunately, fish are fairly easy to care for as long as you choose fish that go well together and put them in a large enough tank. Visit your local Petco store for advice on what size aquarium or tank will be right for you based on your space availability and the type of fish you expected to find. Understand how big the fish will be, its temperament, its space requirements and which fish it will get along well with. Eric is an aquarium enthusiast with more than two decades of experience caring for a wide variety of tropical fish.
Knowing what fish you are buying and their needs will help you understand how many fish can live safely in your tank.