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Always stand your tank on
polystyrene before setting it up as it helps to cushion the base.
In a new tank the good beneficial
bacteria which is responsible for the biological filtering of fish daily
waste takes about 4 weeks to mature. This can be speeded up by adding
a maturing agent to your tank. (like Mature tank or Safewater).
When it comes to stocking a
new tank with fish you should only put in a few fish to start off with and
then build the stocks up gradually over the next month or two. This is to
let the tank mature slowly and to stop the nitrites going very high too
You should always ask our
advise when choosing fish to put in your tank to see if they are compatible
with what you have in your tank already.
When you have purchased your
fish you need to introduce them into your tank carefully, this is best done
by floating the bag for 15 minutes before letting them out. This lets the
temperature of the water in the bag equalize to the temperature in the tank.
Then dip a little water from your tank into the bag before slowly letting
the fish into your tank.
When it comes to putting new
gravel, rocks or bogwood into the aquarium make sure that you give them a
good washing first of all. To wash gravel put a small quantity of it into a
clean bucket and then fill this with cold water. You should now swill the
gravel around releasing the dirt from the gravel into the water. This dirty
water should be poured away and then swill the gravel again in the same way
until the water is clear. Rocks need to be soaked in hot or preferably
boiling water for about an hour. To clean bogwood you should soak it in a
bucket of boiling water over night, this will make the water brown in colour
as it removes the stain from the bogwood. It should be soaked over night in
fresh clean boiling water until the water is clear the morning after.
Never use a bucket that has
had chemicals like bleach, soap etc. in it as this will harm your fish. It
is best to buy a new bucket and use it just for the fish tank, maybe even
write on it "Fish tank" so that Dad doesn't use it to wash the car
Never put shells, corals or
anything off the beach into your coldwater or tropical aquarium as this will
cause problems in the future.
Every 4 - 6 weeks you should
do a quarter water change, this stops the potential build up of fish waste
getting to high. When replacing this water you need to treat it in the
bucket for 5 minutes before putting it back into your tank with a water
conditioner. (like Aquasafe, Stress go, Fresh start or Haloex). These remove
the chlorine and the bad metal ions from the water and put a coating in to
protect the fishes gills. Remember to get the temperature of the water you
are using to roughly the same as the tank.
The ideal tank temperature
for tropical fish is 75 - 80 F ( 24 - 26 C)
If you should have to strip
the tank fully then always try and keep some of the good mature water. This
will give it a good start when setting it back up again and remember to
unplug the heater/stat for 5 minutes to let it cool down before you remove
If any of your fish appear
not to get on, or have grown to large then you can return them to us and we
will give you a credit to spend in the shop.
You should feed your fish
sparingly twice a day, if any of the flake food sinks to the bottom then you
have over fed and this can lead to cloudy tanks and poor water quality.
Never crush the food as even a neon can eat a flake as its like tissue paper
and folds up in its mouth. By crushing the flake it makes it very bitty and
this tends to make it sink almost straight away again clouding the water
after a while. If your tank is less than a month old then you should only
feed once a day until it matures, which takes a month.
If your water goes cloudy
then it is nearly always due to over feeding, so carry out a quarter water
change and then add a product to help clear the water (like Accu clear,
Filter aid, acurel) and from then on cut down on the food as overfeeding is
the most common problem in this hobby.
Should you suffer from algae
in your tank then this can be cured by cutting down the number of hours that
you have your light on and also by adding an algae control product (like
Algazin, Green away, Clear water).
To grow plants successfully
they need about 8 - 12 hours a day of light. Its a case of getting a happy
balance where your plants grow well and the algae doesn't ! If the plants
still are not growing as well as you would like them then it might be time
for a new light tube as after 12 - 18 months the strength of the light given
off by the tube decreases. Adding a reflector to the light doubles the
brightness and you will see a tremendous difference. You might want to
replace your light with a brighter one to help with plant growth (like Power-glo, Triton, Freshwater lamp, or even Life-glo with its own built in
You should be testing the
water from your tank every fortnight or every week for best results as the
water in a fishes life is the most important thing (other than the
temperature in a tropical tank). You should be testing for two main things,
Ph and Nitrites. These important water qualities keep the fish in tip top
health and prevent the fish being stressed which would normally lead to poor
health. You can bring some tank water to use for us to test and advise (50
pence charge per test) or you might want to buy your own kits so that you
can test the water in the convenience of your own home.
Here's a little about the Ph
scale which is measured from 1 - 14.
The ideal Ph for Tropical fish is between 7.0 and 7.3
The ideal Ph for Coldwater and Pond fish is between 7.0 and 7.5
The ideal Ph for MARINE fish is between 8.3 and 8.4
If the water in your tank is too Acid then add ' Just Up '
If the water in you tank is too Alkaline then add ' Just Down '
To alter the Ph in ponds use ' Ph adjuster powder for ponds '
When cleaning internal or external filters always use water from the tank to wash out the media as using hot water or even cold tap water (full of chlorine) can kill the good beneficial bacteria which is responsible for keeping your tank biologically clean.
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