Avoid These 10 Common Mistake People do When Keeping Fish in Aquarium
There’s something soothing about an aquarium teeming with colorful and active fish. If you’re new to the world of ornamental fish, or want to do better with your aquarium, here are ten common mistakes to avoid.
1. Not cycling the aquarium
It’s hard to believe that fish need bacteria! As waste causes ammonia to build up, good bacteria must be allowed to grow to fight waste (cycling). Your fish will become ill and even die in a murky aquarium, so allow time for cycling. How long this takes depends on your aquarium’s size, whether you already have fish, or your use of live bacteria as a jump-start.
2. Not filtering your aquarium
Here’s another mistake that can kill your fish – not filtering your aquarium. Fish need filtration against waste. Imagine your fish struggling to breathe in unfiltered water. Not a pleasant thought. Your filter works to reduce waste and keep good bacteria flourishing. Take care of your filters by periodically cleaning their strainers, impellers and tubes.
3. Overstocking your aquarium
Another common mistake is to cram too many fish in a tiny space. Fish need space to swim without stress. Moreover, you’ll help your fish by understanding their differences and accommodating them. Goldfish, for example, are quite messy and need a lot of room. An overcrowded aquarium also causes too much ammonia and nitrite, which is harder on your filter. To avoid this mistake, either put less fish in or get a bigger aquarium.
4. Not paying attention to your water chemistry
You may be making this mistake because you don’t know how to check your water’s chemistry, or Ph level. Although fish usually adjust quite well to stable Ph levels, they have a harder time adjusting to quickly changing Ph conditions. Crushed shells or coral work to increase Ph in your water and adding a piece of wood, or peat in a mesh bag lowers Ph. Remember to check your water’s Ph levels at least once per week.
5. Mixing fish
Fish owners make this mistake with attractive, desirable fish. They forget that fish don’t all get along. This mistake can result in sick, missing or dead fish. For example, goldfish prefer cold water, male bettas are aggressive, angel fish are predators and catfish are bottom feeders. When you know how to achieve compatibility in your aquarium, you’ll have a better result in keeping fish alive and healthy.
6. Under or over feeding your fish
If you are inexperienced, you’ll probably make this mistake, feeding your fish too much of the wrong kind of food, or worse, not feeding your fish enough. Over feeding causes excess ammonia that can kill fish. Additionally, uneaten and decaying food cause low Ph levels, algae blooms, cloudy water and oxygen shortage in your aquarium.
7. Over or under cleaning your aquarium
Another mistake is to scrub your aquarium every day, or conversely, allowing your aquarium to be overrun with algae. Although fish need certain good bacteria, you still need to clean your aquarium periodically. Use partial water changes up to twice per week to get rid of nitrates. Check your water every week. Both nitrite and ammonia levels should be zero, and nitrate should be below 40 ppm.
8. Buying the Aquarium and Fish on the Same Day
Eager fish owners make this mistake. They buy their fish and aquarium on the same day. First, you’ll need to have a pretty good idea what kind of fish you want to own. Then purchase the aquarium that fits. This way, you’ll have time to learn how your aquarium’s heater, lights, air pumps, filters work, and you’re better prepared for your new fish.
9. Not putting new fish on quarantine
Placing new fish with the ones you already have can be a costly mistake. To avoid this, you’ll need a second aquarium to quarantine new fish and prevent parasites or diseases from spreading.
10. Choosing the wrong size aquarium
You can avoid this mistake by knowing your fish beforehand. The species of fish you intend to buy will determine the size and type of aquarium to choose. If this is your first aquarium, try for a 30 gallon instead of a 10 gallon aquarium. Then it’s easier to manage overstocking and keep your fish healthy and happy.
Of course, there are many more aquarium mistakes to avoid. Some mistakes are costly to owners. Others are deadly to their fish. What is important is that you’re alert to these pitfalls and your fish will love you for it.