Scheduled Aquarium Maintenance

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Aquarium MaintenanceWhen owning an aquarium you have a responsibility to keep the inhabitants in a healthy state and free from diseases, you put in a lot of work in to planing and setting up your aquarium now you need to schedule in a maintenance program to keep the environment healthy.

Some tasks need to be performed on a weekly basis while others can be performed on a monthly basis, with these scheduled tasks the importance should be about keeping a clean habitable environment for your fish and plants.

A common misconception with beginners is that a smaller aquarium will be much more easy to manage and maintain than a large aquarium, this is actually false sure a larger aquarium may take longer to setup but it is the volume of water that makes the difference.

A small aquarium of around 5 gallons or 20 liters in capacity is a very small enclosed space once you introduce fish into the environment the water will be polluted very quickly from fish waste and excess feed they do not eat.

This small amount of water volume will never be in a stable condition the temperature will fluctuate from dawn to dusk, the PH level and ammonia levels will fluctuate daily and the water will be susceptible to algae blooms so you will need a very busy schedule to try and keep a small aquarium healthy.

A larger aquarium of 20 gallons or 80 liters plus in capacity is a much more sensible idea for a beginner, the larger aquarium provides more water volume for the inhabitants, the water temperature will be much more stable and the environment will be much less susceptible to pollution and toxins.

Water change this one one of the most important tasks that should be performed on a regular basis, for a medium size aquarium of 20 gallons or 80 liters you should change around 15% of the water volume each month with fresh dechlorinated water.

For a large aquarium this should be around 20 to 25 % of the total volume for a water change as the larger aquarium will have a much larger volume of water the environment can cope with this larger amount.

This water change is vital to keep the aquarium in a healthy state, each water change removes built up ammonia, nitrite and other toxins that are present in the water column, the best way to remove the water is with an aquarium vacuum cleaner.

This vacuum cleaner consists of a clear plastic cylinder with an attached clear plastic hose, a siphon is started with the hose directed into a large bucket this will suck up water you can now move the cylinder through the substrate to clean sediment and waste from the aquarium substrate.

Keep cleaning the substrate until you remove enough water for the water change this performs two tasks in one removes the polluted water and cleans the aquariums substrate replace the water with dechlorinated water to the desired level.

Filtration systems installed or your aquarium needs regular maintenance, the mechanical filtration media needs a clean to remove sediment and debris, the chemical filtration stage needs replacing this is the activated carbon as this absorbs all the ammonia and toxins from the environment but the very important biological stage you leave do not clean this media as it supports the beneficial bacteria that keeps your aquarium healthy.

Complete clean of the entire aquarium should be performed every three or four months, this starts with removing algae from the aquariums surface, clean the accessories in the aquarium like rocks and decorations and prune any excessive plant growth and remove dead leaves and litter from the environment. 

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