Setting up and maintaining your freshwater aquarium

Your new tank must be fully supported at all four corners by a fish tank stand or cabinet, or another strong base and must be placed on a sheet of foam to stop stress on tanks and eventual cracking. Gravel must be washed thoroughly in fresh water only – no detergents. Water ager (chlorine neutraliser) and blue conditioning salts (water hardener) must be added whenever fresh water is added into the tank as tap water is poisonous to fish.
Daily Maintenance for your Tank

  • If you keep tropicals, check temperature. 24ºC – 27ºC is a safe temperature range.
  • Check fish for signs of ill-health e.g. erratic swimming, discolouration, damage to fins and scales.
  • Have lighting on for 10 to 12 hours only: any more will encourage algae growth. Make sure to replace globe after 12 months.
  • Feed fish once a day, alternating with dry and frozen food e.g. “Community Dinner” for tropicals, “Goldfish Dinner” for goldfish. Give as much as they can eat in two minutes and do not overfeed, as this will lead to problems with water quality such as ammonia.

Weekly Maintenance

  • Test water for pH, the measure of acidity and alkalinity, and adjust with pH Up or Down if required. pH must be 7 (neutral).
  • Test for ammonia. Op.p.m required.
  • Test for nitrite. Op.p.m. required.
  • Add ‘Cycle’, 1 capful for every 40 litres, double dose if new tank.

Fortnightly Maintenance

  • 1/3 water change with a gravel cleaner.
  • Add water ager.
  • Test hardness – must be 150-180 p.p.m.- add conditioning salts if too soft, or fresh water if too hard.

Monthly Maintenance
Replace any carbon used in filtration e.g. carbon/foam filter caps for underground filters, carbon bags in canister or power filters. This will ensure your water is crystal clear.
Fertilise plants with ‘Plant Food’.