I think there are many hobbyists who like aquariums like me. But there are many people who find it difficult to take care of their fish. To keep aquarium fish healthy, we must provide them with a suitable environment, great diet and a healthy lifestyle. It is easy to achieve if you know the following.
Fish need enough swimming space
An ideal size aquarium is really necessary. According to the experience of many aquarists, an aquarium should have a minimum length of 7 times the size of the fish. For example, if you have a 2’’ long fish, you need a 14” long fish tank as the bottom line. However, the bigger the fish tank, the more comfortable it will be.
When an aquarium is too small, not only will the fish not have enough room to swim, but water parameters may also be unstable. As a general rule, we need a minimum of a 5 gallon aquarium for stable water conditions. The detailed requirement is up to the size of the fish. Under the condition of the minimum gallon and minimum length are both met, the bigger tank is always better.
A great location for an aquarium
The location of the aquarium is essential for the health of the fish. It must avoid high light, high noise places to avoid stress for the fish. It should also keep a distance from air conditioners, radiators, heaters, or anything that can significantly affect water temperature.
High water quality
Since fish lives in the water, we must keep the water quality high. First, we need a good aquarium water conditioner to keep chlorine and chloramine at bay. The aquarium must be fully cycled. It must have a filtration system doing 24/7 aquarium nitrogen cycle. There must be absolutely 0ppm of both ammonia and nitrite. While nitrate is fine at 40ppm, it is the lower, the better. You need a water test kit to make sure all readings are accurate. A liquid test kit is a lot more accurate than a paper strip test kit.
Other things like water PH and hardness are less critical, as long as you give the fish time to adapt when first introduced to the tank
Ideal water temperature
Every fish has a comfort zone when it comes to water temperature. Study well the individual fishes you plan to have. Make sure you have a good heater for your small aquarium if you have tropical fish. An independent thermometer is needed to get a more accurate reading of the water temperature. Adjust the heater appropriately to give the fish the temperature it feels most comfortable with.
Stable water parameters
Water temperature, PH, hardness, and other chemical makeups must not fluctuate. Fish don’t like big, sudden changes because they can shock and even kill them. As mentioned above – an aquarium large enough will be less likely to have a sudden change in the parameters of the water.
You must also change part of your water regularly to keep it stable. The rate of water you replace each time should not be greater than 70%. Ideally 30 ~ 50% per week.
If you haven’t done a partial water change for weeks or even months, it’s likely to cause a sudden drastic change in water chemistry when you finally have to do it. Therefore, it is important to change the water only a small part in the tank but often. Also, a good filter for aquarium is needed.
Some fish species are relatively shy. They need some hiding places for them retreat to in the case of danger. It might seem to be pointless since there is no predator in a fish tank. Without hiding places, they might become stressed. It is just their natural behavior. Stressed fish won’t be healthy fish.
To provide them with ideal hiding places, you may place some decorations in the aquarium. It can be some artificial caves, tree logs, fake or live plants, a castle, or anything the fish can hide inside or behind. The hiding places will just make them feel safer.
A balanced diet
Like us, fish need proper nutrition to stay healthy. It is more than just to get a premium fish food. A proper diet for fish should include at least one high-quality staple food for every day feeding. It can be a premium pellets or flakes from a reputable fish food manufacturer. With occasional nutrition treats such as bloodworm, brine shrimp, krill, no more than once or twice a week. Some supplement such as VitaChem and Garlic Guard can also be beneficial for pre-soaking the dry food before the feeding.
More ideally, you may rotate more than just one type of premium staple food for a more balanced nutrition intake. Different brand of fish food uses different ingredients
Do not overfeed fish.
Overfeeding fish is the cause of many issues in the fish aquariums. Overeating can directly kill the fish with digestive problems. It may also cause water pollution which can be unhealthy and deadly to the fish.
In the art of feeding fish, the less, the better. While there is no proof of health benefit to the aquarium fish, skip a day or two of feeding once a week is totally fine.
Avoid having fish who are aggressive toward each other
Some fish species are naturally aggressive toward each other. For example, two betta fish can’t be in the same fish tank. They will most likely attack each other to cause stress, injuries, and even deaths. Most Gouramis are in the same situation. Avoid any aggression in a fish tank can prevent many problems Research well on fish compatibility before decide on what fish to get.
Do not overstock your fish tank
Do not overstock the fish tank with too many inhabitants. Too many fish can mean less swimming room. As a result, it can also create stress for the fish even if your filtration system is sufficient for the aquarium nitrogen cycle. More often, too many fish might result in ammonia and nitrite spike.
The state of fish health is not from any single factor
It is an easy task to keep the aquarium fish healthy if you know what to do. However, no single solution can achieve the goal on its own. Meet all their basic needs is crucial. The rest are bonuses. They will thank you for it by showing their best colors and natural behaviors.