12 Don’ts if you own an Aquarium


We mostly focus on giving you a lot of good and encouraging advice that will keep you going in your aquarium journey. This advice is positive and emphasizes what to do for your fish, and aquarium.

Below you will find 12 inportant things you should NOT do if you expect your fish to thrive in the aquarium.

1. Don’t leave any uneaten food…

…in the aquarium. Get your net and remove uneaten food after 10 minutes if the fish is not eating.

Click here to read more about how to feed your fish.

2. Don’t overcrowd your Aquarium

By now you have learnt the basics on the maximum number of fish that the aquarium can sustain. There is a maximum bio-load that any system can handle. Bio-load is a fancy term for fish waste.

One inch of fish per gallon of water, is a good rule of thumb for beginners. If you are new to keeping fish, be conservative.

Before buying a new fish, you should first find out if your fish is compatible with the new fish and the check the water quality.

Click here for advice about how to check your fish.

Click here for advice about how to check your water quality.

3. Don’t do too much at once in the Aquarium

If you are looking to revamp, upgrade or clean your Aquarium, don’t tear everything completely apart.

You don’t need to spring clean your aquarium!

All you have to do is change a portion of the water twice a week. Don’t change more than 20% of the water in one day unless there is a pressing need to do so.

Once a month clean your fish’s home.

Click here for more information about cleaning your Aquarium

Click here for more about making regular partial water changes.


4. Don’t depend on Scavenger Fish …

…to keep your aquarium clean.

Scavenger Fish and Ghost Shrimp will eat bits of food that sink to the bottom of your aquarium, and this will help improve the water quality.

But scavengers will not clean a dirty aquarium.

Click here for information about cleaning your aquarium.

5. Don’t get an Aquarium and Fish at the same time

You first need to set up your aquarium.

Get the new aquarium and equipment, take it home, read the instructions, set it all up, and let it run for three days or longer.

Then get a few good starter fish.

Click here for more information about how to start an aquarium.

6. Don’t have more than 1/4 inch of Gravel.

A Fish Bowl needs a layer of cultured gravel 1/4 of an inch thick, but an aquarium with an exterior power filter with a BIO-Wheel doesn’t need any gravel.

If you put gravel in your aquarium, keep it less than 1/4 of an inch thick, and stir it for a few seconds every day with your net to be sure the particles get swept up into your filter.

7. Don’t get impatient and do too much too fast.

Don’t add too many new fish at one time.

Get a few new fish. Watch them, see how they adjust to their new home, and enjoy them!

Don’t change too much water at one time.

If your aquarium is dirty, do a small cleaning each day. Change 20% of the water each day, until your aquarium is clean and the water is clear.                    

8. Don’t contaminate the Aquarium

Make sure that everything that goes into the aquarium is not contaminated with soap, bleach, pesticides, or other chemicals.

If you add ornaments such as rocks, gravel, or plastic plants, make sure that they will not contaminate your fish’s water.

Some rocks and gravel contain toxic minerals. Wash them thoroughly before introducing them to the Aquarium.

Some plastic plants are not intended for use in water and may contaminate your fish’s water.

You can avoid contaminating your Aquarium by shopping in pet departments. Simply buy items specifically labeled as being safe to use with pet fish.

Click here to read more about contamination.

Cichlid Stones – Ceramic Aquarium Caves.                       

You can make piles and arrangements of items like the rocks and pieces of artificial drift wood, shown above, in your aquarium or your fish bowl to create beautiful scenes and interesting caves for your fish to explore.                 

9. Don’t use pesticides near ponds

If you spray pesticides in your garden, make sure none of the spray gets into your pond’s water.

Fish are extremely sensitive to some garden sprays.

A small amount of pesticide spray landing on the water’s surface can cause problems.                   

10. Don’t forget to wash your hands!

If you have used hand cream, soap, floor cleaners, car wax, and all other chemicals, make sure you wash your hands because you can accidently contaminate the aquarium.

Before touching the water in the tank, wash your hands!

Wash them with soap and then rinse them off a couple of times with clean running water.

You should also wash your hands after you touching the aquarium water.

11. Don’t tap on the aquarium!

It drives experienced aquarists crazy to see people and children tapping on a fish bowl or aquarium.

The fish dart around and often bang their heads on rocks or the sides of their home.

So whether your fish live in a fish bowl or an aquarium, don’t tap on the glass!

You often hear the excuse, “I thought they was dead.” Well learn a little patience, look closely, and wait for the fish to move. Usually they aren’t dead. Right?

12. Don’t just top-up with freshwater

It’s a common mistake to replace water that evaporates without removing any water.

This will cause the mineral content of the water to increase and eventually become too high for the health of the fish. This affects the salinity of the water.

The higher the salinity level in a freshwater aquarium, the higher the chances it can lead to fatal repercussions for the inhabitants.

High salinity levels in the water leads to increased osmotic pressure in the body of freshwater inhabitants.

That is why you should always perform freshwater aquarium maintenance by frequent doing partial water replacement. The high salinity levels will be reduced by the chemical filters fitted in freshwater aquarium have to take care of the water salinity level.

10 Things Fish Keepers Should NEVER DO

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