Do not buy a new tank and fish at the same time
One of the most important parts of setting up a new freshwater aquarium is ’cycling’ the tank.
Once the tank is decorated, the water has been added and the equipment is operating, you have to allow the tank time to build up good bacteria.
This process can take weeks depending upon the size of your tank. Check the tank water every couple of days to be sure that the cycling process is complete before adding fish.
Change more than 20% of the water at one time
If you change too much water you will upset the balance in the tank. You will be killing off the good bacteria.
If you add less than 20% you do not have to treat the water for chlorine and chloamine but if you add more than 20% you should be treating the water. If the two water temperatures ( the tank and the new water) are not the same you may shock the fish.
Do not put too many fish in your tank
Over crowded fish are prone to stress and disease. Your fish need room to swim and grow.
They also need oxygen and if there are too many fish in the tank there may be an insufficient amount of oxygen.
Do not over clean
It is not necessary to clean everything in the fish tank at one time. By doing this you are actually killing off the good bacteria.
Clean only a piece at a time if you are having a lot of algae build up. Give the tank time to adjust before you clean another plant or ornament.
Do not use chemicals
No matter how many times you rinse something you can never be certain that you have gotten off all the toxins.
To avoid a potential disaster do not use any chemicals or soaps to clean anything. When washing or cleaning the filter or decorations it is best to rinse them using old fish water.
This sounds as though you are not really cleaning, but remember you only want to rinse things and you are trying not to upset the tank balance.
Do not over feed
Fish will over eat and they will get fat. This condition is just as unhealthy for fish as it is to humans.
Do not buy more than 3 or 4 fish at a time
Even if your tank has been up and operating for a long time you do not want to bring home more than 3 or 4 fish at a time.
You still need to give the tank time to balance itself out before adding more new residents. This also gives you time to be certain that there is not going to problems caused by the new additions.
These problems might include a lack of oxygen in the tank or a water imbalance. You also will have time to make sure that the new fish do not have any diseases or infections before adding more fish.
Do not depend solely on scavengers
While scavengers do help to keep both the gravel and the glass clean you are still going to have to help them. The gravel will still need to be cleaned and the glass will need to be scraped.