Here are some of the more common and important dos and don’t in keeping a mini aquarium.
First, the DOs
1 Feed your fish once or twice a day and only feed them as much as they can consume in 2 to 3 minutes.
2 Keep your mini aquarium aerated and filtered 24 hours a day.
3 Keep your mini aquarium clean of debris on the bottom. Your filter could do with a little manual help once a while.
4 Periodically test your tank water for pH and ammonia especially when first setting up or after adding fresh water.
5 Keep a lookout for worms and other parasites or fungus. Medicate once detected. It is also a good practice to one a while use some general aid in the water however try not to depend on this too much.
6 Make sure to remove the chlorine remover whenever adding fresh tap water. Most cities have chlorine in their tap water.
7 Have a spare tank or aquarium for use as a hospital to treat sick or injured fish. Aerate and filter these spare tanks as sick fish need more oxygen.
8 Periodically clean the filter. Most filters in mini aquariums should be cleaned at least once every two weeks and at the very least once a month even though the water looks clear.
9 Change or add new water periodically about every 3 to 4 weeks. Even with filtration minute dirt particles will get past the filter and cloud the water. Other chemical can still build up. Remember, an aquarium is a closed system.
10 Keep you aquarium away from direct sunlight to inhibit algae growth, promote and maintain the colour of your fish.
11 When buying fish, ensure that the fish are not infected. Healthy fish will eat well. Ask the pet shop owner to feed a little food to the fish before buying if possible. Fishes that rush for the food are healthy fish naturally.
12 Before introducing new fish, try to quarantine them for some time, at least 48 to 72 hours. This greatly helps in preventing contamination and spread of diseases to the fish already in the tank.
13 Always be careful when netting or handling your fish. Fish have a protective slime on their body which can be unintentionally removed and lead to fungus or bacterial infections. Accidental cuts and bruises on the fish during handling may also lead to infections.
14 Keep a spare battery operated air pump or water pump on hand for emergencies. If the pump stops, do not feed the fish.
15 Remember that stress is a major cause of fish deaths. Stress may result from changes in pond conditions, over handling, over medication, etc.
And then the DON’TS
1 Overfeed! Never, never, never over feed your fish and remove excess uneaten food quickly.
2 Change 100% of the water in the aquarium at once unless absolutely necessary. Sudden water temperature changes may adversely affect your fish.
3 Over-medicate! Use correct dosage or under-medicate if you are unsure.
4 Overcrowd the tank! Remember your fish will require more oxygen and more room as they grow larger.
5 Keep the water level of your tank too close to the top edge as you fish may jump out.
6 Use of any insecticide sprays, powders, or pellets near your mini aquarium. Also, do not use fertilizers in tank plants. You may end up with great plant but dead fish.
7 Feed your fish if your pump goes out. Fish tend to use more oxygen if they are fed.
As a final note, maintaining a mini aquarium is not as daunting as it seems. All it takes is a little common sense most of the time. You can also learn some common mistakes in keeping an aquarium here.