10 Common Mistakes In Keeping An Aquarium



Whether you intend to keep a mini aquarium or a normal tank, beware of the most common mistakes aquarists tend to make. These problems can be avoided if you’re aware of them before you start.

1. OVERFEEDING
Overfeeding leaves uneaten food at the bottom of the tank, and when they decompose, they create nitrates and overload the biological filter.

2. NOT KNOWING THE NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF THEIR FISH
Many aquarists just simply feed their fish and expect the fish to eat. If the fish are not eating, you’ll be surprised how many aquarists will simply throw more food at the fish, thinking that the fish just isn’t seeing the food. Feed once or twice per day, and know what is in the food you are feeding by comparing the nutrients in commercial foods. Purchase only high quality foods and feed only what your fish will consume in 2-3 minutes per feeding.

3. MOVING TOO FAST
Take the time to enjoy setting up your mini aquarium. Too many people face problems soon after setting up their tank because they are just moving too fast! Today’s world is result oriented and they want the result fast. Too many people do not take the time to read and study up on the hobby before getting started. They don’t bother with test kits and little details like that. These are all the more important in the limited environment of a mini aquarium.

4. OVERCROWDING
Along with moving too fast, some people tend to put too much livestock and decorations into the aquarium all at once, especially in a tank that is new and not yet stabilised, or has just completed the cycling process. Even in a well established system, placing too many new additions into the tank to quickly can cause new tank syndrome. Relax! Mini aquarium keeping is supposed to be a hobby to be enjoyed, not a race, so take it easy, and simply enjoy….

5. INADEQUATE CYCLING
Sufficient biological filtration is a extremely important in keeping a mini aquarium. There are a number of filtration methods to choose from, but not making the right filter selection for the bio-load planned for your tank can lead to a wide variety of problems. Whether it be biological, mechanical, or chemical, it’s better to have more, rather than too little filtration. This together with the circulation of the water in the aquarium ensures there is enough dissolved oxygen in the water, prevents the build up of slime or other types of algae. For more information, refer to the nitrogen cycle.

6. MISDIAGNOSING DISEASES
Fish like humans are also susceptible to infections and diseases. It is important to properly diagnose and treat these deseases, although this can be most challenging to a new aquarist. Again, read up and familiarise with the most common diseases and at lease have a bottle of general aid handy. You need not get a veterinary degree but knowing the most common problems will go a long way in keeping you fish alive moch longer. Way too often one or more remedies are just thrown at a sick or ailing fish without knowing what the problem is. Medications should only be used when necessary, and whenever possible in a quarantine tank. It is of course best with all medications, to use one that is targeted to the specific disease or diseases you are dealing with. However, failing that at least have a bottle of general aid handy. Remember, this is a hobby but also responsibility as you are handling live creatures. Sad to know that many do not think thus.

7. SIMPLY BUYING FISH
Be careful how you select new additions for your mini aquarium Too many aquarists buy fish without knowing anything about them, how to care for and feed them. Before purchasing any new fish, take the time to obtain information about it first. Again, you need not know everything there is to know about them, just the basics at least. Never buy on impulse because you like the pretty colors or how cute it looks, or for any other emotional reason, or if a sales person can’t provide you with critical information you need to know about a particular animal. Of course you can buy whatever fish you like, just provide the proper care once you do and you will need to at least know a little about you fishes’ compatibility. 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.

8. LIVESTOCK INCOMPATIBILITY
You’d be surprised how many people buy fish and find the fish fighting amongst themselves. Purchasing livestock without knowing whether or not they will peacefully reside with other tankmates can and almost always lead to dead or injured animals, as well as stress related diseases. Use common sense and learn about the compatibility of animals you are considering for your aquarium, before putting them together! Carps are generally gentle and get along with other species well but cichlids tend to be more territorial and aggressive.

9. PURCHASING ANIMALS IN POOR HEALTH
One of the easiest things to do when selecting a critter is to determine whether or not it is healthy. In a simple phrase, most sick fish don’t eat. Before purchasing a fish or other animal, it is best to have a sale’s person in a store show you that it is in fact eating. On your part, learn how to recognize the symptoms or outward signs of common illnesses so you know what to look for when inspecting livestock to buy.

10. POOR WATER QUALITY
Although many aquarists do so, choosing to use water straight from the tap or unpurified water of another source may lead to many water quality issues in aquariums. This is especially so if you intend to keep a saltwater mini aquarium. Use a water purification filter or anti-chlorine to remove the chlorine, Together with ammonia, chlorine is one of the most common problems for fish. Anti-chlorine tablets are easily available in any aquarium shop or simple run the water over activated carbon for some time. Regardless of whatever you do, your mini aquarium is a dynamic ecological system and will experience high nitrate, bacterial outbreaks, or other water quality issues so set up and follow a simple maintenance routine.

Check out some Dos and Don’t in keeping a mini aquarium here.

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