Aquarium - Benefits and Maintenance

An Aquarium can be a very beautiful and engaging addition to your home. The principle reason why people want to have an aquarium in their home is for aesthetics. Aquarium add to the beauty of the home.

The graceful movement of fish relaxes the mind. It lowers stress levels and is proven to improve health and wellness in peoples.

Patients who have been made to view aquariums have been known to recover faster.

An aquarium also teaches us about harmony. Within the closed environment of the aquarium are complex biological and chemical processes. We understand how everything in nature is related. A slice of a natural water body such as a pond or a river is brought into our homes.

Interacting with fish helps people build empathy and compassion towards animals and people. The fact that a totally helpless animal is entirely dependent on you brings a sense of responsibility and helps people develop a caring nature.

Checking water parameters of your Aquarium

Water quality is extremely important.  Fish are sensitive even to small changes in water parameters.  Hence, it is necessary to have a regular testing schedule to monitor the water parameters.

A pH which is less than 7 is acidic while a value above 7 indicates alkalinity. As dirt accumulates in the water, the pH increases.  Regular water changes can help maintain the pH level.

Chlorine is added at your water utility.  Chlorine should be removed by using a dechlorinator.  Ammonia, nitrite and nitrates are the results of the waste produced by the fish.  Proper water changes at regular intervals help keep these levels within limits. 

Temperature should be maintained properly.  Fish are cold blooded creatures which means that they cannot regulate their body temperature on their own.  Hence, they are very sensitive to temperature changes.

Following are the limits of the various parameters which are monitored.

pH Level
Recommended Range: 6.5-8.2

Chlorine and Chloramine
Recommended Range: 0.0 mg/L

Recommended Range: 0.0-0.25 mg/L

Recommended Range: 0.0-0.5 mg/L

Recommended Range: 0-40 mg/L

Recommended Range: 100-250 mg/L

Recommended Range: 120-300 mg/L

Recommended Range 74-82º F (23-28º C)

Performing Water Changes in the Fish Tank

Your Fish Tank requires periodic Water Changes.   The fish excrement and leftover food contaminate the water leading to the generation of nitrates.  This turns the water acidic and can be injurious to the health of the fish even killing them.

Some people mistakenly believe that a good filtration system is sufficient to maintain water quality.  No filtration system can be a substitute for periodic water changes.

Hence, maintaining water quality is of paramount importance.  It is not necessary to change all the water in the tank.  In fact, doing so change lead to fluctuations in temperature and water properties like pH.

Hence, it is ideal to make partial water changes.

Regular water changes are necessary. Change 10% of the water every week.  The water should be replaced with dechlorinated water.

Change 25% of the water in the tank every month.

Doing a water change is easy.  Just get a siphon available at any hardware store.

Get a bucket and place it near the aquarium.

Start the flow of water through the siphon by squeezing the bellow in the siphon.  Once the water starts flowing, the flow will continue.

Move the suction point of the siphon inside the tank and so that dirt at the bottom of the tank are sucked out.

In addition to water changes, the water parameters like pH, nitrate content should be measured periodically and recorded.

Once the water has been removed. Let the water settle down for a about 10 minutes

Getting the New water ready

The new water should be free of chlorine.
Check the pH of the water.
The new water to be added should at the same temperature as that in the water.

Add the water to the tank in small amounts, with a small bowl so as not to agitate the tank.  This can make the water cloudy.