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fish tank
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Topical Fish Keeping-the Easy Way
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Topical Fish Keeping-the Easy Way

I want to show here a simple and non complicated way of keeping and maintaining fresh water tropical fish.  This is for those who do not want to get too involved but at the same time want to have a clean tank with healthy fish.    I have used this method for several years now and it works.  I am using the most basic terms so one does not have to worry about complicated chemical terms and things like the ammonia cycle for tropical fish keeping.

I have found that one of the biggest problems people have with tropical fish keeping or any fish keeping for that matter is they make it all so complicated for themselves.  It almost seems they have this irresistible need to do something with their fish tank all the time.  They want to put this chemical in and that chemical in and move this and take that out.  Tropical fish keeping is simple so don't complicate things more than you need to.  Remember this is for beginners who want just a basic tank and for those who are not specializing in a specific species of fish that needs extra attention.

Right you have bought your tank and set it up, the temperature is right and your filter is running.  Now leave it running like this for a week.  This is to make sure the nitrite peaks and drops back again and that a friendly bacteria can colonize the filter elements.  This bacteria helps keep the nitrite levels in the tank down.  Nitrite kills fish so you do not want it in your tank in any great quantities.  After a week take a water sample to your local aquatics shop and have it  tested for nitrite or test the water yourself using a nitrite test kit.

Right your water is fine so you can now put your fish in.  I always suggest just a couple of hardy fish to start with.  You don't want to buy a lot of fish and find they all die for some unknown reason.  This would be a waste of money.  Get a couple of fish, leave them for a week and then if they are fine get some more and slowly build up the numbers.  Tropical fish keeping is a patience game.  Those who rush things always seem to have problems.

Two main causes of high nitrite levels which leads to unhealthy or dying fish are:

  1. Overstocking.
  2. Over feeding.

Now that the tank is up and running you need to keep it that way.  I have found with tropical fish keeping the easiest and most effective way is to do a 10% water change once a week.  Just take the water out, clean the glass with a soap free sponge, clean your filter elements ( sponges ) in the water you have taken out of the tank.  Never wash them under the tap as this will kill the good bacteria I mentioned earlier and you will be starting a brand new tank again but this time with the fish in, so there is a good chance you will lose them.  Do any other maintenance you want and then top up with fresh water.

Once a month it is a good idea to do a gravel clean with a gravel cleaning tool.  This will remove about 40% of the water which is fine.  You never want to remove more than 50% of your water as this will have a detrimental  effect on your good bacteria.

Follow these simple steps, make them routine and you will have few problems with your tropical fish keeping and you will enjoy it.  It is should be relaxing not stressful and a burden.


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