by: Mark Haakonsen
One of the nicest additions to any home is a fish tank. A fish tank creates a colourful, relaxing ambience and they come in a huge range of sizes to suit virtually any setting. However, fish tanks do require work, and without proper care, algae build ups and murky water can change your tank aesthetically and cause unpleasant odours. Cleaning your fish tank not only helps with the appearance of the tank but can also prolong the life of your fish, as no person or pet can live in an unhealthy environment.
There are a few basic precautions that should be followed to keep your fish tank clean and to dramatically reduce algae build ups. The goal is to avoid algae build up in the first place, as this is easier than removing algae later. The first step is to get yourself a good carbon based filter, and be sure to change the cartridges often, this will keep the water nice and clean so your precious Nemo will be happier and healthier. You should also purchase a living filter for your fish tank, a Plecostomus or algae eater constantly eats algae off rocks and the glass. While the Plecostomus are not always the prettiest fish, their benefits far outweigh their looks. The last precaution you can take is to NOT place your fish tank in direct sunlight, algae thrives on sunlight and will grow rapidly given the chance.
Every couple of months you should replace the water in your tank to ensure cleanliness. After the water is removed you have to remove all of the rocks, artificial plants and decorations (such as the old fashioned divers), and give them a thorough clean. Use diluted bleach to clean these objects as all traces can be removed. Avoid using soap, as traces of the soap can be left on the objects and may harm your fish. To clean the glass in the tank only use proper fish tank glass cleaner which you can purchase from any pet store, as conventional glass cleaner contains substances lethal to fish. Even when you have to clean surfaces outside of the tank such as the hood, you should still avoid the use of any harsh chemical cleaner, as traces can leach there way back into the water.
That is all you need for a clean and healthy home for your fish. If ongoing problems occur, make sure you consult your local pet store.
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