Q. How many days should I leave my new setup before adding fish in to it?
A. Leave the tank for at least three to four days with filter and heater on (heater on if tropical tank) and then get your water tested. If the water is ok then add some fish in to the tank. But only 5 small fish if it is a tropical tank, or 1 to 2 fish if it is a cold water tank. Then test your water on a weekly basis before adding any more fish in to it. Or if you are doing a fishless cycle then we would recommend not adding fish until your tank is cycled which could take 8 weeks.
Q. How often should you feed your fish?
A. Fish have only small stomachs so feeding them once a day is more than enough. Maybe missing a day, this can help keep the filter working more efficiently. If you have specialist fish like discus fish then feeding different foods like frozen or live is a must so feeding these twice a day is better. As long as you have the filtration system to cope with the extra food you are feeding them.
Over feeding fish can turn water off leading to fish loss.
Q. Why should I never use fresh tap water?
A. Tap water is full of chlorine and sometimes chloramine, this is ok for us to drink but it can be very harmful to fish. Chlorine can burning them and also kill the friendly bacteria in your filter.
So always leave tap water standing for at least three days, or at least 24 hours with a dechlorinator.
Q. Why should I test my water?
A. Keeping good healthy water is one main thing you have to do in fish keeping. So testing weekly or at least monthly is best to make sure your fish are living in a health environment.
Any problems with your water can cause fish loss and disease so looking after your water is a key factor in keeping healthy happy fish.
Q. Why can I only put a few fish in to my new tank?
A. In new set ups your water will go through a cycle to try build up friendly bacteria in your filter, every new set up has to go through this cycle. This cycle can take up to 2 months.
When this cycle is taking place, the water in the tank will go a little toxic for your fish. So it is best to stop feeding until the water is better, as the food and fish waste can make the water a lot worse.
So the less fish you have in a new set up the better, to help build the bacteria in the filter and make the tank a better environment for your fish.
Q. What do you test the water for?
A. We test the water for PH range, this is the alkaline and acidity in the water. Really the best is to have it neutral so PH levels of 7.0-7.5 are usually the best. But if you have specialist fish again check which PH levels are better for them.
Nitrite (no2) is what happens when your bacteria is settling in your filter. So its classed as new tank syndrome. This can be toxic to the fish, so it is best to have no nitrites in your water. Even a slight reading of nitrites can be toxic. So this is one of the main things to check for when testing the water. It can also be a sign of over feeding so usually stop feeding and it will go down. It can also cause your water to go a milky colour.
Nitrates (no3) are a sign usually of a mature tank. As long as it is not too high reading this is good to have in your water to plus it is food for plants to. If nitrates are too high however this is a sign of too much waste in the gravel and it can cause PH to crash. So if you have sky high nitrates a water change and gravel clean can help. However sometimes nitrates can be high in tap water so treatments can be used to help lower nitrates down. But we do recommend it the PH has crashed water changes and gravel cleans are best.
Ammonia (NH3) is fish waste and decay in the water. This can be very toxic and you should make sure you never have a reading in your water. The best thing is again water changes and gravel cleans and stop feeding until the water is better. With ammonia you have to keep an eye on the PH levels too. As if the PH is high this will make your ammonia a lot more toxic. So if you have high ammonia always check the PH to.
Q. Why do we ask so many questions before we sell the fish?
A. We ask questions as we don’t know what your knowledge of fish keeping is. We do not know if you have a tank, or what your tank is like, if you test your water, or if it is a new set up. So we ask so many questions as we want you to keep happy healthy fish and we want you to enjoy the hobby. And hopefully keep more fish.
Plus we like you to ask use questions to so we can help you keep enjoying this hobby.
Q. Is salt good to have in the water?
A. We recommend keeping aquarium salt in your water. You don’t have to keep a lot just add one teaspoon for every 2 maybe 3 gallons in your tank. Salt is added to water as fish do need salt in the body this is called osmoregulation. Aquarium salt can also be used for healing fish wounds, helping with fungus, and can also help with swim bladder problems or dropsy by giving the fish a bath in a strong aquarium salt solution. Or a salt water dip. But always ask for advice on salt as over dosing with salt can cause problem and can also rot plants.
Do not use normal house hold salt.
Q. How long should I have the lights on, on my tank for?
A. It is really up to you how long you have your fish tank lights on for. But the longer you have the lights on for the more algae you will get growing in the tank. Algae need light to grow so the longer you have your light on for the worse your algae can be. So 4 to maybe 6 hours of light a day should be right. But we do recommend switching the lights off on the night to give your fish chance to rest.
Q. Why is my water cloudy?
A. If it is green cloudy it can be a sign of too much light. If it is milky cloudy this can be a sign of over feeding, or it could be a sign your nitrites are up, so it could have something to do with your filter so check your water asap.
Q. What temperature is best for my tropical fish?
A. For normal tropical fish we would recommend between 25-28˚C (77-82°F). The higher the temperature it can help white spot stay off the fish. Some fish however may need warmer temperatures like discus fish. The discus fish require temperatures above 80˚F.
Q. Could I speak to the man?
A. We have men and women working in the shop, and we can both answer your questions.
Q. Could I keep tropical and cold water fish together?
A. We would say a definite no to tropical fish going in to cold water, as the cold water will upset the tropical fish too much and bring them out in white spot. However cold water fish can mix in warmer temperature. They will however grow bigger and eat small fish.
Q. How often should I clean my tank out?
A. Really it depends on how many fish you have in your tank and how often you feed your fish. As smaller fish you would only feed once a day at the most so they may only need cleaning out once a month. If you have bigger fish that require more food. Then you clean out the tank maybe once a week. But really clean your tank as often as it needs, if it is looking dirty or the filter has slowed down, give the tank a scrub to get the algae off the glass then clean the gravel with a gravel cleaner and do the water change at the same time. But do this at least once a month. It does not have to be big water changes. Up to 50% the most.
Q. How do I clean my filter out?
A. Always clean your filter in tank water. Never clean it under the tap, as the chlorine in the tap water will kill the friendly bacteria in the filter. Also never clean the sponge or media in your filter thoroughly, as you can easily wash the bacteria away. Just clean the sponge to unclog it. But always in tank water taken out of your tank.