If you've recently invested in a fish tank, you are likely interested in getting some new fish into your home or business as soon as possible. But you should not place fish into a fish tank until you are sure the water is safe. Here are a few tips to get you started with your new fish tank.
Cycle It First
You might be new to owning fish, but you will hear the word "cycle" come up pretty frequently when you start talking to other fish tank owners. Cycling the fish tank means taking the steps needed to prepare the water for the fish. In other words, you don't want to just fill the tank with tap water and throw some fish in. Those poor fish probably won't last very long if you do this.
Most new aquariums come with a packet that can help ensure that your water has the right amount of nitrates, ammonia, pH and other attributes before you put any fish in. You can also purchase a packet of these minerals at your local pet shop. Make sure the tank is cycled and ready to go before you tell the fish, "c'mon in, the water's fine!"
Add Fresh Water Periodically While Monitoring the Chemicals
Once the tank is set up, you'll need to monitor the chemical and mineral levels just like you would for a swimming pool. Your local pet shop likely has the tools you need to get this done. In general, you want to remove at least 30 percent of the fish tank's water and replace it with fresh water every week, making sure to keep the chemicals at the correct level as you do so.
Get a Professional Cleaning
As weeks turn into months, you may find it harder to keep the water properly balanced and the tank as clean as it was the day that your purchased it. That's when it's time to contact a professional. A local aquarium cleaning service can come to your home or business and clean your fish tank on site. They will use great care to ensure none of the fish are harmed and may even be able to provide you with some tips on how to manage the tank going forward.
For best results with your new fish tank, keep a close eye on the water supply and schedule a regular cleaning from a local company, like Aquarium Headquarters, every couple of months.