clean and healthy discus fish tank
If you ask an experienced aquarium hobbyist what the most important thing you can do to keep your fish happy and healthy is, they are likely to say something about tank maintenance. Your aquarium is home for your fish and it is your responsibility to keep it as clean as possible. Think about it this way – when your home becomes cluttered and messy, how do you feel? Sure, you can shove some of the clutter under your bed or hide it in the closet but it is still there. Your fish, on the other hand, cannot escape poor water quality in their tank and it is only a matter of time before it starts to affect their health.
Importance of Water Quality
The cleaner your tank is, the healthier your fish will be. You probably already know the basics about performing water changes, replacing your filter media and the hazards of overfeeding your fish. But do you keep track of your routine maintenance activities? When was the last time you performed a water change and how much water did you change? What was the pH level in your tank last week and what is its normal level? It is important to keep track of these things so you can establish a baseline for your tank – having a baseline for your tank’s water quality will give you a reference point in case one or more aspects of your water quality declines. When the water quality in your tank goes down, you need to identify and correct the problem as quickly as possible for the good of your fish.
Making a Maintenance Log
It isn’t difficult to create a maintenance log for your aquarium – you can draw it up on a notepad or even create it on the computer for convenience. The key is to keep it up-to-date. To create a maintenance log, divide the page into four sections – each section should have 5 or 6 columns in which you can record the date. The first section should be for water tests – this is where you will record the results of your weekly water tests. Create a table with six columns and 7 or 8 rows. In the first column, list the aspects of water quality that you typically test – these may include: pH, alkalinity, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, and water temperature. The remaining columns should be marked with a header for the date. When you perform a water test, write the date at the top of the column and record the reading in the corresponding row below.
The second section of your maintenance log is where you will record your weekly water changes. This table is very simple – you need only two rows with 5 to 6 columns. The top row will be for recording the date of the water change and the second row for recording the percent of tank volume that you changed. The third section of your maintenance log is open to customization – this is where you will keep track of other weekly maintenance tasks and system checks. Again, the top row of the table is for recording the date and the following rows should be labeled with various maintenance tasks including: cleaning tank glass, topping of water, checking equipment, etc.
The final section of your maintenance log should be for recording monthly maintenance tasks. These tasks may include replacing filter media, cleaning the filter and performing checks on your tank equipment. It is important that you replace your filter media every 3 to 4 weeks and give your filter a quick cleaning. Do not scrub the filter or let it dry out completely because this could destroy a significant amount of the beneficial bacteria in your tank which help to maintain the nitrogen cycle. Keeping track of all of the maintenance tasks described above will help you to keep your tank clean and healthy for your fish.
Another way to ensure high water quality in your home aquarium is to install an EcoBio-Stone. These products are made with natural lava stone and infused with beneficial bacteria. Once introduced into your tank, these bacteria multiply and immediately begin working to maintain the nitrogen cycle. The nitrogen cycle is the process through which harmful chemicals like ammonia (the result of waste breakdown) are converted into less harmful substances. With an EcoBio-Stone in your tank, your water will remain clean and clear so your routine maintenance tasks will be that much easier.