Suffice it to say that Old Tank Syndrome is the opposite of New Tank Syndrome. To refresh the memory, let us remember that New Tank Syndrome takes place when an eager newcomer to the aquarium hobby starts to lose fish at about the six-week anniversary of aquarium ownership.
This can happen due to poor water quality, especially elevated ammonia levels because of an unhealthy filtration system. It can also take place because the novice owner is still a bit clumsy at giving the aquarium and fish the proper sort of care.
Old Tank Syndrome has a telltale symptom, and that is a sense of complacency in a long time aquarium owner when it comes to the condition of his or her tank. All of the excitement of having this hobby has passed by this time, and the fish-lover could almost be said to take his aquarium for granted.
The tank is stable, the fish are well fed and in good health. There have been no changes in the aquarium for quite a while now. The fish are fed on schedule most of the time, and no new fish have been added to the aqua community. No water tests for ammonia or nitrites have been done, either. All those partial water changes that were done at the beginning of aquarium ownership have fallen by the wayside as well.
It is about now that the long-time aquarium owner begins to notice that his fish tank seems to be a bit "off". He or she may decide to do a partial water change to try and rectify things. Alternately, the hobbyist discovers a dead fish, and decides to go and purchase a few new occupants for the aquarium. Either of these scenarios is going to upset the balance of the aquarium.
The present fish are used to the aquarium condition just the way it is. A partial water change could prove to be very stressful, and could even kill the fish. Every seasoned pet fish keeper has heard this tale of woe from a newbie, "We had just changed the water, and then all the fish started to die one by one."
New fish will also upset the balance in the aquarium, but in a different way. They will create even more ammonia and nitrites, and this will upset the balance that the fish have slowly become used to. Either way, you stand a good chance of losing some fish.
Old tank syndrome can be avoided by maintaining the same schedule of water testing and frequent partial water changes that you did when your tank was brand new. Or, you can take advantage of one of the EcoBio-Block family of products, and spend the time you would have spent maintaining your aquarium admiring your fish! EcoBio-Block Products will keep the water quality in your tank healthy for your fish population as well as maintaining the water in a crystal clear condition.