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Tips on caring for your aquarium fishes

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    ENSURE that the size of your aquarium is adequate for the amount of and types of fishes you want to have.

  • Keep in mind that some aquarium fishes grow to be quite big, while others remain at a small size. Therefore, you should cater for the fish one or two years down the line.{{more}}
  • Some fishes like the Kois and Sword tails are “jumpers”, so you should ensure that the aquarium is adequately covered when rearing these types of fishes.
  • It is very important to know that regular pipe water generally has chlorine, and if used directly from the pipe, will kill your fishes. Before populating your aquarium, if you are using pipe water, you should ensure that the tank is filled for 24 to 48 hours to ensure that the chlorine is completely evaporated. On the other hand, if you add chlorine remover to the water, it could be used immediately after filling the aquarium. Rain water could also be used safely as it has no chlorine.
  • Ensure that your filtration system is adequate. If you have a small gold fish bowl or similar, that does not have a filter, you should only keep one or two fishes as the oxygen supply in the water will be limited, and keep water in reserve to change it as soon as the water begins to get discoloured.
  • The type of filtration system you use will depend on the size of the aquarium, the amount and size of fishes that you populate it with. A good filter will keep the water clear and healthy looking. If the water is murky, something is wrong.
  • Bad feeding practices could also result in the water being murky and dirty looking. Generally, fishes are happy to be fed twice daily. It is important to make sure that no feed is left in the tank 5 minutes after feeding. Excessive feeding often results in a deterioration in the quality of the water and could lead to deaths in your fish population. You should, therefore, strike a delicate balance in the amount of feed that is fed. The type of feed used is also important. Small fishes prefer the fish flakes, while larger fishes like the Kois and Gold fishes may prefer the pellets.
  • Never put aggressive fishes in the same tank with other more docile fishes. For example, never put an Oscar in the same tank with Sword tails, Guppies, Platies, Goldfishes etc. If you do not know the difference, seek advice on the type of fishes that could co-exist happily with each other. On the other hand, fishes like the male Siamese fighters should always be kept in separate tanks , as if put together they will fight among themselves. They will not fight with other docile fishes.
  • If your aquarium is exposed to sunlight, there will be a rapid build up of green algae. This could be effectively remedied by removing the tank to an area of the house that is not exposed to direct sunlight, or in the event that you do not want to remove the tank, you could integrate a UV sterilizer to the filtration system. This is an ultraviolet light source that effectively kills the algae and the water remains crystal clear.
  • A scavenger fish or two in an aquarium also helps to get rid of organic materials at the bottom of the tank.
  • Occasionally, aquarium fishes develop diseases such as Fungus and Ick. Especially if the water is not of good quality. A fish enthusiast should be able to identify and treat these diseases. If the fish is infected with a fungus, you could notice cotton-like materials growing from the body or fins. In the case of Ick, or white spot disease, the fish slows down , not moving much, and sometimes you notice white spots on the fish, they also could drop scales. Water treatments like Fungus guard and Ick guard are very effective in the treatment of these diseases.
  • Never put diseased fishes together with healthy fishes, for the obvious reasons that the diseased ones will infect the healthy ones.
  • If the filtration and aeration system is not functioning well, the fishes will come go to the surface and be seen to be gulping air for prolonged periods.

For further information, contact: Dr. Collin Boyle
Unique Animal Care Co. Ltd.
Tel: 456 4981