12 Quick Tips for Aquarium Beginners
- Buy at least a 20 gallon (90L) tank if you can afford it and have enough space. Despite marketing to the contrary, small
tanks are not 'ideal for the beginner'. A large tank is more stable in terms of temperature
and water chemistry.
- Wash filter sponges and other 'biological' media in tank water, NOT tap water, to avoid
killing beneficial bacteria.
- Carry out water changes regularly - 25% per month should probably be considered a MINIMUM
for a lightly stocked community tank - every 1-2 weeks is much better.
- Do not overfeed. Feed small quantities of food and watch fish eat it before adding more.
Do not be tempted to feed fish because they 'look hungry' - 2 times daily is sufficient.
- Do check the requirements and compatibility of species BEFORE buying.
- Observe fish carefully before buying, avoid any with split fins, damaged gills, etc.
- Release new fish into the tank gradually - float the bag for at least 15 minutes to equalise
- Use a quarantine tank for new fish wherever possible.
- Read up on the 'cycling' process and its consequences.
- Stock slowly to give the bacterial population time to increase to match the additional
- Do not overstock. 1" of fish per gallon is often used as a general guideline, but this cannot
be used as a hard and fast rule - you can't put a 10" fish in a 10 gallon tank! Remember that
your tank will be easier to keep healthy if you understock.
- Avoid the use of too many chemical additives unless you fully understand the consequences of