The foundations of proper aquarium management are based on a few simple natural laws. Taking advantage of them is the key to success.

We want to present these laws in such a way that no one who follows them will fail.

The ideal aquarium is self-sustaining, with the exception of feeding the fish. It should last for a long time with little maintenance.

This is feasible if four key conditions are observed. They are as follows:

  • Adequate oxygen
  • Enough light
  • Right temperature
  • Feeding correctly

Let us examine each of the four variables in turn to see how they apply.

The Importance Of Oxygen In The Aquarium

To survive, fish, like terrestrial creatures, must breathe oxygen. They can survive on far less than warm-blooded creatures.

That is why they can survive on the little quantity of oxygen they obtain by collecting dissolved oxygen from water as it travels through their gills, which act as lungs for them.

As the oxygen in the water is depleted, additional is absorbed, primarily from the contacting air.

It is attracted to water. The more air that can be absorbed by water, the colder it is. The bigger the air surface, the faster it can replace the consumed oxygen. It is the aquarium’s window.

As a result, the actual fish capacity of any body of water is determined mostly by the area of the water’s surface. Depth and cubic capacity have no bearing in this regard.

There are two more methods for obtaining oxygen. It is emitted by healthily developing aquatic plants when they are exposed to bright light, or it can be provided by artificial aeration. Each of these topics will be addressed separately.

The most sound principle is to keep only enough fish in an aquarium such that the air-surface-per-fish ratio is sufficient to provide them with adequate oxygen without relying on any other source.

Based on what has been mentioned, it is clear that aquariums built to provide a large amount of air surface to the water are the best for the fish.

Tall, thin tanks for window sills or unique locations in ornamental schemes should be filled only on the basis of water surface measurement, with no consideration for depth.

Aquarium Dimensions

These aquariums have the same amount of water surface area. In principle, each may support the same number of fishes without the need of plants or artificial aeration.

Because of its increased capacity, the larger one has a greater starting supply of dissolved oxygen in the water. The negative consequences of overcrowding would just be postponed for a longer period of time in this tank.

It will also be obvious that when using regular “fish globes,” they should be filled only slightly more than halfway in order to get as much water in touch with air as feasible.

This is one of the most recent advances in aquarium convenience. A tiny electric pump pumps air through a tube linked to a liberator at the aquarium’s bottom, sending a shower of little bubbles skyward.

It is commonly assumed that part of this air is pushed into the water, however this is not true. It is all gathered up through absorption, some from the bubbles, but largely from the surface, which is continuously cycled by the rising column of bubbles, dispersing new oxygen throughout the aquarium.

What Does Aeration Do For A Fish Tank?

Aeration is especially important to turn on at night in aquariums that rely on oxygen from plants during the day since plants produce no oxygen at night and emit carbon dioxide, a gas that needs be removed.

It is also very useful in hot weather when the water’s natural oxygen capacity is low.

When overcrowding of fishes is inevitable, a spray of air across the water has the effect of virtually tripling the aquarium’s fish capacity.

Constant aeration can sometimes clear a murky Gray (not green) tank in a few days.

The main downside of aeration is that if it is provided continually and freely, it makes the fish so reliant on it that they do not fare well when they are returned to still water.

A thin stream of bubbles is usually sufficient for most uses. Small bubbles are more efficient than large ones in terms of consuming a given amount of air.

How Many Fishes Can Be Kept In An Aquarium?

Indicating the beneficial water movement caused by aeration.

Most of our exotic fishes will endure a great deal of pain before going to the surface to vent their rage by breathing atmospheric air.

They can be congested even if there is no such rally. Fishes do not have adequate “elbow space” or oxygen. (They are also frequently malnourished.) That topic is addressed under the category “Freshwater Fish Feeding.”

Following a series of aquarium studies under average conditions, it is expected that the following will constitute a good yet flexible foundation of calculation. 3 square inches of air surface per fish for fish the size of mature pairs of Guppies.

That means, a 9 x 20-inch aquarium with an air surface of 180 square inches can comfortably maintain 60 adult Guppies, each of which has 3 square inches.

This would roughly apply to all other foreign species of similar size, with the exception of labyrinth fishes or air-breathers (bettas, Paradise, and so on), which require much less.

The size of mature Swordtails, big Platies, and so on require around 8 square inches per fish (4 x 2 inches, or equivalent).

Medium Barbs, such as Conchonius, in 3%-inch sizes, and other fish of same weight should have 20 square inches per fish (4 x 5 inches, or equivalent).

Large Barbs, such as mature Everetti, and 5-inch Cichlids require a minimum of 54 square inches per species (6 x 9 inches, or equivalent).

The values listed above are the bare minimum for good health. The air surface per fish should be increased or even tripled for growth and first-class condition.

A big aquarium may hold a somewhat larger proportion of fish in comparison to a small one.

The calculations are performed in tanks with no plants or aeration and at a temperature of around 74 degrees, while the subject of plants is extremely significant in and of itself.

Understanding The Lighting In Aquariums

The position is determined by whether or not the aquarist uses plants. If not, the placement issues are simplified.

All that is required is a location where the temperature does not reach extremes and where there is adequate light for the fish to readily navigate.

While certain species (top fishes) require light for survival, the majority of them can live happily in low-light conditions.

It should be noted, however, that no plants should be utilized in areas with very little light, as they constitute a negative disadvantage.

The term “extremely poor” referred to a place where a newspaper could not be easily read during the day.

A medium-light should be provided for plants of mixed kinds. A location near a window with well-diffused light and roughly 2 hours of direct sunlight is preferable, but not required.

A strong north light without sun is sufficient; on the other hand, a location near a south window is likely to provide too much sun, necessitating some shade.

The main issue with too much light is the growth of too many algae, which results in either green water or a green mossy covering on glass and plants.

In addition, too much summer sun can cause tiny aquariums to overheat. Overall, it’s a great dilemma to have ensuring just the right quantity of light to stimulate the plants into that valuable action while avoiding the development of other undesirable growths.

Light is similar to many qualities. It might become a liability if used excessively.

Of course, it is preferable to be over-equipped with lighting than under-equipped, because we can always discover methods to reduce it.

Exotic fish should not be kept in drafty areas or in rooms with wide temperature swings, such as vented bedrooms. For individuals who don’t mind the minor price of power, the choice of light position is a simple one, because daylight can be entirely disregarded with contemporary electrical equipment.

The use of artificial light in the aquarium has one significant advantage. I it offers us precise control, making it easier to turn on Light essential plant stimulation without promoting algae.

Even if it enters the tank, conventional artificial lighting in a living room is worthless to plants. Electric light, in order to be useful to them, must be extremely close, ideally overhead.

Various methods are available to hold lights in place over aquariums. Some feature reflectors that fully cover the frame.

A do-it-yourself project will suffice. A socket may be attached to a board that will be put across the aquarium, with the bulb looking downwards and the cables entering through holes in the board from the top.

The light can be slightly above or in the water, as long as it is not submerged all the way to the socket. Bulbs will not break in water unless they are placed in it when hot.

The life of filaments in submerged bulbs is significantly extended.

The following is an estimate of the amount of electric light required per aquarium each day: 40 watts for 8 hours or 75 watts for 4 hours for a 10-gallon tank of the standard form 60 watts for 6 to 8 hours in a 15- to 25-gallon tank. 75 watts for 8 to 10 hours for a 25- to 50-gallon tank.

If there is assistance from weak daylight, these values must be decreased. The efficiency of clear and frosted bulbs is almost equal, with the latter being more appealing.

Plants are unaffected by ultraviolet rays any more than they are by incandescent lamps. The red end of the spectrum has a greater impact on plants.

Exact Aquarium Water Temperature

There is one significant aspect of artificial light that may be either a benefit or a drawback. It provides heat.

This is really useful when needed, but it is harmful to the fish in hot summer weather when the temperature is already in the nineties.

At such situations, the light must be raised high above the water, and an electric fan may be used to blow across the water’s surface.

As previously said, the label “Tropicals” lays far too much emphasis on the concept of high temperatures for any exotic fishes.

Many of them are not from the tropics, and many of those that are from the tropics are not from especially warm water.

Most of our exotic aquarium fishes cannot tolerate cold water, but many of them do not thrive at warmer temps since they require more oxygen than such waters provide.

Placing them all in water around 80 degrees is unlikely to be the compassion meant by the aquarist who is a high-temperature fanatic.

It should also not be assumed that there is a certain level of heat that is best suited to each species.

Most of them have a temperature tolerance of at least 10 degrees and can withstand a 5-degree fluctuation overnight without harm.

That is, if a fish had a safe toleration range of 70 to 80 degrees (as most do), it would be fine for them to experience a decrease from 75 to 70 over several hours.

In terms of particular species, the only realistic thing to figure out is to put the sensitive fishes in the warmest and most uniform locations, and the hardier ones in the cooler spots. The descriptive list indicates which species these are.

Attempting to keep aquariums or aquarium rooms within 2 degrees of a fixed position causes a significant lot of unnecessary anxiety and cost.

Nature almost rarely provides such an environment, and it has been shown that fish are stimulated by a modest fluctuation in temperature.

Aquarists should also not be too worried with the temperature difference between the top and bottom of the tank.

This variation is typically significant in native waters, yet the fish easily navigate it. They can choose the level that suits them best.

It is anticipated that these unconventional viewpoints would give no one the impression that acclimating fish to a new temperature range is a viable option. That is a tried-and-true experiment that has always failed.

In practice, it all boils down to the typical exotic aquarium fish is totally comfortable at a temperature range of 72-76 degrees. It may be as low as 68 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 85 degrees Fahrenheit for brief periods of time. Even these extremes can be safely crossed in aquariums that are in excellent condition and are not overcrowded with species.

If the temperature falls into the extreme danger zone of the low 60’s or even the 50’s due to uncontrollable factors, the best thing to do is gently raise the temperature to around 80 and maintain it there for 24 hours or longer.

While fish can swim safely from a warmer to a colder environment, It is a totally other issue to change strata in an aquarium from one tank at one temperature to another with a temperature differential of several degrees either up or down.

This is one of those things that must never be done. The effect may not be obvious at first, but it is seldom avoided. It generally causes the “shakers” or “shimmies,” as well as Ichthyophthirius (“ick”), fungus, or a general deterioration.

Changes should be done within 2 degrees of each other. Because typical thermometers might be off by 4 degrees or more, they should all be examined.

Certain Fishes are found in many temperate areas of the planet. During the warmer months, outdoor fish from tropical nations can be placed in outdoor pools to enjoy.

In vast bodies of water when the overall conditions are nearly ideal, they can withstand more temperature change. Fish that would die in an aquarium at 65 degrees can survive in a decent pool at 60 degrees.

Of course, it’s not a good idea to push fate too far, but the fishes benefit so much from an outside break, and they frequently reproduce so wonderfully, that it’s worth a shot.

The greatest hazards are putting them out too soon or keeping them out for too long. They must also be placed in pools where they may be captured.

It is not suggested to place aquariums outside in a changing climate.

When transferring the fish to indoor tanks after spending the summer outside, it is critical that the same water that they were in throughout the summer be utilized following the transfer indoors. If desired, this can be gradually altered later.

The Nest Builders, like other Cichlids, reproduce a lot in warm lily ponds. It is unnecessary to separate breeding pairs from their young in huge bodies of water.

The blending of various breeders, on the other hand, is not recommended. For summer breeding, some professional breeders, put wooden tubs in the ground and place single pairs of fish in them. Sashes are used to cover the tubs during chilly evenings.

There is one significant aspect of artificial light that may be either a benefit or a drawback. It provides heat.

This is really useful when needed, but it is harmful to the fish in hot summer weather when the temperature is already in the nineties.

At such situations, the light must be raised high above the water, and an electric fan may be used to blow across the water’s surface.

As previously said, the label “Tropicals” lays far too much emphasis on the concept of high temperatures for any exotic fishes.

Many of them are not from the tropics, and many of those that are from the tropics are not from especially warm water.

Most of our exotic aquarium fishes cannot tolerate cold water, but many of them do not thrive at warmer temps since they require more oxygen than such waters provide.

Placing them all in water around 80 degrees is unlikely to be the compassion meant by the aquarist who is a high-temperature fanatic.

It should also not be assumed that there is a certain level of heat that is best suited to each species.

Most of them have a temperature tolerance of at least 10 degrees and can withstand a 5-degree fluctuation overnight without harm.

That is, if a fish had a safe toleration range of 70 to 80 degrees (as most do), it would be fine for them to experience a decrease from 75 to 70 over several hours.

In terms of particular species, the only realistic thing to figure out is to put the sensitive fishes in the warmest and most uniform locations, and the hardier ones in the cooler spots.

The descriptive list indicates which species these are. Attempting to keep aquariums or aquarium rooms within 2 degrees of a fixed position causes a significant lot of unnecessary anxiety and cost.

Nature almost rarely provides such an environment, and it has been shown that fish are stimulated by a modest fluctuation in temperature.

Aquarists should also not be too worried with the temperature difference between the top and bottom of the tank.

This variation is typically significant in native waters, yet the fish easily navigate it. They can choose the level that suits them best.

It is anticipated that these unconventional viewpoints would give no one the impression that acclimating fish to a new temperature range is a viable option.

That is a tried-and-true experiment that has always failed.

In practice, it all boils down to: The typical exotic aquarium fish is totally comfortable at a temperature range of 72-76 degrees.

It may be as low as 68 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 85 degrees Fahrenheit for brief periods of time.

Even these extremes can be safely crossed in aquariums that are in excellent condition and are not overcrowded with species.

If the temperature falls into the extreme danger zone of the low 60’s or even the 50’s due to uncontrollable factors, the best thing to do is gently raise the temperature to around 80 and maintain it there for 24 hours or longer.

While fish can swim safely from a warmer to a colder environment, It is a totally other issue to change strata in an aquarium from one tank at one temperature to another with a temperature differential of several degrees either up or down.

This is one of those things that must never be done. The effect may not be obvious at first, but it is seldom avoided.

It generally causes the “shakers” or “shimmies,” as well as Ichthyophthirius (“ick”), fungus, or a general deterioration.

Changes should be done within 2 degrees of each other. Because typical thermometers might be off by 4 degrees or more, they should all be examined.

Certain Fishes are found in many temperate areas of the planet.

During the warmer months, outdoor fish from tropical nations can be placed in outdoor pools to enjoy.

In vast bodies of water when the overall conditions are nearly ideal, they can withstand more temperature change.

Fish that would die in an aquarium at 65 degrees can survive in a decent pool at 60 degrees. Of course, it’s not a good idea to push fate too far, but the fishes benefit so much from an outside break, and they frequently reproduce so wonderfully, that it’s worth a shot.

The greatest hazards are putting them out too soon or keeping them out for too long. They must also be placed in pools where they may be captured.

It is not suggested to place aquariums outside in a changing climate.

When transferring the fish to indoor tanks after spending the summer outside, it is critical that the same water that they were in throughout the summer be utilized following the transfer indoors. If desired, this can be gradually altered later.

The Nest Builders, like other Cichlids, reproduce a lot in warm lily ponds.

It is unnecessary to separate breeding pairs from their young in huge bodies of water.

The blending of various breeders, on the other hand, is not recommended. For summer breeding, some professional breeders, put wooden tubs in the ground and place single pairs of fish in them. Sashes are used to cover the tubs during chilly evenings.

How Much to Feed Aquarium Fish?

Temperature and oxygen levels have a direct impact on how much food a fish can ingest.

Temperature has a significant impact on the life processes to Feed (metabolism) of all cold-blooded creatures.

The faster they breathe, digest, excrete, and develop, the warmer they are, within their own determined limitations.

Extreme instances of this rule are frogs, turtles, and alligators. They will avoid meals for months if their temperature is a few degrees below normal. 

An average aquarium fish has an indifferent appetite at 67 degrees, an excellent appetite at 72 degrees, and a voracious hunger at 77 degrees.

It does not rise over 80 degrees due to the reduced oxygen concentration of the water at higher temperatures.

Digestion and appetite are siblings that require oxygen and warmth.

Reflection reveals that exotic fishes, primarily from tropical nations and generally enjoying a fast-paced life, require a steady supply of fuel provided on a regular basis.

The practical implementation of this idea is to feed at least twice daily rather than once.

This will quadruple the enjoyment of most aquarists (since they enjoy feeding their charges), improve food manufacturer sales, and make fish bigger, better, and happier.

If you can only feed once a day, feed in the morning, especially if the aquarium has healthy, developing plants.

The oxygen they produce throughout the day promotes digestion. They emit carbon dioxide at night, which has the opposite effect.

If an aquarium is kept at the lower end of its permitted temperature range, say 67 to 70 degrees, one feeding per day is adequate.

Only when we reach the 73-80 range should we be concerned about further feedings. Even more vital than prepared meals are frequent little feedings of live Daphnia.

The Daphnia is complete with fish to provide oxygen in the water. When their numbers become too high over a period of time, they cause more harm than benefit, even smothering the fish, since they can survive in less nutrient-rich water.

Give only enough Daphnia at a time to ensure that they are all consumed in 2 hours or less. If possible, five feedings of a half-supply hours each are excellent. Mosquito larvae are unique.

They consume no oxygen from the water and breathe the atmosphere. If one is willing to deal with the Mosquitoes that are likely to hatch from the uneaten larvae, a pretty substantial quantity can be given to the fish.

Regardless of any other rules, beliefs, practices, or printed How Much directions, the aquarist should adhere steadfastly to this.

One should be fed: Feed only enough prepared food at a time to ensure that it is all devoured within 5 minutes.

Many unexplained diseases and significant clouding of water will be avoided if that guideline is strictly followed.

Light eating, on the other hand, is another of those qualities that may quickly turn into a vice.

We prefer frequent feedings, particularly in well-heated aquariums, but especially if all of the prior meal has been consumed and the fish exhibit symptoms of genuine need.

Floating feeding rings for dry meals offer the benefit of concentrating the food in a limited area, preventing it from dispersing around the tank.

Because all dry meals swell significantly when moistened, it is best not to feed hungry fishes all at once.

The fish might suffer the same fate as the fishes who bolted a pound of dry apples and then drank a pint of water. It is preferable to feed them gradually.

When using dry food, do two feeding rounds if there are many tanks. Some aquarists moisten the food ahead of time, but the fish always seem to prefer the flavor before it has been soaked.  

It appears to be safer if one needs be absent for a few days. Allow the fish to go hungry rather than entrusting their feed to someone with little experience.

It’s amazing how many things may go wrong when aquariums are in inexperienced hands.

It may relieve the mind to recall that when the fish are sent and are on the road for several days, they arrive without indications of hunger.

If the aquarist is gone for a week or longer and a substitute is required, allow the individual to conduct an actual feeding according to instructions first.

Substitute caregivers should take extra precautions (if feasible) while replacing covers.

A smart approach is to leave a set of one meal packets of food with the beginner caretaker, labeled with the tank in which each is to be used.

When fish must be maintained without food for several days, it is preferable to keep them at 70 degrees Fahrenheit rather than in the high range.

Regardless of how good a dry meal is, fish should have a change every now and again, especially during the long winter months when there isn’t much live food available. With minimal effort, desirable variation may be obtained.

Chopped raw fish, shrimp, crab, or clams are delicious, or they can be cooked and reduced to bits as they come from the dining table.

It’s simple to mince them using scissors. Raw cow liver that has been finely scraped has been proven to be a positive alteration.

Canned shrimp is a good option for winter feeding. It is available at all supermarkets. Chain stores sell small cans at a very low price.

It is liked and tolerated by almost all aquarium fishes. When the can is opened, all of the shrimp should be taken, washed, and drained, then placed in a covered saucer and refrigerated for 4 to 5 days in good condition.

To prepare, use scissors to cut the shrimp into thin slices against the grain. Canned salmon, which should be handled similarly, is also an excellent fish food.

White Worms and GlassWorms, both of which are considered winter meals, are listed under the category of “LiveFoods.” The fish may have a lot of fun nibbling at a shrimp strung from a thread in the aquarium.

Other types of seafood, such as fish or crab meat, may also be served in the same manner. Uncooked oyster crabs are especially popular.

The 5-minute rule does not apply in this case since it takes hours for these items to begin fouling the water. Winter does not have to be bereft of living food.

Bottom scrapings from ponds, when taken home and warmed to room temperature, generate an astounding number of life of all types. Blood Worms are more likely to be found on the surface of rotting wood.

After being revived in this manner, the worms stay best on cotton rags in a cup in the refrigerator, with only a little water to keep the rags wet.

The same precautions must be taken as in the summer to keep fish enemies at bay, but if they are there, they are quickly detected as the water life awakens.

A mixture of aeration, frequent feeding, warmth, and cleanliness may force the growth of nearly any aquarium fish.

A reasonable amount of live food must be utilized for the greatest outcomes. The mainstays include Daphnia, Mosquito larvae, Tubifex Worms, and sliced Earth Earthworms.

Because of the intense feeding and overall speeding up, it is important to siphon out the sediment on a regular basis, i.e. every 2 or 3 days. For replacement, use seasoned water. Feeding four times per day is not excessive if done correctly.

At night, artificial light encourages eating. All fishes become more robust as a result of consistent, relatively quick development, although there is some debate about whether real forcing, as stated, pays off in the long term. When forced fish are returned to regular settings, they usually fail.

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