Technique In Maintaining Aquariums

Not only is it important that the aquarium be taken care of on a regular basis, but that the aquarium is maintained properly as well.  Unfortunately,  different aquaria require varying maintenance schedules, and different cleaning procedures are required.

It's best to know what kind and how often your aquarium needs care by learning about the specimens that you are keeping.   Read up on what parts of the World your creatures are from and figure out things like:

  1. PH requirements
  2. Salt content of water
  3. Temperature requirements
  4. Other water parameters
  5. Water hardness
  6. Circulation
  7. Lighting
  8. Filtration requirements
  9. Temperament  of specimens
  10. Interaction of specimens

Many times you'll find while researching your species, things that you never knew about it, and ways to make the aquarium environment more suitable.  This can change maintenance schedules and techniques from the ways they have previously been performed.

For example, a 125 gallon discus aquarium is not going to be on as strict of schedule as a 55 gallon reef tank, simply because of the differences of water volume, and requirements of the inhabitants.  The reef tank will need much more attention and care, especially in the area of water filtration, and testing.

As a crude measurement of how one should maintain their tank, we'll share some of the common procedures performed:

  • Algae Cleaning
  • Gravel Vacuuming
  • Water Change
  • Adding Conditioners,  Trace Elements
  • Filter Replacements
  • Clean Filtration Components
  • Clean/Polish Aquarium/Glass Hood
  • Water Testing
  • Feeding

Algae Cleaning-Most people like absolutely no algae growth anywhere near their aquarium.  Certain algae raise oxygen levels, produce carbon dioxide, and provide food for fish and invertebrate specimens.

Gravel Vacuuming-We recommend gravel vacuums that operate by siphon action.  It's best to use the vacuum at a 45 degree angle to avoid clogging the tube.  Move rock and plants to remove desired detritus.

Water Change-20 to 30% per month of total aquarium and filter sump water is what we recommend changing.  Do this on a regular basis and replace with high quality water.  Some tanks need more, some less.

Add Conditioners/Trace Elements-Do not overdose but replace elements according to manufacturers dosage.  Using dosing systems has worked very well on our accounts.  However, some types of aquaria don't need any chemical additions at all.

Filter Replacements-Many types of mechanical and chemical filtrants need to be cleaned or replaced frequently.   This keeps detritus and other waste products from  accumulating, thus avoiding   "toxic shock."

Clean Filtration Components-Water with living organisms tends to accumulate algal growth and waste products.  These clog up filtration devices and can drastically depreciate filter efficacy, and water quality.   Regular cleaning is important in keeping filtration devices and pumps running correctly.

Clean/Polish Aquarium/Hood-We don't recommend anything ammonia based or any chemicals that could be harmful to the inhabitants.  Hot water usually works well for hard water deposits, and salt creep.

Water Testing-The best way to know your water chemistry is to test the water.  Use a test kit that you can trust, accurate, and is easy for you to use.  Common water tests include pH, ammonia, nitrate, calcium,  specific gravity, temperature, and other parameters.  See our Testing The Water section for more on this subject.

Feeding-Usually, his should be done on a daily basis, and in some cases many times a day.  I usually feed before I do the aquarium maintenance.  This allows me to pick up excess food, and fill the bellies of aggressive fish. 









Freshwater Angelfish

This distant species of the cichlid family thrive in different parts of the World, but are common to the  South American continent.




A common tropical reef inhabitant. This species is a close relative to the sea slug family.  These come in many different sizes and colors.



Clown Loaches

This fresh to brackish water species is blessed with beautiful coloring  and commonly spawn in the aquarium environment.


Queen Triggerfish

This unique and brightly colored marine family has no pelvic fins.  This fish is notoriously aggressive.

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