- Tropical Fish care guide
Our Tropical Fish care guide will cover all the basics you need to know before and during setting up your tropical fish tank.
Choosing a tropical fish aquarium
Choosing the right aquarium and products for the tropical aquarium is important, and it depends on what types of tropical fish you want to keep.
Working out the location may help with choice as the area needs access to power points for filter, heater, light and bubbler. This area may limit the size of a tank. Never place an aquarium in a busy thorough fair. Considering what kinds of fish you wish to keep is also important and larger species will need a larger tank. If you have measured out the area you want your tropical fish aquarium to go, come in to see us we will likely have a tank for you.
Those considering a larger size aquarium A foam underlay is important for the base of the tank as it becomes quite heavy when water is added. A slight variation of the base will result in a cracked tank. Click the link the foam booth in Surry Hills Sydney, these guys will cut foam to suit any tropical fish tank size.
Getting tropical fish aquarium ready
Rule number 1 is clean and rinse with every non-living item that enters the tank with tap water only. This includes but not limited to everything that is in our checklist mentioned below.
Once you have rinsed the inside of the tank and all the essentials it’s important to set up the tank before the introduction of fish. Place gravel, filters, bubblers, heaters, plants, ornaments in before adding water. Place clean plastic over the gravel and then fill the tank up with water.
Add water conditioner in when tank is filled with water.
Add biostart . Do not add biostart in until water conditioner has been mixed through as the chlorine from tap water can kill the bacteria in bio start.
It is possible to buy everything in one day and set the tank up and place the fish straight in but only if you start with very small numbers of fish. The best way is to set the tank up and cycle the tank for at least a week or two before adding the fish.
Tropical fish aquarium checklist
Suitable sized tank: Think into the future in terms of adding fish in the future, max growth of selected fish and leaving space for ornaments/hides/plants
Gravel: Ensure enough gravel to adequately cover the bottom of the tropical fish aquarium of about 3 to 5cm to allow ornaments/plants to be secured. Roughly 1 inch minimum is suitable. Always rinse gravel thoroughly before adding to aquarium.
Filtration: Many varieties and brands at Petsville, some tropical fish aquariums come with them already, insure you get a filter suitable for your size tank or larger. Filters will come with recommended liters (if sized 1000, 2000, etc. simply divide by 10 liters)
Lighting: an important part of any tropical fish aquarium. Lights will make the fish colors pop, add life to the décor and help promote plant/fish health.
Aeration/bubbler: Adding an airline system to your tank will help oxygenate your ecosystem. oxygenation will result in a cleaner water and healthy fish. Bubblers can also be used as tropical fish aquarium back drops or cool features.
Heater/thermometer: essential for tropical fish aquarium set ups, check packaging in store as it will indicate tank size suitable for heater.
Thermometer. The thermometer is essential to regulate the heater temperature, if the water is to hot or cold you can turn the dial on the heater. Heaters do not come with a thermometer.
Gravel vacuum. A must have, this Reduces cleaning time whilst increasing water quality. Easily suctions debris and waste out of gravel out of tank into a bucket.
Fish net: Fish nets always come in handy with every tropical fish aquarium. Nets are used to move items around or catch fish out for cleaning etc.
Food: Essential ask our Petsville team on what good quality options you have from pellets, flakes and frozen feed.
Water conditioner: This product removes/neutralizes chlorine and metals from the water supply. Any water change will need water conditioner added to keep your fish alive and healthy. Fish will die in straight tap water as it will burn their gills and they will asphyxiate.
Bio starter: Tropical fish aquariums must have beneficial bacteria to function inside the filter media. Bacteria species added by this, and similar product are critical parts of the nitrogen cycle mentioned above.
Waste controller. This additive will convert waste such as food & feces into positive bacteria. This minimizes cleaning and increases tank health.
Salt: Improves fish health by increasing gill function making it easier for fish to breath. The additional Salt also helps fish produce more slime coat the protective mucous barrier on their body, this slime coat helps fight off disease. For improved fish health Salt also adds electrolytes as a lack of electrolytes can cause issues in many fish. Never use table salt as it will kill your fish, only use aquarium salt.
Algae cleaners: Any healthy aquarium is going to have algae growth, and algae grows faster in warm water. These cleaners need to be made of the right material that doesn’t scratch the glass. We have many options including floating magnetic glass cleaners, and various scrub and cleans, these will also remove stubborn algae, calcium and lime as well. We also have suckerfish and snails of different types; these guys do the work for you, but they only remove the soft fast-growing algae, but they are very cool creatures to keep.
pH test Kit: One of the major factors that determin good quality water is pH, which is the measure of acidity and alkalinity. Sydney tap water fluctuates quite alot in different areas. pH testing has never been easier.
Handling when new fish arrive
Firstly make sure your aquarium is all set up with the items below and has water filled up and everything is running. A cycled tank that has been running for at least 2 weeks will have the best success. Check water parameters such as PH and the temperature is between 24 – 27 degrees Celsius.
Before releasing the fish make sure to let the bag sit in the tank for 10 to 15 minutes to acclimate the fish. This will ensure the fish get a shock from a quick temperature change. Use a net to scoop the fish out to place in the aquarium. Discard bag and water in bag and do not place in the aquarium.
Newly arrived fish will be stressed from the transmission to a new environment, Do not feed the fish for the first 24 hours.
When you start feeding your fish, the most important rule is not over feeding. Fish in captivity have more health issues from over feeding than under feeding. Tropical fish should be fed enough flakes or pellets to consume within 30 seconds.
Maintaining your tropical aquarium
A large part of keeping a tropical fish aquarium healthy is regular maintenance, and knowing what maintenance you need to do will make your aquarium journey a lot more enjoyable and the inhabitance happy. unlike large bodies of water in nature your fish tank is a finite area and if not maintained filters will become clogged, and stop working, while fish will continue to produce waste and decay and the water parameters will worsen become unlivable. The only way an aquarium system will remain healthy is with regular maintenance.
Regular maintenance doesn’t mean a lot of maintenance as too much cleaning can kill off the beneficial bacteria and eventually kill the inhabitance. So you need the right balance of maintenance. Cleaning needs to be done in stages as too much cleaning can kill of the beneficial bacteria and cause an increase in ammonia.
Every 24 hours do a quick check and health check count and eyeball all fish checking their condition, The best time to do this is when they are having their daily feed. If it takes longer than 30 seconds to eat the pellets or flakes you have fed them too much.
check everything is running and operating properly, filter have good flow and bubbler lights and lights working. Check the thermometer, make sure temperatures are in the correct range.
Every 2 weeks check the glass if you need to scrub algae cleaning. Gently shave ornaments, plants and fake plants to dislodge any debree. After this has been done you will need to do a water change with the gravel vacuum. This process will clean/remove the waste from the gravel and also help get rid of the nitrates from the water. A 30% water change should be sufficient and make sure you place water conditioner in the tank just before replacing the tap water. This process usually takes 10 minutes.
Once a month before doing water changes test the waters pH, ammonia, nitrate and nitrite levels.
If algae growth issues you may want to test the phosphate levels as algae loves high phosphate levels.
During your every 2-week clean use the discarded water for the use of filter maintenance. Use this water to rinse the filter media and cartridges. This water will keep your beneficial bacteria alive during the cleaning process. Replace old and clogged filter media, avoiding replacing it all at the same time and keep part of the media to retain as much of the beneficial bacteria colony as possible. In about 4 weeks replace the remaining filter media.
live plants inspect and remove any dead leaves and trim back if they are over crowing the tank.
Tropical Aquarium decorations at petsville
Driftwood can come already submerged or dry, the already submerged, which is our most popular often come with a slow growing plant called anubias attached which add wow factor to your aquarium, dry driftwood needs to be soaked for atleast 2 weeks until it releases its tannins and sinks before it is added to the tropical fish aquarium.
For quality tropical freshwater fish and supplies look no further than Petsville we do have a unique and unusually deep aquarium set up with very large sumps in fact bigger than most full aquariums to keep our tropical fish in tip top condition. Our team strive to supply the healthiest stocked fish as humanely possible. The majority of freshwater fish we stock are community fish so they will do very well in community tanks and aquariums.
We stock a variety of freshwater tropical fish, snails, crustaceans and plants. Including but not limited to A wide range of tetras, suckerfish, loaches, goldfsh, live bearers such as plattys, molly and guppies, angelfish, silver sharks, red tail sharks, gourami’s, barbs, catfish, cichlids, fighting fish and more.