Ensure a healthy, balanced environment in your aquarium by following this simple process.
Step 1: Set up fish tank Set up your fish tank and filter system, then fill it with water.
: Avoid using water with chlorine.
Step 2: Stock with hardy fish Stock your tank with hardy fish, such as mollies, tiger barbs, white clouds, or guppies.
TIP: Hold off on goldfish; they are more vulnerable to disease.
Step 3: Limit the number Put in just a few fish. Three 1-inch fish are sufficient if your tank is between 10 and 20 gallons.
TIP: Adding too many fish will result in excess waste and stress the fish.
Step 4: Change the water Change 10 to 15 percent of the water every few days.
Step 5: Test a water sample Test a sample of the water after a week. It should test high in ammonia with a trace of nitrate at this time.
TIP: Ask the pet shop where you bought the fish if they'll test it. Many stores will do this for free or charge a small fee.
Step 6: Continue the process Continue moderate water changes every two weeks. Cycling a tank takes up to eight weeks. Your goal is to establish a healthy colony of bacteria that live in the filter, removing ammonia and other toxins from the water.
Step 7: Add more fish gradually Add more fish gradually, and enjoy watching them thrive as a result of your diligence.
FACT: The animals in the "Oceanarium" at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium consume over 650 pounds of seafood each day.