Foolproof Freshwater Fishkeeping
- Never clean anything with soap. Use only water. If anything has ever touched soap, throw it away. Avoid
toxins introduced on your hands: hand lotion, gasoline or motor oil, tobacco.
- Always dechlorinate your tap water. Make sure new water is the same temperature as your old water.
- Filters need to run all the time. If your old filter is too noisy, get a new one; don’t turn it off at night!
- Stocking: Start with a LOW population: about 1 gourami-sized, 2 platy-sized or 4 neon-sized fish per 10 gallons.
- The first month is the hardest. For the first 30 days:
- Do NOT add more fish, even if some die.
- Feed only once per day. Food should be completely gone in 30 seconds, or you gave them too much.
- Don’t do any water changes unless you have an emergency (if you do, call us!). Yes, do replace water lost to evaporation.
- Can’t wait a month? We have products to help speed this process (bottled good bacteria).
- After the first month, bring us a cup of tank water for a free water test. We’ll let you know if you’re ready for more fish, and help you choose fish that get along together. You can add a few fish every week until your tank is fully stocked; don’t put too many in at once.
- After the first month, begin regular tank maintenance. Remove and replace 1/4 of the water every week, using a gravel cleaner. Always dechlorinate and match temperature.
- After the first month, a good feeding schedule is twice daily. Feed SMALL portions. A more varied diet will give you healthier, more colorful fish; ask for suggestions.
- Depending on the brand, your filter probably has a cartridge that should be replaced monthly, and another part that should NEVER be cleaned or replaced; it’s a home for good bacteria that your tank needs to thrive. Ask us if you’re not sure.