FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT SIZE TANK SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
We generally suggest that you buy the largest tank you have space for. The reason for this is that achieving a well-balanced aquarium is easier with a larger volume of water. It is also important to note that although a tall column-type tank may hold the same volume of water as a more traditional rectangular tank, it accommodates less fish. Safe fish stocking levels depend on surface area not simply volume of water.
WHERE CAN I PLACE MY TANK?
Site the tank in the darkest part of the room to avoid excessive algal growth. Keep the tank away from heaters to avoid fluctuating temperatures and noise & vibrations (TV, banging doors etc.). Think carefully about putting tanks in childrens’ bedrooms. It can easily become a parent’s chore. Best to put the tank in a family room where everyone can enjoy it.
I WANT A TANK BUT DO NOT WANT TO BUY A CABINET. CAN I PUT MY TANK ON MY EXISTING FURNITURE?
For smaller tanks you are probably safe. An aquarium full of water weighs a lot! A 10 gallon tank can weigh 120lbs.
NOW THAT I HAVE CHOSEN A TANK CAN I TAKE A FISH HOME WITH ME?
Patience is important in achieving a healthy, happy aquarium. We advise you first set up your tank with water, get the filter and heater running and test the lighting. You can do the aquascaping and the planting but wait at least a week before putting in the first few fish.
HOW MANY FISH CAN I PUT IN MY TANK?
There are two schools of thought when it comes to stocking a tank with fish. The basic rule of thumb is based on a centimetre of fish per liter (one inch of fish per gallon). The more accepted method is based on surface area. This is where the oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange takes place. Too many fish in the tank means too little oxygen in the water. The rule here goes along the premise that 30 square centimeters of surface area is sufficient to support one centimetre of fish. A standard ten gallon tank (60cm x 30cm x 30cm) will support 60cm of adult fish.
This is calculated as length of tank multiplied by depth divided by 1000. Therefore, 60 x 30 = 1800
1800 / 1000 = 60 cm of fish. This tank can hold 20 adult neon tetras on their own.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CLEAN MY TANK?
We recommend a 10% water change and gravel clean per week or 25-30% every two weeks. There is no such thing as a ‘cleaner fish’. Some fish will help by eating algae or excess fish food of the bottom of the tank but nothing eats fish waste!
WHY DO MY FISH DISAPPEAR WITHOUT A TRACE?
Some fish do jump out of tanks but generally disappearing fish result from unknowingly putting a carnivore into your tank! Make sure you know what you are buying and what you already have in your tank. It’s a good idea to keep a log of what you have in your tank – use latin names if possible as common names vary.
I AM ON WELL/SPRING WATER DO I NEED TO USE A WATER CONDITIONER TO REMOVE CHLORINE OR CHLORAMINE?
Generally no but many water conditioners can also remove heavy metals. Test your water regularly. Just because the water is good for human consumption doesn’t necessarily mean it will be OK for fish. Phosphates for example can be harmful to fish but not to humans.
WHY SHOULD I USE BOTTLED BACTERIA IN MY FILTER AND TANK? I SEEDED THE FILTER WITH MULM/TANK WATER FROM MY FRIEND’S FILTER.
Firstly be careful that you don’t introduce any pathogens from your friend’s tank. Just because their fish are fine they may have built up a tolerance/resistance to the conditions. Your fish may not react the same way.
If you use a bottled filter bacteria you can top up bacteria levels when you do your water changes. These bacteria are known to multiply slowly. Adding bacteria after a water change simply replaces the bacteria you have removed.
MY TAP WATER IS NOT SUITABLE FOR MY TANK. CAN I USE RO WATER?
Yes you can. However you must remineralize the water prior to adding it to your tank. If you don’t, the process of osmosis can actually remove salts and minerals from the fish into the water.