Tank Troubleshooting

Tank Troubleshooting5.71014

Live Plants versus Fake Plants

Fake Plants Pros:
-    Fake plants can survive in low-lighted tanks.
-    Fake plants don’t over grow and don’t have to be trimmed.
-    Fake plants do not get eaten by the fish.
-    Fake plants cost less than real ones.
-    Fake plants can be put in any tank.

Fake Plants Cons:
-    Fake plants may not look as good as real ones.
-    Fake plants do not use any waste as nutrients.
-    Fake plants do not provide a habitat that compares if the real ones were used.

Real Plants Pros:
-    Real plants reduce waste, because they use them as nutrients.
-    Real plants provide a real habitat setting for the fish.
-    Real plants grow and produce more hiding spots for fish.

Real Plants Cons:
-    Real plants can only live in high light, and require a very bright bulb.
-    Fish can eat real plants.
-    Real plants can flourish too much and have to be trimmed.
-    Real plants usually cost more.
-    Real plants can have snails on them, which can be accidently transported to your fish tank.

Freshwater Plants

Anacharis   Cabomba  Madagascar Lace

Anacharis                              Cabomba                         Madagascar Lace

Common Fish Tank Troubleshooting

There are many questions beginners ask about why their tank is not functioning correctly.  There are a few frequently asked questions:

Question: Why is my tank overgrown with algae?

What To Check:

-       Check to see if your filters have stopped working.

-       If you have fish or snails that eat algae check to make sure they are still alive, if you don’t have any this may be your problem.

Possible Solutions:

-       If your filters have stopped working then:

Change the cartridges.

Plug it to the electrical socket.

Replace the filter.

-       If you don’t have fish that eat algae or your algae eating fish or snail died then:

Buy a few new fish that eat algae, a great one is the Albino Bristlenose Plecostomus.

Other Possible Solutions:

-       If your tank is overgrown with algae you may not be getting enough oxygen in your tank.  If your filter was not working then fix the filter. If the problem continues then make sure the water in your tank is not too high otherwise the filters will not put enough oxygen into the tank.  If the problem continues to occur then I would suggest buying a bubbler.

Question: Why are my fish dying and/or getting beat up?

What to Check:

-       Check to see if you have any incompatible fish in your tank.  An article called “Types of Freshwater Fish For A New Aquarium” on compatible fish is in the New Aquarium Tips page at the website fishtankadvice.com

-       Check to see if any of your fish get stuck on the filter.

-       Check to see if any of your fish are acting unusual.

-       Check to see if your fish have anything unusual on them.

Possible Solutions:

-       If you have incompatible fish in the same fish tank then:

Give away the incompatible fish; usually it is only one fish causing all the trouble.

Buy a new tank for the incompatible fish.

-       If your fish are getting stuck on the filter then:

Your fish may be too little, but usually if they are stuck to the filter they are sick or dying.  Check to see if your fish have any diseases, and if your fish is small then you may want to get a smaller less powerful filter.  There is an article on diseases of freshwater fish called “Freshwater Fish Diseases” in the Tank Troubleshooting page at fishtankadvice.com.

-       If your fish are acting unusual there can be a number of things wrong:

The temperature may not be adequate, so check to makes sure the heater is function properly.

The fish may be sick so check for diseases.

If you have schooling fish make sure there are at least three of thee same kind, if not I would suggest having five of a kind.

Your fish may be mating, watch for eggs or young.

Your fish may not feel secure enough, make sure you have at least a few hiding areas in your tank.  You may need to add more plants, rocks or décor.

-       If your fish have unusual bumps or things in their scales they may have a disease.

Question: Why are my live plants dying?

What To Check:

-       Does your tank have a light?

-       If your tank has a light it may not be bright enough.

-       If your plants are getting eaten.

Possible Solutions:

-       Usually the problem for most live plants is inadequate light, many tanks come with a light bulb, but theses are usually not sufficient for live plants.  A good investment would be to buy brighter bulb.

-       Also some fish like toe eat the live plants, some plants fish do not like to eat, but the plants should usually grow fast enough to sustain themselves.

Question: Which is better live plants or fake plants?

Algae Is Annoying

Algae can be the single reason preventing you from starting or continuing owning an aquarium.  Cleaning you’re tank every week can be a hassle and not fun.  If you are just staring a tank there are a few steps that can prevent algae and you will almost never have to.  Personally I have had algae troubles and I tried many things but now I found the right combination of things to keep you fish tank clean for years.  If you do not have an aquarium yet and follow the steps below to keep your tank clean for years.

1.When buying a tank, I would buy a bigger fish tank at least 20 gallons, but bigger is better.  Also check out the article Deciding On A Fish Tank and Supplies.

2.Buy some Bristle Nose Plecostomus they are great fish and will keep the algae to a minimal, (not all algae is bad a little black algae is helpful).

3.Finally change the filters monthly and your tank will be algae free.

If you already have an aquarium just buy some Bristle Nose Plecostomus and change your filters monthly.  Also clean your tank every week for a month until the Plecostomus can catch up to the algae.

Cleaning The Aquarium

Aquarium cleaning is a monthly task that must be done weather or not you want to do it.  If you do it right the process can be very easy or difficult.  The size of your tank can depend on how long it takes to clean.  If you have a very big tank, and the tank is established then you may not want to vacuum out all of the debris it is good for the fishes growth and development.  If you have a smaller tank the tank will take longer to be established and you may want to vacuum out all the debris.

When cleaning a tank, changing the filters is the first step.  If you have a bio filter, or power filter changing the filters is a breeze.  A under gravel filter is another story.  You must remove all the plants, décor and accessories.  Then you must pull it out from under the gravel to clean.

Once the filters are cleaned, replace them with new ones.  If you have an underground filter do not replace it back in the tank yet.  If you have an established tank then leave the plants and décor, even if they have algae on them.  If you do not have an established tank or smaller tank (ten gallon or smaller) then wash off all the plants and décor.  If you have real plants do not wash them.

After the accessories, décor and plants have been washed do not place them back in the tank yet. The next step is to siphon the tank.  Siphon no more than one third of the water out of the tank.  If there is still debris at the bottom of the tank fill it with water and re siphon until all debris is gone.  If you have an established tank then only siphon out some of the debris and leave a little in the gravel.

When replacing the water only use soft water so the fish do not die of shock.  Soft water is water without minerals.  Tap water or filtered water is considered soft water.  After the water has been replaced remember to not fill the tank too high because, the plants, décor and filters have to still be added.

Replace the under gravel filter if you have one.  Then replace the plants and décor.  You’re all done, and now your tank is clean.  Remember that cleaning a tank can be traumatizing for the fish, so they might be timid for a while after the clean.

If you have any other questions feel free to post a comment. I will try to update the article with your answer ASAP.

Fish Causing Chaos

Being an avid aquarist can be very satisfying or stressful, depending on the knowledge you have in fish.  Knowledge can be very helpful, but not always solve the problem.  A book may tell you that a certain type of fish can go with this type of fish, but this is not always the case.  First hand experience is the best way to get the hang of being an aquarium hobbies.  Fish can act differently for a number of reasons, and even for some unexplainable reasons.

There are many reasons that fish can act up.  Some common reasons that fish act up are:  dislike of another fish, temperature, the pH of water, sickness, the habitat of the tank and if the fish are spawning or pregnant.  These are common problems that fish may have.  These problems are not set in stone as the problem but cover a good portion of the problems.

The most common problem when fish are causing problems is because of they do not like the other fish.  This can be solved very easily, and is best solved as soon as the problem is found.  Usually the problem is that one fish does not like another type of fish.

Solving this problem can be easy and done without having to kill the fish.  Isolating the fish that has the problem in a different tank for a while is best.  If the problems cease in your main tank then the fish cannot be with the other fish in the tank, and is best left alone or maybe only with its own kind.

Another common problem is spawning fish.  When fish are spawning they may chase each other around the tank and be very protective.  They are not aggressive fish but protective of their young.  Without moving the fish out of the tank, you can create a good hiding place for the breeding fish.  They will stay in protective area and leave everyone alone.

Following these tips will help your tank be happy and healthy.  They can be implemented easily and effectively with an extra tank and decorations for the tank.

Pictures from liveaquaria.com

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