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 Top Tips for the Beginner

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Posts : 8
Join date : 2013-04-27

PostSubject: Top Tips for the Beginner   Sat 04 May 2013, 19:11

1-Be sure you will have time to invest in the future- An aquarium is not just a set up and go hobby. You will need to conduct weekly water changes to keep the tank chemistry in line and keep fish healthy

2-Buy the largest aquarium you can afford, and that you have space for. It is a fact that bigger aquariums are easier to maintain than small aquariums. How smaller the aquarium, the easier water parameters can change. Larger aquariums provide a better parameter stability

3-Plan your aquarium carefully; be sure you have an objective in mind. For example, do you want to go with plastic plants or live plants, for live plants you will need to be sure to get the correct lighting and you will need better substrate than the gravel sold at your local pet shop. If you go with normal gravel and plastic décor, wash the gravel properly, otherwise your tank water will be like milk. Decide what filtration system will work best for your aquarium size, it might be power head inside the tank, canisters or hang on back filters

4-CYCLE- no this is not the sport you might think of. I am referring to the Nitrogen Cycle. Most beginner aquarists suffer livestock losses due to a phenomenon known as new tank syndrome - Read the following article, that explain it in detail
This cycle takes up to six weeks to complete, but nowadays there are ways and products to help speed up the process. Ask the members of the forum for help. But please don’t add fish to an aquarium that is not cycled. They will die.

5-Always use dechlorinator when adding water to your tank, or when doing water changes- Chlorine and Chloramines is lethal. If it is present and fish are exposed to it, they will suffer “burns” to the gills and die. Some people prefer aging water in containers for a few days, while it is aerated.

6-Make sure you select compatible tank mates. If you see fish you like, but are not 100% sure if they will be compatible, ask. You can ask anybody on the forum if you don’t feel comfortable with the advice given at your local pet shop.

7-GOOGLE- Make use of this wonderful piece of technology. Before you buy any fish, search it on Google. You are sure to find lots of information on that species. Some fish are too aggressive to keep with others, or even more than a pair of the same in the aquarium, others grow way too big for the average aquarium. Point is, do your homework

8-When searching for fish at your local pet shop, take your time, look for any sign of illness, if there is dead fish in the tanks, and don’t buy. Before you add new fish to your aquarium, put them in a quarantine tank for about two weeks if possible, and acclimatize fish properly before adding them to the new aquarium

9-Never overstock your aquarium. The more fish you have in the aquarium, the more water changes you will need to perform to keep your fish healthy.

10-Never overfeed your fish. Feed them twice a day, and only enough food that can be consumed within two minutes

11-Do weekly water changes- Once a week you will need to syphon the bottom of the tank or gravel. Remove 25-30 % of the water, and add new treated water to top it up. This is very important to keep your tank healthy

12-NO OLD SCHOOL- In the olden days we were told to set up the aquarium and then let it be, until it is very dirty. Then you catch out the fish; remove all water décor and gravel. Wash the tank, gravel and décor and start all over again. You will have to start cycling from scratch, your fish will go through unnecessary stress and you will most probably kill some of them. All you need to do is your weekly water changes, and clean your filters properly every two weeks, by rinsing it in the tank water that you are removing during your water change

13-Last but not least- ASK, ASK, ASK – There are numerous forums, like this one with people that will always be there to assist and share knowledge
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llewellyn kearney

Posts : 5
Join date : 2013-05-03

PostSubject: Re: Top Tips for the Beginner   Sun 05 May 2013, 04:03

@len.weideman +1
very good
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Marius Swart

Posts : 6
Join date : 2013-05-01
Age : 29
Location : Oudtshoorn

PostSubject: Re: Top Tips for the Beginner   Sun 05 May 2013, 04:20

This is quite interesting ,, and all very true .
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Posts : 8
Join date : 2013-04-27

PostSubject: Re: Top Tips for the Beginner   Sun 05 May 2013, 12:41

Thanks guys. And please feel free to add to the list. I am sure we all have lessons we learnt the hard way
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