Monthly Archives: July 2018

Fact vs. Fiction: Why Overfeeding Fish Can Be Harmful

Feeding fish is one of the few times of the day when you can interact with them, so it’s tempting to think of feeding them every time you walk by. It doesn’t help that as soon as you walk by, they’re there at the top of the tank, waiting excitedly, looking at you lovingly. But you are strong, and you resist the urge because you know overfeeding fish can be harmful.

But is that really true? Or are people overstating the dangers associated with overfeeding fish?

What we can tell you is this: It’s probably not what you think.

How Overfeeding Fish Can Be Harmful

Fiction: Fish will gorge themselves if you feed them too much.

Fact: The fish usually know when to stop themselves. In fact, if they don’t eat all that you’ve given them within about five minutes, you’re probably giving them too much. If they do end up eating too much, however, they will produce more waste than the natural filtering processes or the manmade filters can handle, resulting in an unhealthy environment in the fish tank.

Fiction: If the fish are swimming at the top of the tank, it means they’re starving and waiting for me to come to their rescue.

Fact: Not necessarily. They know they might get food and that excites them, but it doesn’t mean they’re actually hungry. Think of it more as they’re simply as happy to see you as you are to see them.

Fiction: The fish won’t eat each other. They’ve lived together this long, after all!

Fact: Sadly, they might. If fish aren’t compatible in a tank, it’s all about the survival of the fittest.

Fiction: Fish food is good forever.

Fact: The flake food loses some of its nutrients about six months after you open the container. Some fish owners say you should use the food within one month. Frozen fish food should be used within about six months.

Fiction: Each and every one of the fish has to eat the food I give them.

Fact: Some fish are in the tank for the purpose of “cleaning” the waste, especially off the bottom. It’s a part of the natural cycle in the fish tank environment and in the wild.

And that brings us to the truths you really need to know about why overfeeding fish can be harmful.

When you feed the fish too much, they won’t eat it all. The leftover food then stays in the tank too long, leading to an unsanitary environment. Additionally, the bottom feeders might eat those leftovers, which means they won’t clean up the waste from the other fish as they are supposed to.

Concerns about Bloat

Why Overfeeding Fish Can Be Harmful

Improperly feeding or overfeeding fish can be harmful also due to the possibility of bloat, a condition that will likely lead to the death of a fish.

Also known as dropsy, bloat is caused by bacterial, viral, protozoal, or parasitical infections. Some bacteria are natural in every fish environment, but too much can be harmful, as noted above. That’s why it’s important to use proper filtration systems and filtered water in the tank to ensure the safest environment for the fish, depending on if it’s a saltwater tank or a freshwater tank.

When a fish is suffering from bloat, it will be clear that it is sick. Its abdominal cavity will fill with fluid, and the fish might lose its appetite, become lethargic, and have visible marks on its body. Other signs include bulging eyes, pale gills, and long, pale feces.

Unfortunately, usually the best solution is to remove that fish from the fish tank and euthanize it.

You can also try to place it in a quarantine tank for treatment if you catch the illness early enough and believe the fish will recover. In that case, you can place one teaspoon of salt per gallon of water into the sick fish’s bowl, and you should treat it with antibiotics and feed it only high-quality foods.

For more information about why overfeeding fish can be harmful or if you believe your fish are sick and you want to know how to best take care of them, call us at 602-628-7270 or contact us through our Seatech Aquariums website.

 

Overfeeding Fish Can Be Harmful

How to Clean an Aquarium Tank: What to Do and What Not to Do

We’ve talked about the importance of using RODI water for your fish tank and the process of changing the water. What we haven’t discussed is how to clean an aquarium tank itself, along with its contents.

As with everything else associated with owning and maintaining a fish aquarium, cleaning it requires gentleness and tender loving care.  Most of the fish tank’s inhabitants are living beings, after all, and they depend on you to keep them strong and healthy.

It’s important to understand the easiest, neatest, safest, and most sanitary methods of cleaning an aquarium tank to ensure the well-being of your livestock.

How to Clean an Aquarium Tank: What to Do

• Use algae pads and scrapers to clean the inside of the tank.

• If they appear especially dirty or have an excessive amount of algae, remove artificial rocks, plants, and other decorations from the tank before cleaning them with an algae scraper.

• Remove excess debris from live plants by gently scrubbing them with your fingers. If the algae growth is significant, soak the plants in a solution of 10 percent bleach and water for 2 to 3 minutes. Rinse them thoroughly with RODI (reverse osmosis deionization) water before returning them to the tank. Be extremely cautious when using this method, as bleach is harmful to the tank’s inhabitants.

• When it comes to decorations, you can avoid bleach altogether by simply placing them in the sun for 3-5 days. The sun will clean the algae right off. Rinse them well prior to putting the decorations back into the aquarium. If you’d rather not go for that long without having decorations in your tank, consider purchasing a second set of decorations that you can place in the tank while the others are soaking in the sun. This process is a win-win, as you get a new look for your aquarium as you clean the tank and it’s safer than using bleach.

How to Clean an Aquarium Tank

• Use a gravel vacuum or siphon pump to vacuum the gravel before returning items to the tank.

• Use a natural solution like a small amount of vinegar diluted in water to clean the outside of the tank and the cover with a microfiber cloth. Regularly rinse the cloth with water as you’re cleaning the tank to keep the acidic solution from entering the tank.

• Consider hiring a professional aquarium maintenance technician for the best results, to create the most sustainable habitat for your livestock, and to make life easier on you.

• If you’re cleaning a small fish bowl, it may be wise to temporarily move the fish to another bowl. If it’s a larger tank, you should be able to leave the fish in the tank while you clean it, as they will have enough room to swim away to safer waters.

• Regularly trim and prune live plants to keep them healthy, allowing them to continue naturally filtering the tank. Doing so will also eliminate excess algae growth and contribute to a more beautiful aquarium.

• If the filters are dirty or clogged, unplug them and then carefully use a gentle sponge and water from the tank to remove grime, waste, and algae.

How to Clean an Aquarium Tank: What Not to Do

• Do not start from scratch. A small amount of waste is important for the maintenance of a natural habitat. In fact, you should only change 15-20% of the water every two weeks for both reef and freshwater planted tanks, and 20-25% of the water once a month for both fresh and saltwater swim/fish only tank.

• Do not use harsh chemicals like bleach or ammonia in the water or to clean the inside of the glass. They can kill the fish and live plants.

• Do not use soap or dishwashing liquid. They’re harmless to us, but to those tiny creatures in the tank, they can be lethal or extremely irritating to their skin and eyes.

• Do not neglect regular maintenance. You can give the tank a basic, simple cleaning daily, but thoroughly clean the tank as described above at least once every week or two, depending on how many fish you have and the size of the tank.

• Do not clean the filters more than once a week. Allow them to do their job for your fish tank.

 

How to Clean an Aquarium Tank