Fish Care


Setting-up your first aquarium

  • Choose a good location, away from windows/doors, one with adequate electrical outlets.
  • Place the empty tank on a sturdy stand with a water-proof Plywood cum Styrofoam top, to withstand and balance out the weight of the water & the aquarium. Make sure you leave some space behind the aquarium to carry out cleaning and maintenance.
  • Rinse the tank with water and clean it inside out. Remember not to use any soapy detergents, instead use only tap water and a clean cloth/scrubber/paper towel to wipe the walls of the tank.
  • Fill the bottom of the tank with washed substrate, an ideal depth for a non-planted aquarium is an average of 2 inches. Try and keep the depth of the substrate in a sloped manner, rising away from you. Sloped gravel gives the illusion of depth making the aquarium look bigger.
  • Add decor to include a poster background, plants, rocks, wood, toys, and anchor them firmly in the gravel.
  • Now place a saucer/plate on the gravel, and pour tap water from a hose/bucket into the aquarium in such a manner that the water falls on the plate. This would ensure that the gravel and decor is not disturbed. Fill the tank with water till about 2/3rd the height of the aquarium.
  • Install the electrical equipment (filter, pump, heater & thermometer) in the aquarium, securing them firmly to the aquarium wall. Set the correct temperature on the heater. Fill the tank with water till about an inch & a half of the top edge of the aquarium. Plug in the equipment in to electrical sockets and check functionality.
  • Add de-chlorination agent as per instructions to make the water chlorine-free, this is essential as chlorine is toxic to fish.
  • After treating the water to de-chlorination, add bacterial agent to start growth of beneficial bacteria, which is necessary to start the Nitrogen cycle – a must-do for biological filtration. Throw in a pinch of fish food once daily for the next one week to let the bacteria colony grow.
  • Before addition of fish, remember to add necessary tonics and water conditioners to help the fish thrive well. Check the water chemistry to suit the fish you intend to keep.
  • After one week of letting the water mature, introduce a few hardy fish, and then gradually introduce other compatible varieties.
  • VOILA! You have an aquarium ready with healthy fish to showcase to your friends and family!

Caring for FishCaring for your Fish

  • Never buy an aquarium (& accessories) AND fish on the same day. Set-up the tank first, let the water mature and then introduce fish. Else you’d lose the first few fish to ‘New Tank Syndrome’ – a situation when the aquarium water is not yet ready for sustaining aquatic life.
  • Change one-third water in your aquarium once a week to maintain mineral-rich and clean water. This would keep the fish disease-free fish and in good health.
  • Clean Filter element once a month to ensure that the filter works to its optimum capacity.
  • Feed fish twice a day in quantities they can polish off in two minutes. Any food left uneaten can decay and become toxic to the fish.
  • Introduce a variety of healthy foods for your fish to thrive well.
  • Switch on aquarium lights for at least 12 hours in the day to simulate sunlight and switch-off the lights at night to simulate nightfall. This would keep the fish in a natural cycle of day and night.
  • Never use brightly coloured gravel, as it is unnatural and increases stress-levels in fish and could also leach the dye in to the water. Use natural gravel, which the fish are likely to find in their native environment.
  • Choose decor that looks and provides a natural shelter to the fish. Make sure the decorations you use are meant for aquarium use, else the water quality could get affected and many fish problems are attributed to poor water quality.
  • Observe your pets on a daily basis. Recognize any odd behaviours/changes in your fish appearance – Treat & medicate them in time to avoid fatalities. Occasionally check the water chemistry.
  • Never overcrowd your aquarium, allow them enough swimming space. The thumb rule is ’small fish for small aquariums and bigger fish for bigger ones’.
  • Inspect your aquarium equipment on a daily basis to ensure it functions properly. Aeration bubbles produce life giving oxygen and are a life-saver for fish, as are aquarium heaters in cold weather.
  • Finally, the Aquarium is a living breathing piece of art, which needs minimal maintenance but regular monitoring. Arming yourself with a bit of knowledge on the subject, can go a long way in keeping your fish happy and swimming!