Every week do a ten percent (10%) water change.
If you don't collect rainwater, remember that if you use tap water, you must let it sit for 24 hours or more to get the chlorine out of the water that you water company puts into it. This is harmful to fish.
It also doesn't hurt to use StressCoat in an amount proportionate to the amount of water (gallons) you have changed.
And don't forget to add a little aquarium salt in proportion to the amount of water you changes.
All fish, including freshwater, need salt an minerals in there water.
Aquarium salt works well to maintain fish/plants/organics, as a preventative, and as your first line medication when your fish show the first signs of stress or illness.
Your filter media needs to be changed at the very least once a month.
There are many reasons for this including that there are two (2) main groups of bacteria in your aquarium. (1) Aerobic (the good kind, and
(2) Anaerobic, the bad kind that makes your aquarium smell like rotten eggs (hydrogen sulfide) and makes your fish sick too.
A clean filter and plenty of air and water flow promotes the growth of aerobic bacteria and prohibits the growth of anaerobic bacteria.
The more live plants you have in your aquarium breaks down the fecal matter and ammonia (NH3), which then becomes Nitrates (fertilizer) for you plants.
The plants also put oxygen into the water, which your fish need to stay healthy.
Live plants also provide excellent cover for young fish (notably guppies) to hide from predators, which are often their parents.
As a rule of thumb, think one (1) gallon of water for every inch of fish in the aquarium.
If you have a well planted aquarium, you can extend this, but also then make sure you keep your filter/cartridge clean and changed often.
The live plants also help to control the ammonia (NH3) spikes and levels to keep your fish healthy, because they break down this waste and add more oxygen (O2) to the aquarium water.
Feed your fish twice (2X) a day and only in amounts they consume in about five (5) minutes.
Find out what are the nutritional requirements of your fish. Some are carnivors, some herbivors and some are omnivors.
Staple foods, like the ever popular TetraMin are good, but do keep foods like freeze-dried brine shrimp, bloodworms, tubifex worms, daphnia and algae/spirullina wafter as foods you should feed to meet the nutritional needs of your fish.
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