Aquarium Maturation Freshwater

Setting up new aquaria without fish

Southern Aquatics recommends that the best way to mature a brand new fish tank is without the introduction of fish – which may take up to 6 weeks.

• Set up new fish tank with gravel decoration and water. Turn on filter (don’t ever turn off, unless it is to be cleaned or a water change is to be done). Keep lights off as this will only encourage algae growth

• Test water after 2 weeks for Ammonia (NH4) and Nitrite (N02). After 2 weeks it is highly likely that there will be high levels of NH4 and N02. Keep testing water weekly until levels drop down to zero. This may take between 3-6 weeks depending on size of tank

• Some Ammonia or waste must be added and continue to add until cycle is complete

• When NH4 and NO2 are at zero add your first hardy fish. Not too many - roughly 1cm of fish for every 2 ltrs of water

• Feed sparingly every 2-3 days, as much as they can eat in 5 seconds. Any food not eaten after 20 seconds must be taken out and discarded, as this will decay and affect the water quality for the fish

• Leave existing fish as they are, for a further 2 weeks – test water before introducing any more fish. When NH4 and N02 are zero introduce a further small amount of fish. These can be more colourful varieties that are less hardy.

• Leave a further week and test water again. More fish can be introduced if the levels of Ammonia and Nitrite are at zero – not before

• Fully stock the fish tank over a 2-3 month period

• The light can be turned on for short periods of time – no longer than a few hours every day. Later, when the tank is completely mature an algae eater can be introduced to combat the algae growth and the light can be left on for 6 – 10 hours a day

• Increase feeding when tank cycle is complete

• Filter can be cleaned once tank has been fully established after 6 – 8 weeks. The filter and its media must be cleaned in a jug of water taken from the aquarium – not in tap water - as chlorine kills bacteria

• Every tank is different and it is the customers responsibility to check water quality regularly

 

Setting up a new aquaria by using fish

 

Southern Aquatics does not recommend maturing a brand new fish tank by the introduction of fish. There is a risk that fish can die during this process.

• Set up new fish tank with gravel decoration and water. Turn on filter (don’t ever turn off, unless it is to be cleaned or a water change is to be done). Keep lights off as this will only encourage algae growth. Don’t put live plants in until the tank has reached maturity

• Leave tank 2-3 days before introducing first “hardy” fish - roughly 1cm of fish for every 10 ltrs of water

• Feed sparingly every 2-3 days, as much as they can eat in 5 seconds. Any food not eaten after 20 seconds must be taken out and discarded, as this will decay and affect the water quality for the fish

• Test water regularly (weekly). Ammonia (NH4) and Nitrite (N02) levels will rise.Check that fish are alert and feeding – but still refrain from feeding regularly. Only every 2-3 days or less depending on health of fish

• When NH4 and NO2 levels are at zero, add next batch of fish. Still abide by the 1cm to every 10 ltrs of water rule

• Check water  regularly and only introduce fish when levels are at zero

• Fully stock the fish tank over a 2-3 month period

• The light can be turned on for short periods of time – no longer than a few hours every day. Later, when the tank is completely mature an algae eater can be introduced to combat the algae growth and the light can be left on for 6 – 10 hours a day

• Increase feeding when tank cycle is complete

• Filter can be cleaned once tank has been fully established after 6 – 8 weeks. The filter and its media must be cleaned in a jug of water taken from the aquarium – not in tap water - as chlorine kills bacteria

• Every tank is different and it is the customers responsibility to check water quality regularly

• Hardy Fish are:  Zebra/Leopard Danio, White Cloud Mountain Minnows, Black/White Widows, Scissortails, Xray Tetra, Cherry Barbs – Tiger Barbs can be territorial

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