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Bring Aquatic Life At Home
a well cared for aquarium ensures healthy living of its inhabitants and adds to the decor of its surroundings.
Easy to tend and low maintenance pets, the fish, enclosed in jars and aquariums, are your best pet for small homes. Taking proper care of an aquarium is indeed lesser hassle but is also very important to ensure a healthy living for your pets.

Types of fish:
From tropical to coldwater to marine to freshwater, home aquarium fishes not only adorn the room but also spare the keeper of the usual racket one associates with pets. One small goldfish (1" to 1.5") or three small shoaling fish (such as white cloud mountain minnows) can be introduced when a new bowl is bought. Though mingling a variety of fishes together is not a bad idea, care should be taken about the marine species, as they are not compatible with a majority of other fishes.

Buying new fish:
Moving to a new aquarium is a stressful experience for fish and some of them find it difficult to survive. So head straight home once you've bought fish for your aquarium. While travelling, keep the fish steady, secure, out of direct sunlight and heat. Covering the fish bag with a paper bag or box will help to reduce stress for the fish and help tropical fish maintain their temperature.

Once home, open the bag and roll down the sides like a sock. To equalise the temperature in the bag and the aquarium, float the open bag in the aquarium for 30 minutes. Then release the fish into the aquarium by slowly, tipping the bag and allowing them to swim out. Don't let water from the bag enter the aquarium. Leave the aquarium light switched off and do not feed until at least the next day.

Feeding:
More often than not, it is over-feeding that turns out to be fatal for the fish, as they need to be fed sparingly. Measure out food carefully. The fish should be fed two or three times per day, but each feeding should consist of only as much as is consumed in two or three minutes. Time the feedings occasionally, to be certain that the proper amount of food is given. Feeding too much at a time, rather than too often is the problem that lazy owners face. Fish could probably be fed 10 times a day without problem, but overly generous portions every two days spell trouble.

Uneaten food contributes to poor water quality, which causes water cloudiness, rapid algae growth, and often leads to fish disease. Alternating feedings among flake, frozen, freeze-dried, and pelleted foods will provide a well balanced diet for fishes of various feeding habits.

Lighting:
Unless the aquarium contains live plants, the aquarium light does not need to be on except while feeding or observing the fish. Also, leaving the aquarium light on for too long can cause unsightly algae growth. Dull illumination is sufficient for most fish but more adequate lighting is a necessity for plants.

Maintaining the aquarium:
It's important to keep your aquarium clean. Change one fourth of the water, to ensure healthy conditions for your fish and plants. Add fresh water at room temperature in such a way that it gently goes down the side of the tank without disturbing the plants. Use water conditioners to remove substances from tap water, such as chlorine, which can be harmful to fish.

Dead leaves or plants should be removed immediately as, when they decompose, they pollute the water. Remove debris from the bottom of the tank.

Algae on the glass can be removed by rubbing gently with a piece of filter wool.

Where to place:
The aquarium should be located in a position to take advantage of any available daylight, but not direct sunlight. Placing an aquarium near a window is ideal, but the tank should not be in a position where the sun shines directly into it and overheats the water.

Always Remember
- Keep the aquarium at a place where there is no temperature fluctuation
- Over-feeding fish is the foremost reason for their death
- Use water conditioners to keep the aquarium clean
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Posted on : 11/2/2006
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