Thursday, September 12, 2013

Top 5 Weekly Aquarium Maintenance Tips

Benjamin Franklin said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." And when it comes to keeping a successful aquarium, he couldn't have been more right. Regular, proper maintenance will prevent many issues that can plague hobbyists and keep your aquarium looking its best.

Today I want to talk about my Top 5 Weekly Maintenance Tips to keep your aquarium looking its best.

1. Change Filter Socks
A filter sock or filter pad is a simple and effective way to remove waste from your tank. It is very important that you change the filter sock or filter pad regularly before the waste it traps starts to break down and cause nutrient problems. This will help keep your water clear, clean, and looking better overall.

I recommend having several spares on hand to give you time to wash your dirty filter socks.

2. Wipe Down Tank, Stand and Equipment
Wiping down literally everything with a non-scratch cloth and cleaning equipment might seem like a lot of work. But keeping your aquarium and equipment free from salt creep, dust, and other debris provides several benefits, including:
  • Appearance: Keeping your aquarium clean makes the overall appearance better.
  • Prolong Equipment Life: Removing salt creep, dust and other debris helps keep equipment running smoothly and efficiently and can prolong its useable life.
  • More Light: Keeping the top of your aquarium and lights free of salt creep, dust and other debris allows more light into your aquarium.

3. Test Water
In general, I recommend testing your aquarium water on a weekly basis and keeping a log of your tests – a simple spreadsheet is sufficient. This will help you track your aquarium and notice any parameter swings. 

Many hobbyists, including myself, find water testing to be a least favorite chore. I personally like to spread out the testing and do 1-2 tests a day, rather than all at once. I like to test KH (dKH), calcium, magnesium and temperature on a weekly basis. And I test less commonly changing parameters, such as ammonium and nitrites, every other week, unless I am cycling the tank.

4. Stir/Flip/Shake Chemical Media
If you are not using a media reactor for the chemical media in your aquarium, I recommend stirring/flipping/shaking the media around to remove any detritus that may have settled, as well as to expose other parts of the media that hasn't had as much contact with water.

5. Water Change
Doing a simple 10-20% water change every week will work wonders on the health of the aquarium. It replenishes vital elements that may have been lost or used up, as well as helps keep nutrients at bay.

While doing a water change, I like to stir up the sand or use a gravel vacuum to remove any excessive food or detritus that often get caught in the sand bed – unless of course you have a deep sand bed. It's also a good idea to take a turkey baster, or spare powerhead, to point at the live rock, the sump, and any other areas where detritus may settle.

I hope you find these weekly aquarium maintenance tips helpful. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free toemail us  or call us toll-free at 1-866-295-9230.

Happy Reefing!
Change Filter Socks

Wipe down tank, equipment & stand

Keep lights clean to let in light

Test your water weekly

Keep a log of your tests to track swings

Stir/Flip/Shake Chemical Media

Do a simple water change.

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