Top 10 Freshwater Mistakes You Should Not Repeat

There is a pattern of mistakes that people make when they are first starting up an aquarium. This is the list of top 10 mistakes that most people make, this list is to help you from making the same mistakes when you start your first aquarium. These are things that you do NOT want to do.

  1. No Detergents/Soaps

    Do not use detergents or soaps or anything with oils in it to clean the inside of the aquarium. A lot of people tend to do that when they are setting their first tank before they get the water and put the fish.

    Just use tap water. Anything else will stick around the aquarium and then when you add water and fish will affect your water quality even worse hurt the species that you add to the tank. The oil will mess with them and most times it will be fatal.

    So, just to point it all together.

  2. Keep The Tank Away From Windows

    Do not put your tank near a window. A lot of people think the natural sunlight would be great, well, it likely to inspire the wrong type of growth. I am talking about algae, lots of algae that you may have trouble getting rid of. The natural sunlight will supercharge the algae growth and it can spread quickly.

    You would not like that!

  3. Don't Use Unconditioned Tapwater

    Do not use tap water in your tank without using a water conditioner. Why?

    Because chlorine is caustic and it would harm your fish; your tap water is going to have chlorine. Unless, of course, you are on a well, in which case you might still want to use a water conditioner.

    Water conditioner helps in neutralizing heavy metal and other contaminants in the water, but you are still going to have it in the well. So, use a water conditioner and make it comfy for your fish.

  4. Don't Add to Many Fish at Once

    Never add all the fishes at once in your tank. A lot of people do it and its a massive mistake. Why?

    If you add all the fishes at the same time you are gonna have a large ammonia spike. This will happen basically because your filter is not able to handle all of the waste of all of those new fish at the same time.

    It takes a little while for the beneficial bacteria in the filter to build up to a level that can sustain all the fish. So, if you do it a few fish at a time the waste will never be high enough to be harmful in the aquarium.

  5. Not Knowing How Big a Fish Gets

    Do not ignore how large the adult version of the fish will get that you are buying. When you go to your local fish store, it is really important to pay attention to how large these little fishes are gonna get, you may be surprised.

    A lot of times, the smaller fish are actually babies that have the potential to reach a decent size. Some may start-up form an inch and could grow to 2-feet. If you have a big tank then it's not an issue, but if you have a small tank it would be a huge problem.

    Contrary to popular belief is that it would not grow to be the size of the aquarium, it is going to keep growing if it does keep growing and it does not have space; sometimes it will get stunted and then that end up not surviving.

    So buy a decent size fish that fits your aquarium.

  6. Don't Leave the Lights on 24/7

    Do not leave lights of your aquarium on for 24/7. Why?

    • Algae, same reason with sunlight. If you are going to light tank al the time you would end up with algae all over the place, that you would not be able to stop. Yes, algae are not necessarily bad for fish but it's really unsightly.

    • A lot of your fish especially diurnal fish, use lighting as a cue to when they should be awake and when they should be resting. If you would have no rest period for them, they will eventually get stressed out, this could result in a weakened immune system and they could get sick.

      So, put a timer if you think you are going to forget that. Turn it on and off, on when you wake up in the morning and off when you are off to bed.

  7. Keep Your Hands Out of the Tank

    Do not put your hand in the tank unless you have rinsed them first. This is super important, people have messed their fish doing this and lost their aquariums.

    The reason that this is important because any type of hand cream, perfume, or oil going in your tank can and will affect your fish. So, make sure that you have rinsed hand properly under tap water first and you don't have anything on them before you do maintenance on your tank.

    This will literally save your fish.

  8. Do Not Ignore Maintenance

    Do not ignore maintenance; water changes are vital for success. They basically make the difference between toxic environment and a healthy environment for your fish, especially for people who are a little heavy-handed with feeding which is almost every one of us. Who doesn't like watching their fish eat?

    You go to do water changes, you don't have to do a ton of them, just enough to keep the environment clean. For most people, you really should not change more than 50% of the water because it can cause an imbalance in the bacteria, so just avoid it.

  9. Cleaning filter and water changes, never on same days

    This is vitally important, a lot of o people do this mistake. So not clean your filter and change your water on the same day. They should be at least 3-days apart.


    When you remove the water form aquarium, you disrupt the water chemistry slightly and you remove some beneficial bacteria. When you clean your filter, you remove a lot more beneficial bacteria and if you remove too much at once.

    What's happening is that you cause a cycle within your aquarium, if there are not enough beneficial bacteria for the amount of fish in the aquarium, you will end up with an ammonia spike, which could be very very dangerous for the fish. A lot of times during this you will lose fish.

    Also do not rinse your biological media from your filter in tap water. Tap water has chlorine or chloramines, and these things kill bacteria. So, technically you are going to kill the bacteria which you worked so hard to achieve in your filter that keeps your fish alive by destroying ammonia.

    Just use a little bit of tank water, rinse off the bi-media, and put it back in your filter. Problem solved!

  10. Don't dump anywhere

    This is arguably one of the most important parts of being a responsible aquarium-owner or pet-owner in general. Do not under any circumstances, ever dump water from your aquarium, or the fish, or the plant, or any other livestock into your local lakes, rivers, ponds, streams anywhere.

    Do not dump them because it can have a disastrous effect on the environment. If you dump your pets in local water bodies, for instance, you could be introducing a new strain of bacteria or fungus or some other type of disease to your local wildlife that might wipe out a species.

    You don't want to do that.

    Also, you could be introducing a species to your local area, that has never been there before, and that could might outcompete your active wildlife for things like food and shelter, it could just mess everything up and you can destroy an ecosystem. You'll have to live with that with the rest of your life.

    Nobody can do that, that's crippling on the inside.





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