Why Your Aquarium Needs a Check-up
By Summer Johnson, Marketing Specialist, Parrott Aquatic
As aquarium owners, we should all want a “healthy tank”, but what does that actually mean? To us, a healthy tank means everything involving the aquarium is in good order: from the fish to the stand. Just like yourself or your car, it’s important to have a professional perform a routine check-up on your tank about twice a year to avoid these common issues. Any of these can prevent your tank from thriving and cause unnecessary headaches, so it’s important to have an aquarium specialist on hand for regular inspections.
WANT TO SKIP THE TEXT? FIND OUR HELPFUL INFOGRAPHIC HERE!
WHAT IS A HEALTHY TANK?
Parrott Aquatic offers aquarium check-ups where one of our aquarium technicians performs a visual inspection of the tank, a water test, and if necessary a light test, and stray current test. If something is out of place, our knowledgeable staff will figure out the problem and offer a solution.
Our Standard for a Healthy Aquarium
- Healthy fish & Coral: Fish and color must have good color, be free of parasites, and have non-labored breathing.
- Correct Lighting: Lighting differs from tank to tank. You can read our article about choosing the best aquarium lighting here.
- Correct Water Temperature: Fish and coral are extremely sensitive to temperature change. We recommend checking it often.
- Correct Water Flow: Water flow affects oxygenation of the water inside the tank. Fish and coral need certain oxygen levels in the water to be happy.
- Best Water Quality: We always use the purest RODI water for our tanks. You can read about the process of filtering RO water here.
- No Scratches: Tank, stand and canopy free of leaks, major scratches, salt leak, salt creep, etc.
TOP 5 AQUARIUM COMPLAINTS:
We’ve listed the 5 Most Common Aquarium Complaints the pros at Parrott Aquatic hear out in the field. If you notice any of these issues in your tank, call your Aquarium Specialist for a check-up asap! Your Aquarium Specialist will provide a consultation to diagnose the cause. Remember, there are sometimes multiple causes for a symptom, so it’s best to leave it to the professionals if you notice any of the following.
- Lost or disappearing Fish
- Disease Outbreak
- Abnormal fish behavior
- Corals look sad
TOP 5 AQUARIUM CULPRITS:
The Pros at Parrott Aquatic gave me their top 6 culprits for why tanks fail. Don’t’ worry – we’re not calling you a failure (seriously, we’re not). Aquariums are very delicate ecosystems, and we’re here to help you get it right. So if you notice any symptoms in your tank from the list above, you may be able to check some of these things yourself.
- TEMPERATURE Kinny, Parrott Aquatic Owner & Designer, explained temperature is the #1 culprit in most aquarium issues. The temperature of your aquarium can be affected by a number of environmental elements like indirect light sources, windows, mirrors, and more. It’s best to call a professional for a diagnosis if you’re having trouble with your aquarium’s temperature.
- WATER QUALITY – If you haven’t read it already, you can read our entire blog about the devastating effects of poor water quality in an aquarium here.
- WATER FLOW – Proper water flow is important for oxygenation in your aquarium, filtration of small particles through the filtration system maintains even temperatures, and provides a current for your fish. If one of these is out of place, you can expect some issues with your tank.
- LIGHTING – You can also read our blog about the importance of correct aquarium lighting here.
- QUARANTINE – Kinny explains quarantining your fish minimizes the risk of introducing stress-related diseases like ick to the rest of your tank.
- CORAL DIPPING – Dipping your corals properly for pests reduces the risk introducing pests to your aquarium.
LEAVING TANKS UNCHECKED:
Because aquarium ecosystems are so fragile, it’s risky business playing the “wait-and-see” game. By leaving your tank unchecked, you can cause devastating, irreversible damage to your aquarium.
- Stress-Related Diseases like ick. Remember all tanks have some levels of ick in them at all times.
- An algae outbreak can be a menacing pest to get rid of. It’s much easier to prevent outbreaks from happening with proper daily maintenance.
- When your tank isn’t setup or operating properly, it leaves serious potential for your beautiful corals to die.
- Tank Recycling occurs when a tank’s original ecosystem crashes from one cause or another, and begins reestablishing a new ecosystem.
- Fish and corals pay the ultimate price when a tank isn’t operating properly.
INSIDE OF TANK INSPECTION
When performing an aquarium checkup, an aquarium technician will always ask, “What was the last thing you did differently to your tank?” Your answer will give them a clue to the next thing they need to check during their inspection.
Look for the presence of algae or bacteria. Ensure fish are breathing easily with good color, free of parasites
Poor Water Quality – Although you can’t see poor water quality, it can stress out your aquarium, and potentially kill its inhabitants for more information, read our blog on RO filtration and the importance of water quality here. (LINK TO RO WATER FILTRATION ARTICLE)
Using visual cues and a PAR Meter, a professional will measure the lighting in your aquarium to determine if it’s appropriate for your fish, plants, or corals. (Read more about aquarium lighting here) (LINK TO AQUARIUM LIGHTING 101 BLOG)
STRAY CURRENT INSPECTION
Safety first! Stray voltage in your aquarium’s water can quickly kill your coral and shock those who touch it.
TANK & STAND INSPECTION
The outside of your tank’s health is just as important as the inside of your tank. When you have an aquarium check-up performed, make sure the outside of the tank and stand are inspected for these common issues. Some of these are easily repaired if you catch them early, but if you let them go without intervention, they can become major pain points.
If not properly handled, leaks can cause damage to your stand, flooring, electrical equipment, and more. They are usually caused by a weakened sealant, either during manufacturing or over time.
Wood rot is a result of leaks. When wood is exposed to water over a long period of time, it begins to rot. If not handled, your tank, stand, or flooring may become unstable and fall.
You won’t find it until it’s too late. Present in saltwater aquariums, salt creep happens when your aquarium leaks saltwater, and evaporate – leaving behind the salt crystals.
Just like anything with furniture, bolts can be loosened over time. To protect your tank and prevent your stand from accidentally collapsing, it is a good idea to check the bolts 1 a year.
SCRATCHES AND CRACKS
Scratches or cracks in a glass or acrylic tank is the perfect home for algae and bacteria to grow. Although you can repair an acrylic tank with a lot of TLC, you cannot repair scratches on a glass aquarium.
Caulking should be solid and free of tears in all seams of the tank.
- Know how to properly clean your tank and use contaminant free cleaning products.
- Check your aquarium’s temperature any time you walk by your tank. Temperature affects so many elements in your aquarium, so the sooner you know something is out of line, the sooner you can fix it.
- We recommend using a well-fitting lid or canopy to protect your aquarium from environmental contaminants like dust and aerosols.
- Manage your aquarium’s cables by keeping the neat, organized, and labeled.
- Purchase only reliable, highly rated accessories for your aquarium. In the aquarium hobby, you get what you pay for. If you use cheap products, they will break.
- Have a designated sick tank, and be prepared for if disease strikes your tank.
- Train a family member on how to care for your tank so you have someone you can trust when going on vacations or hire a professional.
Like anyone else in the family, your aquarium’s health matters. A healthy tank maximizes your enjoyment. To keep it that way, call your aquarium specialist to set up a consultation. If you can’t remember the last time you had a check-up for your tank, or you think your corals or fish are suffering – DON’T DELAY! Call the pros at Parrott Aquatic to schedule an aquarium checkup today at (865) 253-2846.