Caring_aquarium by shuifanglj


                                                                                             Caring for
                                                                                            your tropical
      for help & advice


       Approved by

                                                                                                       Approved by

Tetra (UK) Limited, PO Box 271, Southampton SO18 3ZX Email:   CTA1 (v2)

                             For more information:                               For more information:
    Caring for your                                         Content
    tropical aquarium                                       Fish care             4-5
                                                            Water care            6-8
    A healthy aquarium makes a great focal point for        Substrate and
    any room and provides a constant source of interest     glass care             9

    for the whole family. It’s easy to keep it this way     Equipment care      10-11

    too, by following the advice in this brochure, and by   Plant care            12

    using Tetra’s innovative range of care products.        Holidays              13
                                                            Water quality and
    With Tetra´s range of high quality and simple-to-
                                                            testing             14-19
    use products, it has never been easier to care for
    tropical fish and keep the aquarium looking good.
    For more than 55 years Tetra has been the global
    leader for aquarium products, committed to making
    aquarium ownership easy and enjoyable through
    continual innovation and unrivalled customer
    support. Every Tetra product has been subject to
    rigorous testing by our independently accredited
    Research and Development laboratories to ensure
    they keep your fish in top condition.

2                                                                                   3
    Fish care
    Provided your aquarium is well cared      Different fish have different
    for, the fish will generally remain       nutritional needs, and so it’s           Why feed Tetra?
    healthy and happy. Fish normally only     important to ask about these when        • Clearer, cleaner water,
    get sick when there is a problem with     you buy them. Read our 'Feeding          due to less waste
    the water, which is easily avoidable by   your Tropical Fish' brochure to find     production
    following the advice in this and other    out which foods are best for your        • Healthy colourful
    Tetra brochures. Therefore,               fish.                                    fish, due to
    the most important part                                                            superior nutrition
    of caring for your fish                   Here are some top tips for giving
                                              your fish a healthy diet:                and patented
    is ensuring they                                                                   ActiveFormula
    receive a good
                                              •   Always choose a good quality         • Unrivalled research
    quality diet.
                                                  Tetra food, as this keeps the fish   and testing at our
                                                  healthier, and makes looking         independently accredited
                                                  after the aquarium easier            ornamental fish nutrition
                                              •   Feed 2-3 times a day, only as        laboratory
                                                  much as the fish can eat within a    • Over 55 years of research
                                                  few minutes. The only exception      and development, and the
                                                  is when feeding wafers or            world’s best selling tropical
                                                  tablets to substrate-feeding fish.   fish foods
                                              •   Offer the right mix of floating
                                                  and sinking foods to suit the
                                                  fish in your aquarium. Ask your
                                                  aquatics outlet, or read our
                                                  'Feeding your Tropical Fish'
       A more natural diet                        brochure, for more advice.
       If you want to give your fish a        •   Vary your fishes’ diet with treat
       more natural daily diet, why               foods such as Tetra FreshDelica.
       not feed them Tetra Natura,
                                              The basis of your fishes’ diet should
       produced using Tetra's
                                              be a quality floating food such as
       patented gel-food technology.
                                              TetraMin, with sinking foods (e.g.
       Natura contains natural foods
                                              TetraPrima) and tablet / wafer foods
       with added nutrients to ensure
                                              (e.g. Tetra TabiMin) used as needed.
       balanced nutrition.

       With the choice of sachets or
       24 hr feeding blocks, and five
       different varieties. Tetra Natura
       can cater for all of your fishes'
       needs, as well as providing a
       varied, tasty diet.

4                                                                                                                      5
    Water care
    Clear, healthy water makes the whole         OPTION 1
    aquarium look stunning, and it is                                                     Carrying out a water change      Important – Do not allow the
    essential for keeping the fish in good     Regular water changes                                                       heater to be exposed to air. If
                                                                                          1. Begin by preparing the
    condition.                                 The traditional approach to refreshing                                      this is unavoidable, switch it
                                                                                          replacement water. Fill
                                               aquarium water is with partial water                                        off at least half an hour before
                                                                                          a plastic bucket with tap
    Refreshing aquarium water                  changes. These should be carried                                            draining the water down.
                                                                                          water, and treat it with Tetra
    Over time, the appearance and              out every 2-3 weeks, and involve           AquaSafe. Leave it for an hour   3. Once the aquarium has
    composition of aquarium water              removing approximately 25% of the          to settle.                       been drained down, bring
    changes due to various natural             water, and replacing it with tap                                            the replacement water up to
                                                                                          2. Once the new water has
    processes. If left unchecked, this can     water that has been treated with                                            the same temperature as the
                                                                                          settled, turn the lights & all
    lead to poor water quality, dirty water,   Tetra AquaSafe.                                                             aquarium with small amounts
                                                                                          other electrical equipment
    and sick fish. Refreshing aquarium                                                                                     of boiled water (not water
                                               It is essential to use a water             off in the aquarium & remove
    water is therefore an important part                                                                                   from the hot tap).
                                               conditioner when adding fresh water        / open the lid. Drain 25% of
    of keeping it healthy and maintaining                                                                                  4. Top the aquarium up with
                                               to the aquarium. Tap water contains        the water out into a plastic
    its appearance. There are two                                                                                          the new water. Do this with a
                                               chlorines and heavy metals, which are      bucket. The easiest way to do
    approaches to refreshing aquarium                                                                                      jug and pour it gently to avoid
                                               toxic to fish. Tetra AquaSafe removes      this is with a gravel vacuum,
    water:                                                                                                                 disturbing the aquarium.
                                               these toxins, making water safe for        such as the TetraTec GC.
                                               fish. It also adds essential vitamins      This allows you to clean the     5. Once full, close the lid and
                                               and maintains the fish’s ability to cope   substrate at the same time.      turn any electrical equipment
                                               with stress and physical damage.           Alternatively, use a piece of    back on. Leave the lights off
                                                                                          plastic pipe, or remove the      for the rest of the day, to allow
                                                                                          water manually with a jug.       the fish to settle.

6                                                                                                                                                              7
      OPTION 2
    Tetra EasyBalance
                                              Substrate and glass care
    EasyBalance offers a simpler
                                              Over time, a certain amount of debris
    alternative to regular water changes,
                                              will settle in the substrate. This      Helping you enjoy your
    and is therefore ideal if you don’t
                                              should be removed from time to time,    aquarium more
    always have time to do them.
                                              to prevent it polluting the water.      The need to remove debris
    It replicates the refreshing action of
                                              The easiest way to do this is with      and algae, whilst relatively
    a water change, keeping aquarium
                                              a TetraTec GC gravel vacuum. The        easy, can be reduced through
    water balanced for up to 6 months.
                                              vacuum sucks up debris, leaving         the use of the right Tetra
    To keep the aquarium healthy, add         the substrate in place. Because it      products. For example:
    EasyBalance once a week, & carry          works by siphoning water from the
                                                                                      • Using TetraMin Crisps
    out a partial water change once every     aquarium, it can be used to perform
                                                                                      or TetraPro Crisps as your
    3-6 months.                               a water change as well. Substrate
                                                                                      fishes’ main food will reduce
                                              should be cleaned as and when it
                                                                                      both solid and dissolved
    If you want to carry out more             becomes dirty – begin by cleaning it
                                                                                      waste. This cuts down on
    frequent water changes, that’s fine       once every 4 to 6 weeks, and adjust
                                                                                      debris accumulation and
    – EasyBalance provides a stable,          accordingly.
                                                                                      helps to limit algae growth.
    permanently healthy environment
    whatever your preferred care regime.      If the glass develops a covering        • Tetra EasyBalance
                                              of algae (green patches), this can      actively reduces nitrate and
    When using EasyBalance, there will        easily and quickly be removed with a    phosphate, which encourage
    still be times when you may need to       TetraTec GS glass scraper.              algae to grow.
    add tap water to the aquarium (e.g. to                                            • TetraTec filters are
    top up evaporation losses, or following                                           designed to effectively
    substrate cleaning). Always use Tetra                                             remove and retain debris,
    AquaSafe to make this water safe for                                              reducing the amount that
    your fish.                                                                        settles on the substrate.

        What EasyBalance does
        • Replenishes bicarbonates,
        thereby stabilising pH (acidity).
        • Replenishes all trace
        elements needed by fish,
        plants and filter bacteria.
        • Actively reduces nitrate and
        phosphate, for healthier water
        and less algae.
        • Adds small amounts of
        carbon dioxide, which aids the
        growth of live plants.
8                                                                                                                     9
     Equipment care
     The equipment in your aquarium is its      debris, the biological part will not     Following filter maintenance, add
     life-support system. Keeping it running    work, and the flow rate will decrease.   Tetra SafeStart to the aquarium.
     properly is essential to the quality and                                            This replaces any bacteria lost
     clarity of the water, and the health of    Your filter should be cleaned roughly    during the cleaning process, thereby
     the fish.                                  every 2-3 weeks, although it depends     preventing any pollution of the water.
                                                on the design and also the amount
              Filter                            of debris it is trapping. For example,   Spare filter media and parts are
              Your filter performs two main     a larger external filter, such as the    available from your aquatics outlet.
              functions – the physical          TetraTec EX, will need cleaning less     Some filter media needs changing
              removal of debris, and            frequently than an internal filter.      regularly, e.g. activated carbon and
              the biological breakdown                                                   filter floss. Check the instructions for
                                                You should certainly clean the           details on your filter.
              of dissolved waste by
                                                filter if the flow rate begins to fall
              filter bacteria. If the filter
                                                significantly.                           Heater
              becomes too clogged with
                                                                                         The heater should not need regular
                                                                                         cleaning, and is best left alone.
                                                                                         The only time to clean it is if it
         Cleaning your filter                     To protect the bacteria, this
                                                                                         develops a covering of limescale. You
         For the best results, always             media must be washed in
                                                                                         will need to switch the heater off and
         follow the cleaning instructions         aquarium water.
                                                                                         allow it to cool for at least 30 minutes
         that came with your filter. Some         Tap water will kill the bacteria,      before removing it from the aquarium.
         key things to consider are:              quickly leading to water               Clean it very carefully, as any damage
         • Always switch the filter off           pollution.                             could result in its malfunction.
         at the mains before any                  • Some filters have separate
         maintenance.                             media for debris removal               Air pump
         • Do not keep the filter turned          (mechanical media) and the             Air pumps do not need regular
         off for longer than is necessary         breakdown of dissolved                 maintenance. If the flow of air
         – this will result in the loss of        waste (biological media). In           decreases over time, replace the
         important bacteria.                      such cases the mechanical              airstone first. If this does not work,
                                                  filter media can be washed             replace the felt pad that filters air
         • Many filters use a single
                                                  under the tap, whilst the              entering the pump, or install a spares
         type of filter media, e.g. a
                                                  biological media is cleaned            kit (available from your aquatics
         sponge, to trap debris and
                                                  in aquarium water.                     outlet).
                     biologically remove
                           dissolved waste.       • Occasionally it is worth
                                                  checking the impeller and
                                                  other moving parts, and                Light tubes cannot easily be cleaned,
                                                  removing any debris or                 however they should be replaced
                                                  limescale. This will extend            once a year on average. This is
                                                  the life of the filter, and keep       because the quality of light they emit
                                                  it flowing correctly.                  deteriorates over time, and may not
                                                                                         be sufficient for good plant growth.

10                                                                                                                                  11
     Plant care                               Holidays
     For more information on live plants      To ensure your aquarium remains
     and their care, read our 'Planting       healthy while you are away, it is
     your Aquarium' brochure. Many live       important to do the following:
     plants can be kept healthy with a
     minimum of care:                         •   Perform a partial water change,
                                                  including cleaning the substrate
     •   Keep them tidy by trimming               and filter, a few days before your
         excess growth. ‘Stem’ plants             holiday starts. Do not do it the day
         (those with an obvious stem)             before, as you want to make sure
         should be cut back as required.          everything is settled.
         If the base of the plant is sparse   •   Just before you go, put TetraMin
         with few leaves, you can remove          Holiday into the aquarium. This
         the top 20cm (8in) and replant           provides up to 14 days nutrition
         it. Rosette plants do not have           for fish, and is 100% edible. It
         obvious stems, and to thin them          will not alter the chemistry of the
         out you can remove their outer           water like plaster food blocks.
                                              •   If possible, ask a neighbour or
     •   Feed them by adding TetraPlant           friend to come in and check the
         PlantaMin to the aquarium                aquarium. They need to ensure
         water and TetraPlant Crypto to           the fish look happy, and that the
         the substrate. These replace             equipment is running. Show them
         essential nutrients and trace            what it should look like before you
         elements lost over time.                 go, and leave them the details
     •   Ensure the light is on for 10-12         of your local aquatics outlet for
         hours a day, and that it emits           advice in case of an emergency.
         the right spectrum of light. Tetra   •   Unless you have live plants, leave
         AquaArt aquariums contain                the lights off for the duration of
         lights designed to promote               your holiday. A timer can be used
         the growth of live plants. Your          if live plants are present.
         aquatics outlet can advise you

12                                                                                       13
     Water quality and testing
     One of the keys to a healthy aquarium    Fortunately, naturally occurring                                                   Dealing with high ammonia
     is good water quality. If you follow     bacteria remove ammonia, turning             Common causes of high                 or nitrite
     the care advice already presented in     it into nitrite, and then into harmless      ammonia or nitrite                    If you have a high ammonia or nitrite level,
     this and other Tetra brochures, the      nitrate. These bacteria require a high       A high ammonia or nitrite level       it needs to be dealt with to avoid harming
     water quality in your aquarium should    surface area to grow on, with a rich         indicates that the filter is not      the fish.
     remain good, and you will have few       supply of nutrients and oxygen. This         able to cope with the amount
                                                                                                                                 •   Perform one or more partial water
     problems. It is useful though to have    is the job of the filter, which contains     of waste that the fish are
                                                                                                                                     changes, using Tetra AquaSafe to
     an awareness of the most important       biological media designed to provide         producing. Common causes
                                                                                           include:                                  make the tap water safe, to dilute
     water quality parameters, and how to     a home for them. An aquarium with
                                                                                                                                     levels rapidly. This is important if levels
     test for them.                           a properly functioning filter (see our       • The aquarium is new, and
                                                                                           too many fish have been added
                                                                                                                                     are very high.
                                              ‘Aquarium Equipment’ brochure)
     Ammonia (NH3 /4+)                        should therefore have virtually no           at once, leading to New Tank          •   Add Tetra SafeStart to the aquarium,
     Ammonia is a waste product               ammonia in it.                               Syndrome (see our ‘Setting                to replenish the filter bacteria.
                                                                                           up your Tropical Aquarium’            •   Reduce feeding to once every day
     excreted by fish into the water. It
     is very toxic, with even moderate        Nitrite (NO2-)                               brochure for more information).
                                                                                                                                     or two, until levels come back down.
     levels causing stress and ill-health.    Ammonia is converted into nitrite by         • The biological filter media
                                                                                                                                 •   Ensure the filter is on all of the time,
                                                                                           has been washed in tap water,
     In the wild, ammonia is diluted by       nitrifying bacteria, before it is then                                                 and is reasonably clean (wash
                                                                                           killing its population of bacteria.
     large volumes of water, and various      turned into nitrate. Nitrite is also toxic                                             biological media in aquarium water).
     natural processes remove what is left.   to fish, and therefore needs to be kept      • The filter has been switched
                                                                                           off for more than a few hours,        •   Do not add any more fish until
     However, in an aquarium levels can       under control. As with ammonia, an
                                                                                           leading to a loss of filter               ammonia and nitrite are back to
     accumulate rapidly.                      aquarium with a properly functioning
                                                                                           bacteria.                                 zero, and the filter is coping.
                                              filter should have virtually no nitrite.
                                                                                           • A lot of fish have been added
                                                                                           at once to an established
                                                                                           aquarium, and the filter has
                                                                                           not developed sufficient new
                                                                                           bacteria to cope.
                                                                                           • The filter has been allowed
                                                                                           to get very dirty, clogging the
                                                                                           biological media and reducing
                                                                                           its effectiveness.

14                                                                                                                                                                                 15
     Nitrate (NO3-) & Phosphate (PO43-)          pH
     Nitrate is the end product of biological    The pH of aquarium water is a             Controlling pH
     filtration, and is relatively harmless to   measure of its acidity. Most common       To keep the pH stable,
     fish. Phosphate is excreted directly        aquarium fish can tolerate a wide         and within an ideal range,
     by fish and leached from solid waste,       range of pH levels, provided it doesn’t   follow these tips:
     and is also harmless. However, both         change too quickly, with an ideal
     nitrate and phosphate encourage             somewhere between 6.5 and 8.5. The        • In soft water areas,
     algae to grow, and are signs of a dirty     lower the pH, the more acidic the         perform more frequent
                                                                                           partial water changes
     aquarium.                                   water is.
                                                                                           to replenish the water’s
     Nitrate and phosphate can be                Very low pH levels can occur if the       buffering capacity. Use
                                                                                           AquaSafe to make new
     controlled in the same way:                 buffering capacity of the water is
                                                                                           water safe. Alternatively,
                                                 allowed to deplete. This basically
     •   Feed a good quality food, such                                                    use Tetra EasyBalance for
                                                 refers to its ability to resist pH        a permanently stable pH.
         as TetraMin, to reduce waste            changes, and it depends on the
         production.                                                                       • Control algae growth
                                                 presence of bicarbonates (e.g.
                                                                                           and avoid overstocking the
     •   Keep the substrate and filter free      calcium bicarbonate) in the water.        aquarium.
         from excess debris.                     Over time, bicarbonates are used
                                                                                           • In extremely soft water,
     •   Use Tetra EasyBalance to actively       up by natural processes, leading
                                                                                           it may be possible to add
         control phosphate and nitrate.          to a gradual reduction in buffering       materials to the aquarium
                                                 capacity. Eventually this can lead to a   to increase its buffering
     •   Consider using live plants to soak
                                                 fall in pH to below the recommended       capacity (e.g. calciferous
         up nitrate and phosphate.
                                                 minimum. Water supplies that are          substrates). Ask your
     •   Use Tetra NitrateMinus for              very ‘soft’, i.e. mineral-poor, have a    aquatics outlet for more
         additional long-term nitrate            lower level of bicarbonates, and are      information.
         reduction.                              therefore more prone to low pH levels.
     •   Check the tap water for levels of
         nitrate and phosphate (you can          As well as extremes of pH, fish
         test it yourself, or request a water    are especially sensitive to rapidly
         quality report from your local          changing pH levels, even within their
         supplier). If high, reduce water        preferred range. This sometimes           Some fish have very
                                                 happens in water that is soft and         specific water chemistry
         changes and switch to Tetra
                                                 poorly buffered, or if there is an        requirements and cannot
                                                 excessive amount of algae. In             be kept in normal water.
                                                                                           Always ask your aquatics
                                                 extreme cases, the pH may fluctuate
                                                                                           outlet for advice when
                                                 widely in a 24 hour period.
                                                                                           buying fish.

16                                                                                                                      17
     Oxygen (O2)                                 Testing aquarium water
     Fish, plants and filter bacteria all        The only way to be sure that the
     require a plentiful supply of oxygen        water in your aquarium is healthy and
                           to remain healthy.    balanced is by testing it. This is easy
                               Water contains    to do with TetraTest kits, which are
                               around 20-30      available for all of the most important
                               times less        water quality parameters.
                              oxygen than
                            air, and it is       For a quick analysis of your water
                                therefore more   quality, TetraTest QuickTest 6 in 1
                                of a concern     strips give values for six important
                             for aquatic         water quality parameters in just 60
                           animals. It can be    seconds. This makes it easy
     a particular problem in the summer,         to carry out regular
     as warm water increases the oxygen          checks to ensure your
     demand of the fish, but can hold less       aquarium is healthy,
     oxygen. If fish begin hanging at the        thereby avoiding any
     surface or around filter outlets, it can    problems.
     indicate a lack of oxygen.
                                                 For an even more thorough
     Daily fluctuations in oxygen levels can     and accurate understanding of your
     also occur. This is because during          water quality use TetraTest liquid test
     the day, plants and algae produce           kits. These are especially useful for
     oxygen via photosynthesis. However,         using in a new aquarium, where the
     this process stops at night, and they       filter has not yet fully developed its
     continue to use it up along with the        population of beneficial bacteria.
     fish and other aquatic life. If this
     happens to extremes, the fish may
                                                     Ideal water quality
     look quite lethargic in the morning.
                                                     parameters for a healthy
     Oxygen levels can be maintained                 aquarium*
     with good water movement, which
                                                     Ammonia (NH3 /4+)            0mg/l
     increases the diffusion of oxygen into
     the water from air. Air pumps, such             Nitrite (NO -)
                                                                  2            <0.3mg/l
     as the TetraTec APS, are excellent for          Nitrate (NO3-)        <25 – 50mg/l
     this. It is also important to control the       pH                        6.5 – 8.5
                            growth of algae
                                                     Oxygen (O2 )                >6mg/l
                               and plants,
                                especially           *For community fish. Some fish may
                                                     have special requirements
                                 in heavily
18                                                                                         19

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