If you are new to fish keeping, you will realise that there is a lot that needs to be done to actualise your dream of setting up a fish tank. However, it is worth noting that mistakes are part of the learning process, and novice fish keepers are bound to make lots of them before actualising their dream of owning an aquarium. Avoiding some of these mistakes will help save you money and heartache in the long run. That said, here are some common mistakes to avoid:
Incorrect Tank Size
Buying a smaller tank is one of those common mistakes you should always strive to avoid. A small tank can be limiting in many ways. Low tank volumes restrict the fish, especially when they attain adult sizes. Smaller tanks also tend to be somewhat unstable with large swings. Be sure to get a decent size and also try to maximise the area you have.
Overstocking the Aquarium
As soon as you are done setting up the fish tank, your next step is to start adding fish. Adding lots of fish means that you should be able to deal with high waste volumes. High concentrations of ammonia and nitrates within the aquarium can lead to early deaths. The rule of thumb is to avoid adding fish too early, and if possible, start with a few numbers and monitor the cycle.
Adding Species that will Outgrow your Tank
Most fish stores sell juvenile species, which are often incomparable in size to adult fish. Adding species that outgrow your tank means struggling with ammonia spikes and also stressing the fish. Thus, it is imperative to factor in the adult fish sizes to allow the fish to swim freely. On that note, always research each fish species before purchase.
Adding Incompatible Fish Species
This is yet another mistake that can be rectified by doing some research before taking the plunge. You need to know which species live comfortably together and those that prefer similar water values. As a tip, never impulse buy. Instead, always ascertain that the fish you are buying is suitable for your aquarium and the fish you already have.
Not Testing Water Parameters
After setting up the tank, most keepers think that the water will be just fine and there will be no problems in the future. This assumption can be dangerous considering that most parameters in aquarium water cannot be inspected with our eyes. Thus, it is advisable to invest in a water testing kit to monitor what is going on inside the aquarium.
Besides learning from your mistakes, you can also get some tips from experienced fish keepers or pet stores. The most important thing is to do due diligence on your part and keep learning as you enjoy the hobby.