Best Ways To Maintain A Fish Tank! 10 Things You Should Know About Aquarium Maintenance

Best Ways To Maintain A Fish Tank! 10 Things You Should Know About Aquarium Maintenance

Maintaining an aquarium is something that intimidates allot of new fish keepers but it’s really not as bad as you think. It’s a pretty simple process but there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. Here are 10 things you should know about maintaining an aquarium.

1. Bacteria is our friend
Throughout this video you’re gonna hear us refer to bacteria. When we say that we’re referring to denitrifying or beneficial bacteria. This is the bacteria in aquariums that converts toxins like ammonia and nitrite into nitrate which is much safer for your fish. Without this bacteria your aquarium ammonia and nitrite will reach toxic levels and kill your fish so this is one of the most important aspects of fish keeping and something you should definitely understand before you set up your first tank.
2. Filter Maintenance
– The filter on your aquarium is one of the most important aspects of your tanks life support system. Filters aren’t something you can set and forget, you’ve gotta take care of them.
– Your filter isn’t something that requires daily maintenance, it’s actually best if you DON’T mess with it too much but it’s something you should get in the habit of maintaining at least every 3-4 weeks.
3. Water Conditioners
– The water in your home comes from one of two places. Either you have a well or you’re getting your water from your city or municipality.
– Water from a well is usually pretty clean but if you have city water the city is required to treat the water to make sure it’s free of bacteria so you don’t get sick when you drink or cook with it.
– They use chlorine or chloramine to kill all of the potentially harmful
bacteria in the water. So you remember when we talked about denitrifying bacteria being so important for your aquariums health.
4. Water Changes
– Water changes are the main thing we’re gonna do to maintain our aquariums.
– This is the process of removing stale dirty water from your aquarium and replacing it with clean water
– How much water you’re gonna remove during a water change is completely dependant on your set up, how many fish you have and how long it’s been since you did the last one.
– As a general rule we recommend 15-25% of the water being changed each week. Make this a routine that you do every week, don’t wait until there’s a problem.
5. Turn Off Filter and Heater
– This might seem like common sense but when you’re doing your routine weekly water change unplug your filter and heater.
6. Don’t clean too much
– We’ve been talking allot about the beneficial bacteria in your aquarium and how important it is.
– Well many new fish keepers sabotage their aquariums by actually cleaning too much, yes you can clean an aquarium too much.
– Remember beneficial bacteria grows on surfaces. If you clean all of the surfaces in your tank you’re potentially removing all of that
beautiful bacteria.
7. No chemicals
– This is another one that might seem like common sense but you wouldn’t believe how many stories I’ve heard of people using harsh chemicals to clean their aquariums.
8. Tools for the job
– You don’t need a ton of stuff to maintain an aquarium but there are some that will definitely make the job so much easier.
– First is good old fashioned buckets. 5 gallon buckets are cheap and versatile and they’re great to keep a few around for all different types of things like doing water changes or filling with aquarium water to rinse out your sponges like we talked about earlier.
– Next is a syphon hose. These are cheap and an absolute must if you’re gonna be successful in this hobby.
– Next is sponges. Don’t go grabbin the sponge you have sitting on the back of your kitchen sink. Get brand new ones, don’t be cheap.
– Next is nets, depending on what type of fish you keep you’ll wanna have nets handy. You never know when you might need to get a fish out in an emergency.
9. Test Kit
– A test kit is something you should buy when you buy your tank, it should be one of the first things on your list.
– Aquarium test kits test for things like ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels in your tank and they also measure your waters ph.
– Testing your water is something
you should do routinely when your tank is cycling so you know what’s going on and how far along you are.
10. Watch your fish
– An important aspect to maintaining your aquarium might sound silly but it works, trust me and that’s watch your fish.
– You’re gonna be spending quite a bit of time watching your fish but also pay attention to how they
behave. Get to know their normal tendencies and activity levels.
– One of the first signs that there is a problem in your aquarium is your fish will start to behave abnormally.


  1. I use rain water, it’s higher in pH but no harsh chemicals. I just keep it in jugs to get room temp and adjust pH before adding to my aquarium, 40 gal.

  2. 10 Tips on using a gravel vac/siphon. I have such a hard time cleaning the aquarium without taking out lots of water.

  3. I raised fish for decades and one thing will ALWAYS be true about the hobby: the FISH are the cheapest part!

  4. can you think of reasons I should get a fish instead of a puppy? or maybe a puppy instead of fish? like if I go on vacation all the time maybe I should get a puppy, especially if I like long walks and playing with balls…

  5. I use an under gravel filter with every hole covered except one and I use a power head on the one tube.. That lets the beneficial bacteria build up in the gravel bed.. When I do a water change I only push the vacuum tube down into the top half inch of the gravel so not to bother the beneficial bacteria that is in the gravel bed.. Do you think this is a good idea and have you ever thought about doing it yourself ??

  6. melamine sponges are the absolute best for the easy removal of green spot algae on the inside glass. they work to clean anything off the glass , but green spot is a pain to remove and these things just wipe it off.
    they are marketed as [ magic eraser ] and are completely safe for your fish , but you can get them much cheaper on amazon just as melamine sponges.

  7. Love your 10 things series!!! You have rekindled my love for aquariums.. I was quite the keep fish keeper in my day and honestly videos and information like this, keep me brushed up on my skills for when I can get another one.. and I have something to reference to when people still ask me questions!! Love you guys and thanks for sharing your love… did I see y’all are located in Virginia? I’m in Portsmouth I’m just hoping you’re not too far away from me.. would love to visit you guys one day!!!

  8. How can i get rid of alge i have it so much and its not even fun anymore because everything i get out is back in a week..

  9. Of all the Yutube presentation ,You are the most comprehensive and logical advise I ever watch.
    I had an aquarium store in Europe and later in California I now live in Ecuador and want to start over again. I am diabetic and this is the best stress release there is. I know I am going to have some challenges, the temperature here varied from 70 to 90 every day of the year and NO A/C. Tank’s again

  10. I’m a new fish keeper. I just got a new beta a couple of weeks ago. When I bought a heater online, some people wrote reviews about heaters malfunctioning and over heating the water and killing their fish. Has this ever happened to you? Do you recommend any particular brand or specific heater that is reliable? I bought one of the more expensive ones by Hygger with a digital thermometer. So far, its been great.

  11. I don’t understand why these professionals are telling people to change their filter cartridges! When you trash your filter cartridge, you get rid of almost ALL your beneficial bacteria! You will literally be cycling your tank over and over again every 3-4 weeks with your fish in the tank. Don’t do it! Again, I don’t know why these professionals are telling people to do this!

  12. JOHN & LISA , HELP ! I need advise ! My problem is : I have a 20 gallon high and I can’t keep clean ! Water is a neon green color ! I redused the time of lights ( l.e.d. by the way ) redused feeding, even covered tank with towel and lights off for 4 days , looked good , then 50 % water change! Guess what ? IT’S GREEN AGAIN ! What to do ! Any suggestions will b appreciated! Thanks !

  13. I’m new to this hobby but I love it I think we should have both a small and large net large for when we buy quite a few fish and are putting them in the tank at once

  14. Hi, just this might be silly question, when you get your tank cycled for first time you will still follow the procedure or it’s good to get it a little bit ”mesy” and do cleaning before adding finish in

  15. This is an older video, so while I can understand not getting a response, I wanted to say one thing. I love how you address the nitrogen cycle from the very beginning. I work in waste water treatment, and 90% of our job is just that, understanding the nitrogen cycle. The other 10% is phosphorus handling, heavy metals, and solids treatment…things we shouldn’t have to deal with in aquariums.

    I gotta say, your videos and "Top X" videos have given me a lot of insight into not only how I handle my fish, but how I handle my water. Your videos acted as the link between waste water treatment and fishkeeping. One might even say that fish keeping is more about managing water quality. One might say we are all waste water treatment operators as well as fish keepers.

  16. if you have an overstocked tank, can you do large water changes? 70-90%? Also in regards to the N cycles, is it easier to maintain a smaller tank 5-10g tank or larger 20-40?

  17. When you fill using a Python do you add water directly to the tank or bucket first, treat and then dump. Think it’s necessary?

  18. I’d love to see a video on African Clawed frogs, I see so many about the dwarfs, but never the larger ones…

  19. I enjoy the format and the content. I’m happy to use your links in support of getting all this info. Just makes sense.

  20. 4:16 No, You don’t HAVE to do it man, I’m sick of how much false information is spread like gospel by fish keepers, half the time shilling for products. If you’re keeping one or two small tanks, there’s no reason why you can’t just leave some city water out uncovered for 24 hours so that the chlorine can out-gas, then the water will be fine. If you use well water and have had it tested so you know what’s in it, you may not need to treat it for things like heavy metals or alter other parameters depending on what those levels are or how sensitive the animals you’re keeping are. "Context" is a word aquarium hobbyists need to use more often. For example, water changes are another issue; water changes depend on how many plants you have, how much or what type of filtration you have, how many animals you have in a certain size tank, how big your animals are, how much waste your particular species of animals produce compared to others of similar size, what you feed them, to what extent you have a balanced ecosystem that maintains a certain water quality, what substrate or decorations you have, what’s your ph, hardness, etc…

  21. Doesn’t the chlorine evaporate out if the water sets out for 24 hours before using it in the tank ??

  22. Hey this question is for anyone. I’m thinking of getting a 125 gallon tank thinking of doing oscars, Jack Dempsey’s and maybe something else. How many of each could I do! And any other recommendations on what else I should mix with them?

  23. Quick question? What are those invisible fish you have in ur video they seem cool and I want one!!!!

  24. attention hillsborough county florida fish keepers. The Tap has more than chlorine and chloramine. Its not suitable for Drinking OR your fish

  25. I really love these guys they really have good answers to things i jus got a 75gal aqurium and live plants my fish love its a great hobby

  26. Guys, can someone answer my question. What if I don’t use tap water but purified drinking water for the tank?? So I don’t have to buy tap water conditioner?

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