Every living thing relies on a certain number of things to be in place before they can survive. New fish are not any different as they also need things to survive in a fish tank. In their natural habitat which is either in a fresh or saltwater environment, all they need to survive is naturally available to them. But in an aquarium, the situation is different.
Since they are not in their natural habitat where live plants and tank size are less of a worry, there are some things you have to put in place for them, to ensure their survival.
So what things do fish need to survive in a fish tank? Below is a checklist of the items you need to have in place to ensure your pet fish live.
- Light and heat.
- The right pH levels,
- A cycled habitat.
- Dechlorinated water
- A water filter.
Light and heat
To maintain the water temperature in your aquarium, you may use a water heater. Some tropical fishes in order to survive to require a constant water temperature between 75° and 80° F. The sardine and some other cold-water fishes are exceptions to this rule. They can survive in cold water.
Light is another one of the things fish need to survive. It is essential for the survival of the plants your fish can feed on and they also bring out the beautiful colours of your fishes. Different types of aquarium light fixtures available for purchase.
But note that allowing light constant into your pond may not be good as it causes excessive algae growth, so limiting the lighting of your aquarium to about 8 hours daily is a pretty good idea.
Light prevents your fishes from sleeping during the day. Light helps to prevent animals from sleeping by preventing the release of the sleeping hormone from their brain, and since fishes are also animals, it serves this function also in them. Just picture how your tank will look if all the fishes which are supposed to be beautifying your tank, decide to fall asleep during the day.
• Safe pH levels
The alkalinity or acidity of a substance can be determined with a pH indicator. Freshwater fishes require pH levels between 6.7 and 7.6, to survive, as this is the range required for your fishes to resist infectious diseases. Acidic water can easily kill your fish, in fact, it prevents fingerlings from surviving.
This means that if you use it in your tank; forget about owning a hatchery as all of your fishes will die. An irregularity in the pH of your tank is very dangerous. So, ensure to always monitor it to make sure it’s within the safe range.
If you notice that the pH of your tank’s water is low, you have to raise it. This is easy as with a simple powdered alkaline buffer you can get at your local pet store this problem can be solved.
Common baking soda can also be used. To do so, add about 1 teaspoon of it to 5 gallons of water. This should result in a change in the pH of your tank water to a safe level.
• Well cycled aquarium water
This is another important thing you must do when checking for things fish need to survive in an aquarium.
Cycling your tank water prevents the buildup of ammonia which is harmful to your fishes. It does this by starting up a nitrogen cycle. Nitrogen cycle gets rid of ammonia by making use of the good bacteria colonies within your tank (this is another importance of light as it is required for the multiplication of the microbes).
These microbes convert ammonia to a non-toxic compound called nitrites. Cycling your tank water takes a long time. It could take up to six weeks to fully complete.
Nitrates are still dangerous to your fish, but are far less harmful than ammonia especially at low concentration, hence the need for proper and regular cleaning of your water tank in other from keeping them from accumulating.
• Dechlorinated water
While chlorine has its benefits for humans as it is used to purify our drinking water, making it safe for drinking, the story is very different when it comes to fish. Chlorine is very poisonous to them and can kill them even at low concentrations. This means that your tank water needs to be properly dechlorinated before you use it, except you wish for the death of your fishes.
Dechlorination is not a really difficult process as with simple sulphur dioxide, sodium bisulphite (NaHSO3) or sodium metabisulphite (Na2S2O5), you can successful dechlorinate your water.
Chlorine is usually found in tap water so if you wish to use this water then you must dechlorinate it first.
Having a filter in your fish tank is very crucial. In there, it removes pollutants such as fish waste, dead plant matter and decaying food, from your tank. This debris if left in the tank will negatively affect your fishes; it may even kill them or at least make them sick. But cleaning up your tank is not the only function of tank filters.
Tank filters play an important part in the nitrogen cycle. In this cycle, colonies of good bacteria (microbes) which live in your tank, convert toxic ammonia in your water tank into a safe, nitrite. This nitrite is relatively safe for your fishes, especially at low concentrations.
The success of your fish tank should be prioritised. This means that you have to know all that is necessary for the survival of your fishes. In this write-up, five of these necessities were talked about. Light and heat, pH, cycled tank, dechlorinated water and tank filters were all talked about.
Light is necessary for photosynthesis in edible plants, getting the pH of your tank wrong can be very dangerous to your fishes, it can even kill them, chlorinated water is very dangerous so dechlorination is very necessary and tank filters are necessary for the initiation of nitrogen cycle which helps to remove ammonia (which is deadly to your plants) from the water.