Setting up an aquarium at home is a matter of delight to many. But little do novices know about the right methods of setting up or maintaining the aquariums. This in turn leads to some problems to the aquarium conditions and the fishes as well. Little observation here can give vital cue on something going off-balance in the aquarium.
- White or tan worms visible in the aquarium – This is quite a common problem seen in most of the aquariums managed by beginners who stock up too many fishes. The excess organic debris in the aquarium due to over population could be the prime cause. However, a filter malfunctioning cannot be ruled out either.
- Water turning red or rusty – Water rich in iron (i.e. well water) may turn red. The more the oxygen levels in the aquarium, more is the oxidation of the dissolved iron and more is the redness. These minerals, iron and silicate also cause aggressive algae growth in the tank.
- Green water – The green water is a sure indication of the algae growth at the bottom of the aquarium. While the algae are normal, an aggressive growth indicates an inefficient processing of the nutrients such as the nitrate and the phosphate.
- White and cloudy water in the tank – With high levels of ammonia in the water, there is a bloom in the bacteria feeding on the ammonia. This rapid reproduction of the bacteria causes a white smoke or swirling cloud inside the aquarium. Overfeeding, excess cleaning with the chlorine water and the excess use of the antibodies can cause the situation.
- Ammonia Spikes – This is yet another problem associated with ammonia and nitrifying bacteria. Adding too many fishes to a new tank before the natural setting up of a suitable bacteria colony can cause ammonia spikes. But these may also occur in an already established aquarium after the gravel substrate is cleaned or replaced.
- Issues of aquarium substrates – Accumulation of uneaten fish food at the bottom of the tank can cause decaying and encourage mold or fungus growth. This may not harm the fishes directly, but it clearly indicates poor quality water.
- Decaying plants in the aquarium – Decaying of the plants inside the tank can be caused due to the toxins produced by the fish and the rotting matter. The filter used in the aquarium should be of the correct rating and as per the water volume.
- Debris or particles suspended – Overfeeding and inadequate filtration devices are the possible causes for the issue. The more the suspended particles, more is the suitability for the growth of algae inside the aquarium.
- Steady decrease in the aquarium pH – Suspension of particles and debris on the substrate and the filter device can cause pH imbalances. The acidifying effects of the decaying waste materials cause the fluctuations in the pH inside the aquarium.
- Gasping fish or fish breathing heavily after the water change – This problem is noticed immediately. The prime reason for such gasping is the chlorinated water used for filling the tank. The chlorine content not only harms the fish by attacking their gills but can also cause their death. It can also harm the eco system in the aquarium. The beneficial bacteria are harmed causing a loss of the biological filtration system which may again lead to ammonia spikes.
These are the most common problems seen in the freshwater aquariums. A beginner should take proper advice and consultation for maintaining the aquarium at home.