Caring for your Fish in a Clean and Healthy Aquarium

planted aquarium with orange fish

You and your kids are excited as you bring your new fresh water Aquarium into your house and set it up. Then can add your new fish to their new home. So, what will it take to keep your aquarium clean and your fish healthy?

A Clean Aquarium

All fish need clean water to breathe and aquariums can offer that if you do your part in keeping them clean. Start out right when you get your fish and find out about the water they are living in at the tore. It is important to regulate the levels of ammonia, nitrate, pH, and nitrite.

  • You will need to test your aquarium water and you will to acclimate your fish to your water. Float them in the bag inside the tank.
  • Now add a little tank water to the bag and rest it a few minutes. Repeat these actions in five minute intervals until the water in the bag matches the water in the tank. When the waters match allow your fish to swim out of their bag and into the aquarium.
  • Do not over fill the tank with too many fish. Fish need room to swim around. The oxygen level in the take is lowered by having too many fish.
  • The water in the tank needs to be conditioned as tap water carries a variety of properties that don't support the health of the fish. You can buy the chemicals you need for this. You also need to ensure a pH balance of 6.6 to 7.8. Routinely check the pH level.
  • Replace about a quarter of the tank water every month.
  • Clean the water and debris with a gravel vacuum and keep the temperature constant between 72'F and 82'F.
  • Keep the tank clean in order to make your fish a happy family.

Ghost Shrimp

Shrimp in a fresh water fish tank? How and why? There are some interesting facts about the Ghost Shrimp, sometimes known as the Glass Shrimp. This shrimp is an algae eater and great for cleaning an aquarium. They scavenge through the gravel for their meals. Don't keep them in a perfectly cleaned tank because they will have no food there. But they will work feverishly to clean the algae in your tank. Don't put too many of them in one tank though. More is not always better, and they also add to the waste in the tank.

Ghost shrimp are easy to take care of and do a good job. They are translucent and look nice in your tank, adding a bit of the eccentric to a fresh water aquarium. They do well living with plants as they feed on the matter the plants shed. You will also need to place rocks and decorations in the water for hiding places for the shrimp.

Even though the water is fresh it must be tropical : 65-85 degrees. They thrive at 75 degrees. The pH balance needs to be from 7.8 - 8.0 and not change suddenly for the shrimp to thrive. Be sure no copper stays in the water because an accumulation of copper will kill the Ghost shrimp.

Even though Ghost shrimp love to clean the tank you will still need a filtration system. The Ghost likes to be the only shrimp in the tank but if there are too many of them, they turn aggressive toward their own kind. It is better if you keep them with Crystal Red or Red Cherry Shrimp.

Keep some small snails along with your fish and they will get along with the Ghost Shrimp. Add your Ghost Shrimp to the tank before you add any other water creatures. Let the Shrimp become acclimated and safe before the others are added. The Ghost is not expensive, and they are easy to take care of while they are eating the nitrates and algae from the tank.

Tank Filters

There are several different types of filters available for your aquarium. They include:

  • Mechanical Systems - Removes debris through a sponge like material. Sometimes it is called the sponge filter. This works well for small tanks.
  • UG or Under Gravel - lays under the gravel and pulls debris through the gravel. Don't use this with goldfish as they could swallow the gravel.
  • HOB or Hang on the Back - along with the internal these filters use
  • Internal - a higher rate of filtration
  • Canister - for Large Tanks
    • Canister Filters

      What is a canister filter and why is it the best choice for your aquarium? The canister filter is a pressurized canister with the filtration system inside it. The water goes through a tube and into the canister to be cleaned. It is then returned to the tank by pumping it.

      The uses of a canister filter is optimal for large tanks, community tanks, or goldfish tanks where a lot of waste is generated. This type of filter can handle very large amounts of water. Most of them have three kinds of media in the canister in order to successfully filter chemical, mechanical and biological waste. This is the best type of filter.

      • It increases the volume of water in your aquarium.
      • All of the water - 100% - in your tank move through the three waste stages and is thoroughly cleaned and circulated around the tank.
      • The canister is very quiet and low maintenance.
      • You can customize the filters for what you specifically need for your aquarium.
      • They cost substantially more than the other filters.

      Best of the Canister Filters

      Since the canister filter is the best which make, and model of canister is best for your tank? Here are a few of the best:

      • Hydor Professional: This has a pump motor with a ceramic shaft of the highest quality. The pump is rotating on this shaft which makes the unit operate quietly. It has both mechanical and biological media. In addition, a special hose attachment that aerates the water for the fish. It also has a priming system not found on most canisters. However, it does not have an activated charcoal filter.
      • Fluval FX: This canister filter has a new design that is considered to be especially innovative. This is a basket in a basket design with values that feature a quick disconnect. It is a very large canister that can contain many filters with a multi-directional nozzle for output.
      • API Filstar: The quick disconnect values on this canister filter are patented. It is easy to flip a lever and disconnect the canister. The mechanical filter uses foam pads and the Bio-chem use activated charcoal filters. It is quiet and easy to use.
      • Eheim Classic: This is the no frills version - a really good canister system with only the basics. But those basics are good. There are no baskets as the filtration media is in the canister itself. You can buy activated carbon filter pads if desired. A very reliable product at a very reasonable price.


      Once you bring an aquarium and fish into your home or office, you must take care of them. Mainly by taking care of the tank. Two things that can help you to have an elaborately clean tank are the Ghost Shrimp and a Canister Filter. With these two items cleaning your tank, your fish will be happy and healthy.