Those of us who own a fish tank know what they mean to us in our life. These finned creatures are our lifeline and they are like family to us. Every fish has a lifespan, after that, they leave us. But sometimes, fish die for no reasons. Whom can we blame? You do everything to keep your aquarium fresh and clean. Oftentimes, a dying fish can be saved. But most of the time, they die.
After a period of time, you change the fish tank. But you notice that as soon as your fishes are put in this new tank, some of them die the very next day. Other fishes catch diseases and die after a few days. What is the cause behind this? Did the change in fish tank kill the fishes? Let's learn about it in great details.
When you feed your fish, some of the food float in the water for a while, but then they go settle at the bottom of the fish tank with other detritus of the fish tank. Once the fish digests the food, it secrets waste that again accumulates at the bottom of the fish tank. These wastes secrete ammonia and nitrite into the water, which is toxic to fishes.
The new tank with new water environment will not have the essentials of an established fish tank, that is, the digestive bacterias. In an established tank, beneficial bacterias break down ammonia and nitrites into harmless nitrogen components.
In a new tank, however, it will take more than 20 days for the bacterias to establish themselves and start converting the harmful chemicals. Till then, the water gets intoxicated with high levels of ammonia and nitrites leading to the death of fishes. Like humans, fish need oxygen to breath and these harmful chemicals just cause distress to the fish body leading to their death.
This effect is collectively known as New Tank Syndrome.
The best way to avoid new tank syndrome is by having the new fish tank go through the nitrogen cycle before adding any fish. This will enable the tank to establish the beneficial bacterias to help the fish survive. You can do this in many ways.
- You can add starter fishes like Hardy fish species to get the environment suitable for other fishes. Hardy species of fishes can easily survive drastic changes in the varying ammonia levels in the fish tank.
- Adding gravel from an older fish tank could help establish the environment quickly. You can add the gravel from your own older aquarium or you can get in from the store you brought your fishes from.
- Avoid overfeeding the fishes in your tank. This will prevent the accumulation of organic debris that contributes to nitrogen levels. Check the pH level throughout the initial stage of the fish tank.
It is hard for us when our finned pets die. You can learn how to tell if your fishes are dying and revive them on time to save them. But most importantly, having a great atmosphere for them from the beginning is the best way of preventing fatality of the fishes.
If you are buying a new fish tank, establish the perfect environment before adding your fishes.