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Dealing with problems after starting a new aquarium
January 08, 2022
For our new post, we've chosen a popular topic: new aquariums and dealing with problems around startup. An easy start and a relatively carefree operation in the first few weeks will give you the boost for upcoming months. Therefore, it is essential to know how to deal with the most common problems.
Water conditioners for starting a new aquarium
Use water conditioners when using tap water. Several products are available on the market, and our favorite is Seachem Prime. We use it for most of our aquariums running with tap waters. In addition to water treatment, a bacteria starter comes handy to speed up the biological processes in the first weeks. Because of this, we can introduce the algae-eaters sooner.
It's easy to overdose on the bacteria starters. One of the most common signs of this is milky water. If you've been adding the bacteria you used to start for a while, it's a sign to stop it. In this case, the water will clear in a few days.
Is the aquarium water cloudy or green?
Cloudy water appears for other reasons as well, for example, due to unwashed decor sand. If the water does not clear within 48 hours after the start, you may need some help. Flocculation products offer a quick solution in this case. They purify the water within a few hours after use.
The aquarium is placed in a bright spot, and the water is constantly green? You need a UV filter device. This way, you can enjoy the view of the aquarium even without relocation.
A special chemical filter material is used for crystal clear waters. Seachem Purigen is constantly present in the filter, and we only take it out for cleaning every few months. It also helps to solve water discoloration due to decor trees and filtering out other small floating particles.
Diatom algae and high silicate levels
Diatom algae is a relatively common phenomenon in the first few weeks. If there is little, the algae eaters will take care of it. But due to excessively high silicate levels, it can flood the aquarium entirely and cover all the plants. In this case, it is advisable to check the silicate level and put a silicate removal medium in the filter if the value is high.
It may also be helpful to use activated carbon granules for the first 2-4 weeks when the organic waste load is higher due to the fresh plants and the start of a new aquarium. Activated carbon can be removed from the filter after the first month.
Which algae eater should we use after starting the aquarium?
Algae eaters can be introduced after 1.5 weeks if a bacterium starter is used in the first few days. We may not have algae yet, but early introduction will also help prevent it. For the algae that appear in the first weeks, Amano shrimp, snails, and Otocinclus are most recommended.
When do we start fertilizing the aquarium plants?
It is worth starting to feed the plants in the first days. We only deviate from this if we use only large potted plants for planting. In this case, it is enough to feed on the second week because due to the size and development of the aquatic plant grown in horticulture, it stores more nutrients.
Why do my plants "melt" after planting?
Melting plants is a common phenomenon, make sure the plants are prepared correctly, and the lab plants are cleaned carefully. The plants sprayed continuously to protect them from drying out during planting. Melting a few days after planting is often due to an insufficient CO2 problem. In addition, it is worth checking the water temperature, as most plants do not tolerate warm waters.
What to do if the surface is full of leaves, an oily film, or foaming occurs?
Using a skimmer can be especially helpful in the first few weeks. It also helps collect surface leaves, treat oiling and foaming and thus ensure proper gas exchange.
The methods listed above have been used successfully by aquarists for many years. But helpful information is often lost in the overwhelming product offers. Try the methods above with your next aquarium, and don't forget to share the result with us.
Do you have a hard time with your aquarium?
If you need advice on running your current aquarium, please get in touch with our customer service, and we will be happy to help.