How to Keep your Freshwater Fish Tank healthy

How to Keep your Freshwater Fish Tank healthy and Happy

The objective of almost every aquarium owner is crystal clear, healthy-looking water. As a species, We are attracted to clean water, live in it, swim in it, and drink it of course. 

But if aquarium water is not properly managed, it may soon become murky, full of algae, and colorless. Dirty aquariums are one of the major reasons why people give up fish keeping. It will not only assist the non-fishermen around you to appreciate your tank by keeping your tank clean, but it will also help to keep you in your hobby and love the fish.

How to recognize a happy and healthy fish

There are 6 Happy, Healthy Fish Signs when your fish are happy and healthy:

  • Swim around the whole tank aggressively, not simply hanging up and lying down, drifting upwards, or hiding under plants and decorations.
  • Eat frequently and swim rapidly to the surface while feeding.
  • Don't have white patches or defects on your body, have ripped or ragged fins, and don't have protruding eyes (unless you have a Bubble Eye Goldfish).
  • Expand your gills frequently, but not quickly, to accept oxygen and water
  • Bright and vivid in colors.
  • Swim in clear, clean water with no odors.

How do I know if my fish tank is happy and healthy?

A sickness rarely develops if you care for aquarium fish correctly. However, it is important to know at your fingertips on times when a fish becomes sick. Here is a one-stop reference on the health and prevention of fish. Here are the 10 fundamental guidelines for Communal aquarium fish to maintain your fish healthy:

1- Testing of water

Purchase an excellent water test kit before putting any fish into your tank. It should ideally include ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, and pH testing. The test results should all read zero before adding any fish with the exception of the pH. The pH (acid-base balance) should be 7.0 to 7.8, depending on the fish species maintained and the local water pH of your tap. Other water tests useful for testing water hardness, alkalinity, and chlorine include kit or test strips.

2- Temperature

Make sure the aquarium temperature is appropriate for your selected inhabitants. Use an aquarium heater and a thermometer to maintain the fish species' water at the right temperature.

  • Freshwater: 69 F (21 C) – 80 F (27 C).
  • Navy (generally): 78 F (26 C).
  • Coldwater: 56 F (13.5 C) – 68 F (generally) (20 C)

3- Filtration

The heart of every aquarium is filtration. It is the wellspring of the environment's life. Various filters are available in animal shops, such as sub-gravel filters with an air pump or electric water pumps for the movement of the water, hanging on the rear power filters, or canister filters below the aquarium. The water flow through the filter should be approximately four times the tank water volume, thus there should be a filter flow of 80 gallons per hour for a 20-gallon tank. The packaging of the filtration system should specify the water flow and the aquarium sizes for which it is appropriate.

4- Levels of stocking

One of the main reasons for the issues is that the aquarium is overcrowded with too many fish. Make sure you don't add too many fish to the tank size. For each 1 inch (2.5 cm) of body length of fully cultivated fish, Freshwater fish need a suggested 5 sq. inch(13 sq. cm) surface area. For fish alone, the ratio is 1 inch (2.5 cm) of fish per 2 gallons of water, and reef aquariums are 1 inch (2.5 cm) of fish per 7 gallons (27 liters) of water. Allow 10 inches (25 cm) of fish up to 132 gallons (500 liters) of water for outdoor ponds.

5- Research

Learn as much about each species you want to maintain as you can. It is essential to know how large the fish are when they are full-grown since most fish shops offer untimely or young fish. Plan your stock level based on the mature fish size, not the amount you buy. Furthermore, researching whether the fish is compatible with other fish you currently have, such as big predatory fish, would be unwanted to add guppies, tetras, or other tiny fish in an aquarium. While it is important to know whether the water quality in fish's natural habitat requires specific water quality parameters, remember that most freshwater aquarium fish in aquaculture farms are now raised and not raised from the wild, so that water they raise may not be anything the same as the water in which they originally came.

6- Set up your fish gradually

Introduce fish gradually into your new tank. It will create difficulties to overload your aquarium by introducing all the fish as soon as it is set up. Remember, your filter needs to grow helpful bacteria to break down your fish's waste byproducts. The beneficial bacteria need time to develop and introduce fish to the new aquariums 4 to 6 weeks after they are established.

7- New Fish Quarantine

Do you require your new fish to quarantine in a separate additional tank? The short reply is YES. It is always an illness issue to introduce new fish into your tank, so why take a chance on it? Create a tiny aquarium with a power filter, and add some water from the main aquarium, and put the new fish for about one week in the quarantine tank. With your test kit, you should check the water quality and replace the water as necessary. The treatment of common illnesses, such as skin flukes or protozoan parasites, may also be beneficial. If after a week or two, there are no issues, then transfer the fish into the main tank.

8- Feeding

Twice a day is a plenty to feed adult fish and maybe more for baby fish. Only feed as much food each time you eat in 3 to 5 minutes, otherwise, your aquarium may decay and cause other issues like excessive ammonia, phosphate, and nitrate, or perhaps unpleasant development of algae.

9- Changes in water

Perform regular water changes, about 10-15% every 1-2 weeks. Use a gravel vacuum to remove water and debris on the aquarium floor and replenish at the right temperature with dechlorinated water. This is excellent for your fish and your tank! Water changes eliminate ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate and fill up the alkalinity of the water to stabilize the pH. It will also promote the breeding of fish!

10- Filters Clean

Clean your filters frequently according to the recommendations of the manufacturer. Avoid washing the sponge media with raw tap water; instead, use part of the aquarium siphoned water to prevent the beneficial bacteria from killing in the filter media and just clean up the waste. If the aquarium filter has media to be replaced, do not modify them all simultaneously to avoid the depletion of beneficial bacteria. Change at every filter cleaning just one media.

How an unhygienic tank may affect your fish happiness and health?

Basics of Health- These fundamental tools help you prevent severe health issues and identify illnesses when they happen:

  • Fish Flushing
  • Use of salt
  • Fish Disease Signs
  • Antibiotics Use
  • Foods Medicated
  • Green with formalin malachite

Diseases- Disease therapy must be disorder-specific. These illness profiles contain diagnostic processes, treatment actions, and preventive tips:

  • Poisoning of ammonia
  • Columnaris
  • Mouth Cotton
  • End of the Red
  • Flexibacter
  • Ich
  • Dust of Gold
  • Poisoning of nitrite
  • Pleistophora Neon
  • Rust
  • Tetra neon disease

Poor health signs of freshwater fish

  • Sunken or relaxed bowels (except when carrying eggs).
  • The scales are sticking out.
  • Scale pale spots. Pale patches.
  • Tiny white spot. White spot.
  • Milky eye. Milky eye.
  • The position is irregular.

Common frustrations that freshwater fish face

  • Hunger for oxygen: gasping on the sea surface.
  • Pilon (Saprolegnia): body and fins coated with white tufts (where around the mouth is perhaps another ailment called 'Mouth fungus').
  • Ichthyophthiriasis: tiny white patches covering the skin, gills, and fines. White spot sickness.
  • Fin rot: tissue wasting between fins (not to be confused with accidental tears etc which will heal on their own).
  • Dropsy: the body is bloated and the scales are protruded.
  • Swimming bladder illness: loss of balance, which leads to a lack of swimming.
  • Temperature stress: if the water becomes too cold, it's known that tropical fish swim slowly. If the oxygen level is too hot, the fish will shrink on the surface.


Most of those problems are due to poor water quality and therefore you will first need to examine your water quality if you detect any of these concerns. For information on maintaining excellent water quality.

Final Thought

Let's move to the final thought for more information keep reading and get in touch with us for information on some of these fish parasites and medicines. More about fish illnesses is also available on the Practical Fish Care Website.

If you need assistance in the diagnosis of and treatment of fish diseases, please contact a fish veterinarian.