POTENTIAL PROBLEMS - AND HOW TO SOLVE THEM
No matter how many precautions are taken, nobody is completely invulnerable to
problems with the equipment or the equilibrium in an aquarium.
An electric power cut, for example, has no dramatic consequences over a short
period, but it is worrying if it lasts a whole day (rarely the case, it is true).
The aquarium cools, but the heat loss can be reduced by wrapping the tank in a blanket
(also the solution to any malfunctioning of the heating system).
Generally speaking, in the event of a power cut there is a danger that the water
stagnating in the filter will acquire substances that are toxic to the fish. It
is therefore very important to empty it before turning the power back on and putting
the filter back into operation.
An abnormal increase in the temperature can occur if the thermostat gets stuck
in the heating position. The only real solution is to unplug it and adjust it, and
allow the temperature to slowly drop to its initial level.
The temperature can also go up in summer, depending on the room where the aquarium
is housed. The thermostat obviously turns the heating off, but the temperature can
still sometimes exceed 25-26°C. There is no need to panic up to the 27-28°C level,
but you must make provisions for cooling the room by darkening it, to avoid the
penetration of sunlight. Note that substituting part of the water with domestic
water or putting ice cubes in the aquarium have little effect.
The water color is a good indicator of the equilibrium of the aquarium: if it
is clear and transparent, there are apparently no problems, but any coloring may
be the sign of imbalance.
A drop in the pH is often the result of an excess of carbon dioxide dissolved
in the water. This can be solved by increasing the rate of aeration.
Finally, you must be prepared for a rare accident, such as a leak, or a cracked
pane. If this happens, you must act quickly, transferring the plants and fish to
another tank, with their original water.
A young hobbyist and aquarium dub member remounting several
The aquarium must then be completely emptied and dried, and you must locate and
block the leak or change the cracked pane, using the gluing techniques.
Remounting an aquarium
A well-balanced aquarium can be self-sufficient for up to one year, or even more,
if it is maintained on a regular basis. If this is not the case, remounting must
be considered. This can also be done when you want to change the decor, move the
aquarium, or even move home. Plants and fish must be stored in another tank, with
their original water. Then take out all the non-living elements, and clean and store
them until they are used again.
Now comes the turn of the actual aquarium. Start to put it back into operation
by reintroducing fresh water of the appropriate kind.
If the aquarium is to be remounted in a single day, it is advisable not to wash
all the sand that serves as a bed, as it contains the good bacteria needed to undertake
the nitrogen cycle. A rough rinse will get rid of the bigger pieces of debris, with
only the top layer being cleaned several times, until the water is clear, for a
good visual effect.
GOLDEN RULES FOR A GOOD BALANCE
Here are some important rules to follow as regards a well balanced aquarium:
- Think big: the greater the volume of the tank, the easier it will be to
maintain its balance, especially with sea water.
- Make provisions for good filtration and aeration.
- Consider planting the aquarium, even with sea water: many beginners do not
put enough plants in their tanks.
- Start with robust fish, easy to raise and recommended for novices: these
are not unattractive, and are often found to be the least expensive.
- Do not overpopulate.
- Do not overfeed.
- Regularly monitor the temperature, the pH, the nitrites, the hardness (in
fresh water) or the density (in sea water).
- Regularly siphon and change part of the water.