Tank Environment

Fish are quite sensitive to environmental change. These sudden changes are likely to lead them to become stressed. When your fish become stressed, it is easier for them to acquire a disease, and this disease can lead to fatalities. Keeping them healthy is not just because of how much they cost, its also about their general well being.

Stress can be caused by;

  • Excessive changes in the water parameters due to a water change
  • Lack of water changes
  • Adapting new fish to an aquarium
  • Fish being bullied by other fish
  • Vibration

Excessive changes in the water parameters due to a water change:

Fish are sensitive and do not like sudden shifts of any kind. Water changes are one of the easiest ways to create this. A water change is a great idea to remove any excess nutrients from the tank that have built up over time. With lack of experience we may also add to many chemicals to the tank and a water change will help to reduce the toxicity build up. With clean fresh water comes an abundance of nutrients and vitality. Its always best to make sure to add a dechlorinator and check that the pH of the water being poured into the tank is similar to the pH of the water coming out of the tank. This can also be said about the General Hardness of the water. This is not to say that if you don’t do this your fish will die. It simply means that your fish will remain healthier & less stressed – the chance of contracting a disease is minimized. A lot of fish will be able to handle bigger changes in water parameters but for the health and comfort of your fish it is advisable.

Lack of Water changes:

Lack of water changes lead to build up of toxins in the water. I Like to think of it as being trapped in a completely sealed room with no fresh air. Day after day rubbish keeps piling up. Disease is only a matter of time and this time will be determined by your tank setup. The most noticeable will be algae. This is a great sign that your water needs changing. Your filter can only do so much. It is designed to do a majority of the work however in order to be at its most effective, it requires periodic water changes along with filter maintenance. All filtration units are different and require occasional clean out to avoid clogging, so they can do their job. Please refer to your filter instructions for best results. This new water will maximize your aquarium health. Clean filtration will mean clean health of your fish. Water changes are a must and there are no exact requirement when changing the water in your aquarium. Different websites say different things. It will depend on your tank setup up. As a guide, depending on whatever tank setup you have, doing a water change of at least 20% a fortnight is a good idea. This will add fresh nutrients and remove excess toxins from your aquarium.

Adapting new fish to an aquarium:

Getting new fish for your aquarium is always fun and care should be taken when adapting them to your aquarium. That initial period is important for your fish to acclimatize and not just because of water temperature. There are a few things to look out for when adapting new fish into your aquarium. First of all is your tank water clean. Usually when you buy your fish from an aquarium the water parameters are optimal, otherwise they would end up with a lot of fatalities – sending them out of business. Ask your local fish shop what their water parameters are so as to match your tank to this. The next step, is to match the water temperature of the bag to the water temperature of your aquarium. Simply leave the bag floating in your tank for about 30 minutes. After this open the bag and let them swim naturally out of the bag into their new environment.

If you  already have fish in your aquarium or are moving your fish from one tank to another where conditions are different, it is best to quarantine the new fish in a separate tank. Slowly acclimatize your new fish over a period of up to 3 days to match the water of your aquarium. As mentioned previously your fish will be able to handle changes you impose on them but you want to keep these changes to a minimum to avoid fish loss.

Fish being bullied by other fish:

Like us humans, fish bully other fish. This can happen at any time. Even fish that you have kept in the same aquarium for months and there was never a problem. You may wake up one day to see one or more of your fish bullying another. This will cause major stress on the ones being bullied. These fish are best separated so it does not lead to the death of your fish. It is advisable to keep fish of the same type in your aquarium so this does not happen.


Vibration is a big factor to the stress levels of your fish. If you place your tank near a stereo then the vibration can can be strong enough to upset your fish. I have heard stories of people having parties where the music is extremely loud. The owners wake up the next day to see their fish floating on the surface dead. We can handle a lot of vibration but your fish on the other hand cannot. If you in a house or unit that have timber floor boards, then the vibration from your footsteps can make the tank move with every step. Having kids there jumping and playing around will also send strong vibrations into the aquarium. It is best to place a tank somewhere solid so as to avoid this.

Bear in mind the information provided is a general overview of basic filtration and health of your fish. Any extra information you may need, feel free to contact us at Serene Aquarium as we look forward hearing to from you, whether query, feedback or to share your own personal experience.