How to Not Kill Your Fish

Why do my fish keep dying?”


It’s not just new fishkeepers who ask this question. Even seasoned aquarium owners can find themselves scratching their heads after finding yet another finned family member floating lifelessly along the top of the water. So how can you keep your fish as healthy as possible for as long as possible? Let’s take a look at how not to kill your fish.


Don’t Overfeed Your Fish

Overfeeding is the number one cause of fish death in home aquariums. Yes, your brightly colored underwater friends may act as if they are starving, but fish will act as if they’ve not eaten in a week five minutes after they’ve been fed. Fish should only be fed what they can consume within two minutes. If they leave food behind, feed them less next time. Uneaten, leftover food will break down in the water, overload the filters, and can make the water toxic for your fish. It’s tough, but don’t kill your fish with kindness.


Don’t Overclean Your Tank

Only change 10 – 15% of the water once a week, or 25% of the water once a month. Scrubbing the gravel, replacing too much water, and putting in a new filter all at once can be fatal to fish. You should never replace all the water at once. Regular small water changes are all that’s needed – and will save the life of your fish!


Don’t Do Tank Maintenance Without a Thorough Hand Washing

Scented lotions, cologne that is put on the wrists, aftershave applied with the hands, and other scented substances can be highly toxic to fish. Always wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and unscented soap that doesn’t contain any anti-bacterial substances.


Don’t Overstock

Fish waste breaks down into ammonia. If there are too many fish in the aquarium, the filter will not be able to a carry a large enough culture of bacteria to digest the ammonia and handle the waste load. Ammonia will then build up, and your fish will die. Stock one inch of slim bodied fish or half an inch of deep bodied fish for every gallon of water in the tank. Allow for fish growth by only stocking up to 80% of the maximum aquarium capacity.


Don’t Treat Your Home with Chemicals Without Sealing the Top of Your Tank

All insecticides and pesticides are dangerous to fish in some degree or another, and it doesn’t take a lot of these substances to prove fatal. If you need to spray your home for insects or plan to call in an exterminator, seal the top of your tank with air-tight plastic, and turn off the air pumps. Allow the toxic vapors to diminish for 3 to 4 hours before unsealing.


If your fish are not thriving, or if you are a new fishkeeper and want more advice on how to keep your fish alive, contact PCH Tanks today. We are here to answer any questions you may have, and are happy to provide the services you need to keep your tank and your fish Perfectly Clear and Happy! 

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