Healthy fish make happy fishkeepers, and what better time to take stock of your fishes' wellbeing and health than the start of a New Year?
Here are our top 10 suggestions for New Year's Resolutions for Fishkeepers that you can be sure your fish will thank you for.
1. Make it a key part of your weekly routine to test your water quality on the same day each week - religiously. Keep a diary and note down your weekly readings for extra discipline. We have a great range of water test kits to make this simple and efficient, so you can be sure that you are providing the very best environment for your fish to live in. From the Tetra Water Test Set (which measures general hardness, carbonate hardness, pH-value (freshwater) and nitrite content) to NT Labs Water Mini Test Kit (suitable for freshwater aquariums) which comes with 120 tests and measure pH, nitrite (NO2) and ammonia (NH3), or the API Saltwater Master Test Kit (designed specifically for the marine aquarium), you can be sure to find a test that suits your set-up.
And to help maintain your aquarium parameters and keep things clean and healthy - make sure you vacuum your gravel regularly to remove waste deposits accumulating from fish waste, plant fragment, and uneaten food that is decaying as this will cause biological problems. The Fluval FX Gravel Cleaner Kit effectively traps dirt and debris and can be used in freshwater and saltwater aquariums alike.
Where you are struggling with excess ammonia you might consider investing in an Ocean Free Hydra Internal filter which will improve your ammonia levels overnight using leading edge electrolysis technology to purify your water and keep your water clear and odour free.
2. Avoid impulse livestock buys. Ensure you are developing your tank to benefit existing residents rather than buying and stocking on a whim based on the latest fad. Make it your mission to research and really understand the fish you are interested in before you buy, either by speaking to one of our expert store team members, or by checking out the Databank on our website, where you can find out everything you need to know about most aquarium and pond-suited fish. Make sure that every member of your aquarium enhances and adds value to your fish community rather than compromising existing occupants.
3. Create a photographic diary of your aquarium or pond for you to look back on as it evolves. There is no better way to see your fishkeeping hobby develop constantly reviewing the fruits of your labour in a series of images. And while you are creating these, why not share them with our fishkeeping community in our monthly gallery competition where we showcase the amazing aquatics creations of our visitors and customers. You could win a bundle of Microbe Lift goodies to enhance your fishes’ environment even more.
4. Choose a ‘fish buddy’ you can trust and get them involved with your tank or pond maintenance and fish care on a regular basis, where possible, so that if you are away on holiday or unable to take care of your fish for whatever reason, you can be confident that your fishy friends are going to be well taken care of in your absence. By thinking about the care of your fish well before you are likely to be absent, you can be rest assured that they are in good hands while you are away.
5. Familiarise yourself with the main illnesses and diseases that your fish may be subject to. There is a host of information available to you and our friendly in-store teams are always happy to help and advice. Find out more about Fish health here and keep an eye out in the New Year for our helpful guide covering all common fish illnesses and diseases.
Make yourself a fish heath first aid kit that covers treatments for the most common diseases so that you can recognise and treat symptoms as soon as they present. Our exclusive range of AquaCare treatments and medications offers a wide range of excellent products to strengthen and protect your livestock including: Anti-Fluke and Wormer, Anti-Fungus and White Spot treatment, Anti-Ulcer and Finrot treatment, Anti-Parasite treatment, Anti-Internal Bacteria treatment Swimbladder Treatment and even a General Tonic to help keep pathogens under control before illness and disease present.
Depending on the size of your aquarium and the number of fishes you have, consider having separate ‘hospital’ or quarantine tank with its own sponge filtration system, an air pump and stone, a heater, dim lighting, a small artificial plant, and no gravel. Something like the AquaTropic 65 LED Aquarium would work well for this although there are cheaper alternatives available. This is useful in treating sick fish. This type of tank can also be used to keep your new fish in quarantine for two weeks before you put them in with your existing fish in their tank.
6. Be patient with your hobby. Give your pond or aquarium time to settle and establish when you make changes to your set-up and don't fiddle unnecessarily as this can disrupt the delicate ecosystem evolving in your tank or pond.
7. Invest in an aquarium thermometer such as the Aqua-Smart Thermo Thermometer available online and in stores, so that you can correct any deviations in your tank temperature quickly before they impact on your fish. This thermometer is great as it is easily attached to the front of your aquarium, its accurate sensors will help you monitor your aquarium's temperature while the large, clear LCD display makes quick and accurate reading easy.
8. We all know that fish love to eat, so, of course, it’s important not to overfeed them – since this can cause physical problems for them. Reduce the chances of them over-feeding by investing in a grazing pod such as our exclusive Aqua Range Grazing Pod Feeder which encourages your fish to ‘hunt ‘for their food by nudging the pod and returning to it as it floats in the aquarium. This means that your fish will have to work to get at their food, resulting in a longer feeding and digestion time as the food is released more slowly.
9. On the subject of fish food, variety is the spice of life for us humans and this is no less true of our fishy friends. Make it a resolution for 2019 to give your fish some extra treats and try out some new foods appropriate for the type of fish you have. Why not try Fluval Bug Bites formulated with Black Soldier Fly Larvae as the #1 ingredient. Employing a unique and sustainable process, the larvae used are raised on human-grade fruits and vegetables to provide several "super food" benefits versus any ordinary insect. Don't forget, you can get lots of free information on the care and feeding of your specific type of fish at your local Maidenhead Aquatics store.
10. Enhance your fishes’ environment for the New Year with plants, rocks, gravel, and toys! Your fish not only need clean, safe water, but they also need a place to hide, to rest, and something interesting to look at. Before choosing your ornaments and décor, take into account the size and type of fish you have and the size of their living space. Certain species have very specific requirements in terms of their aquatic surroundings and not all substrates, ornaments and plants may be suitable for your set-up. If in doubt, check out or Databank or run your ideas past one of our in-store colleagues who will be happy to offer advice. The possibilities are endless though: from a beautiful new aquascape (https://www.fishkeeper.co.uk/post/the-art-of-aquascaping) for our aquarium to a simple change of gravel or substrate, or set of new aquarium ornaments - from ancient castle ruins to a treasure chests and waterfalls. Let your imagination go wild and your fish will love you for it!
Maidenhead Aquatics is proud to have supported the latest episode of the current “Love Your Garden” series (Episode 6), as a supplier to Britain’s best-loved garden makeover show with Alan Titchmarsh. Find out more.