Maintaining your New Aquarium - Pisces Pet Emporium

Much like a car, your aquarium needs regular maintenance to ensure it runs as smooth as possible! Keeping up with your aquarium’s maintenance will benefit your fish’s health, the overall look of the tank, and can increase the longevity of your filter and other hardware. We have included a recommended list of supplies, and a daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance list to set you up for success!

*These guidelines are based off our recommended beginner aquarium of 20 gallons, please scale accordingly, for larger aquariums the Python - No Drip Water Change System is recommended,

Recommended Supplies:

Daily (for first 6 weeks/until cycle is complete):

  • Test your Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate Daily, perform small 10% water changes as needed*
    *if ammonia and/or nitrite higher than 1ppm if fish are in tank. 
  • After cycle is complete, test water weekly, after 6 months, a monthly water test is sufficient if there are no large changes to the tank.

Weekly Maintenance:

25% Water Change

  • Fill one 5-gallon bucket with tap water (try to match aquarium temperature), add step 1 dechlorinator.
  • Unplug filter and heater.
  • Scrub algae from aquarium glass/ornaments as needed.
  • Gravel vacuum/siphon detritus and tank water into your empty 5-gallon bucket (do not siphon substrate if you are using a planted aquarium substrate – very gently disturb the surface layer to loosen detritus only!).
  • Gently pour in your prepared aquarium water.
  • Add Step 2 and Fish FX. If you have excess or stubborn algae, Step 3!
  • Check filter. If debris is excessive, rinse sponges in the bucket of old tank water (never use tap water).
  • Plug in your filter. After 20 minutes plug your heater back in!
*Your old tank water is high in nutrients that can be given to houseplants if you don’t want to flush it all away!

Monthly Maintenance:

Clean your filter (do this at the same time as a weekly water change),

  • Unplug filter.
  • Throw out carbon, set sponge and bio media aside in used tank water.
  • Clean filter housing and impeller (refer to instruction manual for removal of impeller from your filter).
  • Rinse bio media and sponge in the used tank water (if the sponge is excessively clogged or falling apart replace it).
  • Reassemble filter. Add fresh carbon and sponge if needed, put bio media back into filter (replace 1/2 of bio media every 6 months).
  • Prime and plug in filter.

            Monthly maintenance is a great time to break out your aqua-scaping tools and trim any dying and damaged leaves off of any live plants. Use this opportunity to wipe down lighting fixtures to clear any water spots to allow best light penetration.


Maintaining your new aquarium really is that simple! Remember to never use soap or other household cleaners in or on your aquarium. If you have stubborn algae on ornaments or fake plants give them a bath in hot water and Peter’s Restoration. For removal of hard water spots and making use API Safe and Easy!  

If you have any questions regarding maintenance of your aquarium, water parameters, tackling your stubborn algae issues and more, give us a call or visit us in store!

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