Hawkeye International hopes you enjoy your aquarium for years to come. Please take a little time to review the following maintenance tips for hints and ideas to help provide you (and your fish) a pleasant experience.
Q: Is the plastic used in Hawkeye's Aquatanks as good as glass?
A: Yes, the acrylic used in our tanks is as safe for your fish as the glass aquariums, and its seamless construction eliminates the risks associated with aquariums that have glued seams. However, all tanks should be tested for cracks that may have occurred during transportation. Fill the tank with water and let it stand for an hour before beginning the set up procedures.
Q: Why are there bubbles on top of my tank?
A: This is generally a result of water imbalance. Once your tank has cycled and is brought into balance, the bubbling should end. An aquarium usually takes a month or so to completely cycle, and during this time, make sure that the food for your fish isn't sitting on top of the bubbles where the fish can't get to it. Another common cause for foaming is the decorative gravel that has not been rinsed as thoroughly as necessary to clean it completely.
Q: My water gets very cloudy in just a few days. Why?
A: This is another common condition in new tanks. Just leave the tank alone, keeping everything in operation. DO NOT EMPTY THE TANK AND REPLACE THE WATER. It should disappear in a few days and is not harmful to your fish, but if you prefer there are chemicals available to speed up the clearing process.
Q: How often should I clean my aquarium?
A: The frequency depends on the number and kinds of fish, but usually once every week or two is sufficient. Replace 20%-25% of the water with fresh, treated water. If you use a gravel cleaner to siphon debris and uneaten food from the bottom of the tank while removing old water, the job will go quickly. There are almost no circumstances where you should completely empty the tank and start over. If you have a problem with your aquarium, consult a reliable pet or aquarium dealer to test your water and help you determine the best remedy for your problem. By draining a tank completely, the bacteria colonies established within the first few weeks will be wiped out. These bacteria break down the ammonia produced by fishes and convert it into harmless nitrates. Without it, the ammonia can be toxic to the fishes.
Q: How long after setting up the aquarium should I wait before adding fish?
A: If you have thoroughly rinsed all non-electrical parts of your aquarium, as well as your gravel and ornamentation, fill your tank with water and aerate it a few days (or a week if you have the patience). By allowing the water to stabilize, you reduce the stress on the new fishes. In fact, most pet and aquarium specialty dealers will test your water as a service to their customers to ensure a balanced tank. It is our strongest recommendation that you follow their advice; their expertise will provide you with invaluable information and assistance along the way. Additionally, there are easy-to-understand books available at most pet stores that will answer most of your questions. You will be anxious to introduce fish to your new aquarium, but first be sure that the environment you have created is a healthy one for them.
Q: Why do my fish keep dying?
A: It's always a disappointment to lose fish after all your efforts, but it happens. Without going into great detail, some of the most common causes of dying fish are:
1) The age or condition of the fish when you purchased them. A reputable dealer will guarantee his fishes to be healthy or they will replace them within a reasonable time.
2) Water imbalance, which we have already discussed, but cannot be stressed too much.
3) Water temperature. Most freshwater tropical fish require temperatures between 75°F - 85°F, although your pet dealer can recommend species that can handle a cooler environment if your conditions require it.
4) Over feeding. Fishes should be fed no more than once a day and should be given no more food than they can totally clean up in about 5 minutes. Remember, fish will be much healthier if they are kept a little hungry.
5) Compatibility. There are many species of fish that co-habitate well together, but always inform your pet dealer of the types of fish you already have in the aquarium.
6) Overcrowding. A general rule of thumb is 1 inch of fish for every gallon of water capacity of the tank.
7) Light. Too much natural or artificial light can be harmful to your fish, stimulate algae growth and raise the water temperature. Avoid locating your tank in direct sunlight and use the light hood included with your new aquarium only while your are enjoying the fish.
When you consider that you are creating an environment that will need to support living organisms, the care taken initially with your aquarium will be rewarded many times over.
Hawkeye International's goal is to provide you with an aquarium that is unique, convenient, and easy to maintain for many years. And while we employ the strictest manufacturing and quality control procedures in the industry, we cannot be responsible for consumer negligence. Never locate your aquarium around, on or near furniture, wood or electrical appliances that could be damaged if exposed to water.