Routine Aquarium Care

Since your aquarium is essentially its own ecosystem, you’ll need to perform some simple maintenance to keep it clean and healthy for your fish! Over time, uneaten food and waste will begin to accumulate in your aquarium, which can contribute to a spike in water parameters. To keep harmful levels down, there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure water conditions remain safe for your fish.

Planted Fish Tank


On a regular basis – usually every 2 weeks – perform a 25% water change to eliminate large particles of waste from your tank. Use a siphon to vacuum your gravel, and to remove any dirt that has settled between the stones. You may also need to use the API® ALGAE SCRAPER to eliminate algae from your aquarium walls. After cleaning your tank, treat your freshly-added tap water with API STRESS COAT water conditioner, which will make water safe for fish and will work to enhance your fish’s slime coat, heal tissue, and reduce stress. To ensure that your tank’s natural aquarium cycle remains balanced, you can also add a dose of beneficial bacteria using API QUICK START, as well as API AQUARIUM SALT to replace lost electrolytes. Another great addition to keep your aquarium cleaner between cleanings and maintenance is API STRESS ZYME. Adding STRESS ZYME, a bacterial cleaner, weekly will consume excess organics leading to better water quality.


Testing your water weekly will aid in keeping your water parameters within the proper range for your aquarium. Use API MASTER TEST KITS, or API 5-IN-1 TEST STRIPS, to quickly and easily determine the quality of your water. If necessary, take steps to correct any unsafe water conditions by treating your water, or by performing a partial water change.


Your filter is an integral part of continued aquarium success. Your filter and the filter materials inside are important to provide crystal clear water and to remove many aquarium pollutants including colors, odors, heavy metals, and other impurities. The addition of API BIO-CHEM ZORB removes unwanted aquarium pollutants and light emitting organics for crystal clear water. Between water changes, make sure the water flow is correct, and also test your water regularly to determine whether new filtration materials need to be added to your filter. Other ready-to-use media pouches, such as API BIO-CHEM ZORB or API NITRA-ZORB, can be added to remove harmful ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. API PHOS-ZORB can be added to remove phosphate. Follow your manufacturer’s recommendation on how often to change your cartridge.


If you are keeping live aquarium plants, you will occasionally need to add aquarium plant fertilizers and trim your plants to keep them in peak condition. Supplying API ROOT TABS monthly for roots, in addition to API LEAF ZONE weekly for leaves, will help your plants grow and ensure your planted aquarium thrives. Plants are a great addition to your tank!

If you follow these steps, the result will be a healthy, thriving aquarium and a safe environment for your fish.

Aquarium Tips
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