This simple, easy to follow care guide gives you all the information you need to enjoy the colourful and fascinating world of fish

MARINE FISH require special care and conditions and space does not allow inclusion in this guide. If you are interested in keeping these exotic fish, ask at your local pet shop or aquatics supplier for specialist advice.

STEP 1 What kind of Aquarium?

Enter a new world Keeping fish is both a relaxing and absorbing hobby and a source of endless fascination for the whole family.
Creating and maintaining the perfect environment for your fish can be easy, as long as a few basic principles are followed. This Step-by-Step Guide tells you everything you need to help you get the most from your new aquarium, including hints, tips and essential advice. Just follow each step and you’ll be rewarded with happy, healthy fish, and years of enjoyment and interest. Above all, don’t try to rush or miss out any stages.

What kind of Aquarium? What you need

3 4-5 6-7 8-9 10-13 14-15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36-37 38-39 39

Filtration Internal Filters External Filters and Media Lighting and Heating

STEP 3 Aquarium Location STEP 4 Filling your Aquarium
Rocks and driftwood Placing the electrical equipment

STEP 5 Planting an Aquarium
Caring for aquatic plants Planting Scenes for your Aquarium


STEP 6 Preparing for Fish
The Nitrogen Cycle Water: The Science Water Parameters Water Testing made simple

Coldwater fish can live in unheated tanks. They are, therefore, less expensive to keep, and yet still provide a bright, attractive display. Coldwater fish have always been popular with the experts, but they are ideal for children and beginners.

There are many hundreds of fish available for your first aquarium, but before you choose the fish, you need to make one fundamental decision - what kind of environment will your aquarium provide? In this guide we’ll be looking at two basic types: The Coldwater Aquarium and the Tropical Aquarium. Like anything, keeping fish requires planning. You will have to decide on the kind of aquarium you want some time before you acquire your first fish - don’t worry, your patience will be rewarded with a successful, healthy, visually impressive display.



Introducing your Fish

STEP 8 Acclimatising your Fish STEP 9 Feeding your Fish
How much to Feed / Feeding Tips Prevention is better than cure


Caring for poorly fish


Algae Aquarium Maintenance


Basic Care Kit Essential Schedule 10 Basic Rules for a Successful Aquarium

A heated tropical aquarium can be maintained with the minimum of effort or expense. A warm water environment allows you to choose from a wide variety of colourful and exotic fish.

There is a vast selection to choose www. select the largest size aquarium possible and you will get a more stable environment and a greater choice of fish and plants. Always rinse everything thoroughly before you place it in your aquarium. colours and arrangements. other articles of furniture and self assembly furniture are NOT suitable for use with aquariums. TV cabinets. one that needs to be effectively maintained at all times.which means that a fairly modest 40 litre tank will weigh close to 40 kilos. sizes and dimensions. Polystyrene pads must not be used with aquariums. look great and enhance the quality of your water aiding filtration. At the start and once established. stable cover that reduces evaporation and contamination. A heater keeps your tropical fish at the right temperature. and your aquarium will always be lacklustre and murky. Remember that some types of fish such as cichlids and goldfish will eat or uproot any living plants. STEP 2 What do I need ? CANOPY The surface of the water in your aquarium plays a vital part in the lives of your fish. TEST KITS AND WATER TREATMENTS Ensure your water is perfect by using water treatments to remove and neutralise any chemicals in your tap water that may be harmless to humans. essential for natural plants to grow and fish to thrive. Canopies provide a secure. See pages 24-27 ROCKS. you will need to test your water regularly with Test Kits. This is important as sudden changes can cause stress and disease. See pages 20-22 FILTRATION SYSTEMS The only way that waste products can be removed from the water in your aquarium is through filtration. Aqua Plus is specifically formulated to condition water as soon as it is added to the tank. and you can make your aquarium truly unique by combining textures. However. Choose a thermometer that is easy to read and suits your aquarium.STEP 2 Nothing quite beats the clarity and visual beauty of a well-kept aquarium. while Cycle helps prepare the filter for your fish and maintains the aquarium’s natural biological balance. See pages 8-13 A STURDY BASE HEATER All fish are cold-blooded . See page 15 www. but deadly for fish. due to its ability to resist scratches. PLANTS Healthily growing natural plants are dynamic. video. 4 5 AQUARIUM Aquariums can be made of glass or acrylic and come in many shapes. Wrought iron and angle stands. absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. It is important to protect it carefully. See page 15 Aquariums weigh a lot more than you’d think roughly 1 kilo per litre . Efficient filtration is essential to make sure your aquarium stays clear. It is where many of them find their food. Remember. and many fishkeepers prefer to use very realistic imitation plants for convenience. together with hi-fi.which means their bodies are the same temperature as the water around them. and where much of the oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged. without the bother of continually changing the water. without which your fish will not thrive. GRAVEL & DECORATION It is advisable to buy rocks. See page 18 AQUARIUM THERMOMETER You’ll need to keep a close eye on the temperature of your water. But that clarity is the result of a number of essential pieces of equipment. TO DO SO WILL AUTOMATICALLY INVALIDATE THE GUARANTEE.hagen. shapes. clean and free from toxins. your aquarium must provide a complete environment for your fish. Glass is preferable.hagen. aquariums should only be used with the correct . ornaments and gravel that have been specifically designed for use in an aquarium. It also provides safe and suitable housing for lighting. A strong base is vital as any uneven support across the base of the tank can prove disastrous. constantly. your aquarium can thrive without them. In general. Never use naturally calcareous sand.

com www. use the biological aquarium supplement. They require minimal maintenance and are trouble . Any substantial aquarium needs some form of filtration and aeration. this works like a sieve. adjust hardness and pH levels and remove medication following a disease treatment. to set up and maintain your filter. dyes. Filter systems and Oxygenation The filter system is often relied upon to help oxygenate the water too. carbon will filter out harmful liquids. MECHANICAL FILTRATION Put simply. Cycle. They mainly colonise foam and ceramic media and neutralise two of the most highly toxic compounds produced in an aquarium . and circulates clean water back into the aquarium. To boost these ‘friendly’ bacterial populations. Water is pumped through fine 'filter media'. provide stable conditions and reduce the build-up of dangerous nitrates. which traps debris.ammonia and nitrite . extremely fine suspended particles and contaminants. medicines. Over time this filter becomes clogged and the debris must be regularly leave safer nitrates.hagen. Maintains Biological Balance Removes Waste Circulates and Cleans the Water www. lakes and estuaries. Filtration removes waste products from the water. For example. and your aquarium is to become the stunning visual display it should be. Filters are extremely energy efficient and can be used to both filter as well as agitate the water sufficiently to improve oxygen levels.flowing rivers. most fish and plants exist in an environment of continually changing water supplies . CHEMICAL FILTRATION Chemical filtration provides a way of fine-tuning your water. The key to life in such an artificial environment is BIOLOGICAL FILTRATION The filter becomes a useful home for beneficial nitrifying bacteria. In the natural world. Mechanical filters improve oxygen levels. There are three main types Mechanical. such a small.STEP 2 Filtration is the key to life Even coldwater tanks benefit from the sophisticated and affordable electronic equipment now available. Biological and . the change in the chemical balance of the water could prove fatal to fish. Combined with a Test Kit. In nature. the chemical filter is one of the best ways to manage your water quality. static body of water could not support the concentration and variety of life found in even the most modest tank. Different chemically active filter media can be used to remove specific substances. If they are not removed regularly. STEP 2 6 Improves Oxygenation 7 FILTERS AND AERATION Filtration is essential if your fish are to thrive. large ponds.

Use the next higher Fluval unit when aquariums are heavily loaded with fish or other inhabitants SPECIAL CARBON FILTER PADS filter out harmful liquid substances. The large filtering surface ensures efficient cleaning of aquarium water and maximises the colonisation of beneficial bacteria. colour and smell of the water without altering the water ➡ . combining biological. Plus 2. chemical and mechanical filtration in a compact unit designed to fit inside the aquarium. Air Flow Control For added aeration 9 Optional Media area Add your own choice of extra media The Underwater Plus 90° Swivel Outlet Choose the direction of water output Filter has a range of useful features POLYESTER FILTER PADS filter out extremely fine suspended particles and contaminants and provides powerful. Carbon improves the clarity. medicines and extremely fine suspended particles and contaminants. just below the waterline. Clogging Indicator Retracts when clogged so you can see at a glance when cleaning is necessary Water Flow Adjuster Speed control of water flow TECHNICAL INFO AQUARIUMS UP TO PUMP OUTPUT 200 LPM 44 gallons 400 LPM 88 gallons 700 LPM 154 gallons 1000 LPM 220 gallons 1 2 3 4 45 litres 9.hagen.5 gallons 215 litres 47 gallons The Fluval Filter can be placed vertically or horizontally for multi-functionality www.STEP 2 Inside Information DOUBLE FILTER CARTRIDGE Replace Foam Pads one at a time. The water is sucked into the unit through vents at the base of the unit by an impeller. ideal for small aquariums and bowls (up to 45 litres) or as an additional filter in larger aquariums. dyes. the clean water is then returned near the surface to allow aeration as the flow breaks the surface.3 & 4 combine mechanical. Plus 1 is a simple mechanical and biological filter.5 gallons 130 litres 28. the The Plus can filter the T H E V E R S AT I L E A LT E R N AT I V E FOAM PADS maximise surface contact between water and media.5 gallons 90 litres 19. Small and discreet.hagen. biological and chemical filtration within a fully submersible unit. which is quiet and effectively removes both solids and liquid waste products. www. a foam filter removes waste and allows bacteria to break down impurities. efficient filtration for use in both cold and warm water environments water in a smaller aquarium several times an Placement of either Polyester or Carbon pads between the 2 foam pads. to preserve beneficial bacteria STEP 2 Internal Filters 8 The internal filter is perhaps the simplest to install and use.

Simply lift to open for easy maintenance. O5 CANISTER FILTERS External Filters T H E U LT I M AT E M U LT I . 5. allowing careful fine-tuning of your water quality and the encouragement of various helpful bacteria. and make it easy to change and adjust media. The chemical and biological stages are housed in independent modules. the Smart Pump technology is equipped with a microchip which permanently monitors the pump. Instructional DVD included for easy setup.9 litres of filtering volume. Lift Lock Clamps Securely locks cover in place. strong biological purification and gives you pro-active control of water characteristics.STEP 2 Think outside the box STEP 2 Multi-Stage Filtration The multi-stage filtration system utilises the entire canister volume for radically increased water flow efficiency. This means you can change filter media independently and ensure a constant level of all important nitrifying bacteria. then returned to the aquarium. Water is pumped from the aquarium into the canister.500 litres.hagen. Eliminates leaks and www.100 litres (3.500 litres . to increase flow and reduce maintenance. through various stages of the . www. Aquastop Stops water flow without needing to disconnect hoses.usually in a canister. clean and oxygenated.hagen. filtration media and other mechanical elements of the filter are housed outside the aquarium .S TA G E S Y S T E M 10 The external filter is a system where the pump. The wide variety of filter materials available ensures waste-free water.without load). Speed and efficiency of the magnetic impeller are constantly monitored in order to guarantee a powerful water flow and highest energy efficiency. SMART PUMPTM TECHNOLOGY HIGH PERFORMANCE CANISTER FILTERS THE FX5 HIGH PERFORMANCE EXTERNAL FILTER is a system which offers the keen enthusiast a professional level of power and a host of innovative features For aquariums up to 1. The external canisters are less invasive. Many use a multi-stage system of filtration. leaving more tank space. so there’s no guesswork and no confusion 11 TECHNICAL INFO AQUARIUMS up to PUMP OUTPUT 480 LPH 106 gallons 680 LPH 150 gallons 1000 LPH 220 gallons 1300 LPH 286 gallons 10 5 205 30 5 40 5 100 litres 22 gallons 200 litres 44 gallons 300 litres 66 gallons 400 litres 91 gallons Instant Prime No need for manual siphoning. Its mechanical stage features vertical twin foam pre-filters. Pump performance 2. Designed for reliable filtration in a finely adjusted aquarium environment.

Lab Series BIOLOGICAL FILTRATION Biomax Porous ceramic rings provide a huge surface area to promote powerful bacterial growth to help control harmful ammonia and nitrite. it can help reduce the build-up of ammonia seen in new setups or heavily stocked aquariums. metals and proteins 900g Carbon 1200g Zeo-Carb 1600g Ammonia Remover www. Zeo-Carb This blend of Carbon and Ammonia Remover eliminates liquified impurities and toxic ammonia. 13 Extra Value packs Polishing Pad Pre-Filter Small.. dyes or other unwanted chemicals. Contains 3 essential media for regular www. Removes fine particles and debris to quickly clear cloudy water.STEP 2 Media matters Media for externals Best Advice Make sure you replace media at recommended intervals to keep it working to its full potential STEP 2 Many kinds of different media are available to help you achieve the perfect balance in your aquarium. Ammonia Remover Removes harmful ammonia before it can affect your fish. nitrite and nitrate to reduce algae. Carbon and Ammonia Remover CHEMICAL FILTRATION Carbon Carbon is a natural purifier ideal for both fresh and marine water.. Save money and buy Bulk packs. The illustration above shows the recommended placement of that media in the module stack Phosphate Remover Super absorbent and fast acting Nitrate Remover Science grade ion exchange resin Opti-Carb Removes toxins.hagen. trapping waste and removing urine. Intended for fresh water use. inert.Water Polishing Pads. 12 MECHANICAL FILTRATION Foam Filter Block Acts like a strainer to prevent waste from clogging the biological and mechanical media. The granules increase the surface area. solid ceramic rings allow particles of waste and detritus to be removed and helps extend time between filter cleaning.hagen. CHEMICAL FILTRATION Clearmax Traps .

com . Extreme fluctuations can stress fish so keep an eye on the heater’s performance and use a thermometer for an at-a-glance check. 4 If your aquarium is sited in a cold room the wattage recommended should be doubled. They continue to operate beyond this time. while giving a beautiful visual effect.switch on the room lights or open the curtains first . 6 Fish do not have eyelids so don’t just switch on the aquarium lights . adjust and wait if necessary.hagen.. covers the length of the tank and can be selected to provide the optimum light for your aquarium. Less time will cause brown algae. . as well as recreating the changing patterns of sunlight in nature. greater time will cause green algae to appear. if in doubt consult your local fish is efficient.. it may become damaged or cause burns.and Heating A heater is essential to maintain an ideal water temperature for fish.providing essential stimulation to your plants and fish. Beyond this time the appearance of green algae would be inevitable.hagen. The right lighting can both enhance the look of your aquarium. 10 to 12 hours per day if the aquarium contains natural plants. To do so.give your fish a chance to adjust to changing light levels. you may use an electronic timer. Lighting allows natural plants to grow Lighting enhances the colour of your fish Choose only neon tubes specifically designed for aquariums STEP 2 Lighting and Heating tips 1 When installing electrical equipment always read the manufacturers’ instructions. Fluorescent lighting is best . 2 Be sure to check the temperature of the water every day and especially before introducing your fish. NOTE: Many external operating conditions such as (a) Room temperature variance (b) Lack of aquarium cover (c) Presence of submersible pumps and filters (d) Aquarium placement in proximity to heat or cooling sources may call for a more powerful heater to be required in an individual installation www. 14 Lighting serves two main purposes . but they are no longer effective in the aquarium. 5 Always use a thermometer. invertebrate and plant growth THE AQUARIUM MUST BE LIT FOR 8 TO 12 HOURS PER DAY: 8 to 10 hours per day if the aquarium has no plants or only artificial plants. Watts 50W 100W 150W 200W 300W Capacity 50 litres / 10 gal 100 litres / 20 gal 150 litres / 30 gal 200 litres / 40 gal 300 litres / 60 gal Turn the aquarium on and off at fixed times. 3 Your heater must never be kept out of the water when turned on. A ceramic heater core disperses heat evenly to minimise ‘hot spots’ and a patented thermal sensor provides precise readings. You must therefore remember to change them once a year. Tronic Guards safeguard the heater from accidental breakage and protect fish from burns and lesions. TRONIC Fluorescent Bulbs AQUARIUM HEATERS provide accurate readings with an easy to set.STEP 2 Aquarium Lighting. Fluorescent bulbs within a canopy allow excellent efficiency and have the added advantage of an anti-capillary barrier to prevent water seepage. 15 SUN-GLO General purpose aquarium lighting LIFE-GLO Simulates strong midday sunlight AQUA-GLO Intensifies fish colour & promotes plant growth FLORA-GLO Optimises plant growth POWER-GLO Promotes www. easy to read temperature dial.. Neon tubes last approximately 1 year maximum..’ll want to give it pride of .from washable plastic to realistic 3D rock or bark effects. such as fires and radiators. TV cabinets or other articles of furniture or self-assembly furniture. hi-fi. or TVs. Away from direct sources of heat. there are a number of simple rules for locating your aquarium to get the most from it and ensure the health and welfare of your fish. Away from sources of sound.leave about 6 to 7cm behind the aquarium to run the wires. STEP 4 Filling your Aquarium Once you have decided on the best position for your aquarium. Location 16 You’ve decided on the type of fish you want to keep. level. wood or other items in running water. up to the back to give an illusion of depth and to help collect debris at the front of the aquarium. Add the gravel so that it slopes from the front. purchased all the equipment you will need to make them comfortable. One of the joys of the aquarium is the striking effect it has on a room. They come in a wide variety of styles and designs . rocks. now you need to decide where they will live. graceful and fascinating. Remember 1 litre of water weighs as much as 1 kilo. Use of any other kind of furniture or base will invalidate your guarantee. www. and help conceal any unsightly wires. Wash any gravel. not too close to the glass and evenly distributed. cables and tubes.STEP 3 Location. www. you need to begin to make it ready for your fish. Location. This must be done with the aquarium in place as moving it once full of water is inadvisable. even surfaces. and make sure you have unrestricted access to the canopy. Place a few rocks in the bottom of the tank. If placed too close to a window. Always use the correct stand. Backgrounds can add an instant atmosphere to your tank.hagen. Do not place your aquarium on wrought iron and angle iron stands. Best Advice Give yourself easy access to your aquarium . an aquarium can develop significant algae problems.subtle. However. On sturdy. Make sure your aquarium is: Away from direct sunlight. 17 Make sure the tank itself is clean and dry before you start.

Geosystem Mopani Driftwood is an entirely natural. Once your aquarium is set up. STEP 4 Placing the Electrical Equipment Place the electrical equipment .they may contain microscopic parasites or minerals which may affect the water chemistry. Geosystem Aquascape Rocks and Driftwood Ornaments have a natural appearance and are lightweight. heater*. ornamental root which has been sandblasted to prevent water contamination.full with water. Select ornaments and gravel which look good together and use plants to complete the picture. It is a good idea to place a small bowl on the gravel while filling to prevent gravel from washing away.pump. easy to maintain and do not affect water chemistry.STEP 4 Rocks and Driftwood 18 Geosystem Rocks and Driftwood help you to create wonderfully natural looking scenes in your aquarium. Make the necessary water temperature and filter flow adjustments and introduce Cycle and Aqua Plus. test to make sure the equipment is working. be very careful not to knock the glass Mopani Driftwood Best Advice Aquascape Rock Driftwood Ornament Make sure you allow enough electrical flex to make a drip loop to prevent water dripping down the flex into plugs or unprotected devices. Adding a small quantity of Max food will help to establish ‘friendly” bacteria in your filter. Don’t plug them in yet. having removed your hands from the water. (*except for coldwater aquariums ) Best Advice Before putting your hands in the water. Make sure you have read the instructions for each item. Now is a good time to add any plants (see step 5). Fill to half .com www. plug in and.hagen. Don’t be tempted to use stones from your garden .com . Refer to the separate instructions for the set-up of the Fluval External filter. always remember to switch off electrical equipment.hagen. Once your aquarium is fully planted. switch on the equipment. top up the tank. filter. www. 19 Best Advice When positioning heavy rocks or ornaments inside the tank.

nothing to regulate Delivers nature’s most powerful carbon dioxide source for plants Finally a system that everyone can use and afford Natural Plant System The following species are ideal for beginners as they are both tolerant and durable. It provides balanced nutrients and minerals that help grow healthy and vibrant plants. They are also perfect for goldfish and cichlid aquariums as these species will eat real plants! • • • • • • • Safe. Plants provide natural shelter for your fish. Provide a dynamic.hagen. Vallisneria spiralis (Spiral Vallis) Suggested for background placement. Hygrophila Difformi (Wisteria) Grows rapidly. Microsorium pteropus (Java Fern): Attaches to driftwood or rocks. see opposite page. plastics and other durable materials and available in a staggering range of shapes and sizes. They produce oxygen. rapid growing. maintenance free environment. They aid the filtration process by absorbing ammonia. flourishes in low to high light and at various pH and hardness values. Cryptocoryne wendtii (Water Trumpet) Plant in groups. recommended for new aquariums. Echinodorus osiris (Red Amazon) Excellent foreground feature plant provides red coloured leaves. even after just 15 days! Handy hint: Artificial plants are an excellent option for beginners and experts alike. leaving a clear space in the front.STEP 5 Planting your Aquarium 20 When arranging your plants and other decorative items. Keep rocks away from the glass. economic. STEP 5 Caring for Aquatic Plants Natural plants absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen for the benefit of the whole aquarium. suited to 100 litre tanks & up. Monitor iron levels with the Iron Test Kit. Live plants come in a huge selection and provide not just a visual setting for your fish. and absorb carbon dioxide. Use Plant Gro Iron enriched liquid fertiliser to replace them. good choice for new installations and hardwater. CO2 Natural Plant System delivers a powerful source of carbon dioxide which helps plants to flourish and grow. rapidly absorbs micronutrients. Plant Gro Iron Enriched strongly recommended. nitrites and phosphates. provides brownish www. including beneficial bacteria. grows rapidly.hagen. efficient Reduces algae growth Keeps aquarium plants healthy and encourages growth Visible results in just 15 days Natural fermentation . It is well worth seeking advice from your supplier as to the appropriateness of certain plants for the temperature and hardness of your water and their compatibility with the fish you intend to keep. but also help with practicalities. 21 The plants you choose for your aquarium can make a big difference to the kind of environment you are preparing for your fish. mid-ground placement. artificial plants provide an instant. Food for growth Aquatic plants can use up the naturally occurring minerals in water. changing environment. Made from silks. . arrange them across the back and down the sides of your aquarium. Your aquatic garden will take on a new vibrancy.

The new aquarium is vulnerable to a condition known as New Tank Syndrome where levels of ammonia suddenly peak and the developing populations of bacteria are not established enough to control it. This is a densely concentrated solution of good bacteria which helps the aquarium to mature more quickly so you can start to add fish after 48 hours. don’t dot individual plants around. Your tank may look ready. use a Test Kit to check the levels of toxins like ammonia. they look remarkably natural. including . 3 1 8 2 7 5 4 6 9 STEP 6 Preparing your Aquarium for Fish Once your tank is properly located. to be on the safe 22 Use the layout below to create it for yourself. Add a dose of Cycle. wood or stone ornaments before placing in the tank.STEP 5 A Stunning Scene for your Aquarium This beautiful aquarium is a natural planted arrangement providing a stunning backdrop for tropical fish. start to coat all the interior surfaces inside the tank. filter foam and the tank walls. • Always rinse gravel. Before you add www. decorations. If you don’t add Cycle. Nana (Anubias Nana) 6 Geosystem Natural Gravel Black Beach 7 Valisneria Torta (Twisted Vallis) 8 Marina 3D Textured Rock Background 9 Best Advice Add a few flakes of Max food at the same time as the Cycle to let the bacteria feed and develop correctly in the filter.hagen. beneficial to fish. • Place taller plants at the back and shorter plants to the foreground. Here are some general tips to help: 23 side. and you should make absolutely sure their environment is as perfect as it can be or your enjoyment may be short-lived. • Plant in groups. leave the aquarium with its’ filter running for at least 2-3 weeks before introducing one or two hardy fish. but do resist. These unstable conditions can be extremely harmful to fish. over a period of weeks rather than days. filter. You can speed up this process with Cycle. Over a period of about 10 days the ‘maturing’ process begins when natural bacteria. You may be tempted. NATURAL P LANTS & GRAVEL Cabomba Caroliniana (Green Cabomba) 1 Chlorophytum Bichetii (Wheat Plant) 2 Valisneria Spiralis (Straight Vallis) 3 Cabomba Australis (Red Cabomba) 4 Echinodorus Paniiculatus (Common Amazon Sword) 5 Anubias Barteri Var. • Substitute with artificial plants here and there. set should be introduced slowly. filled and planted you may want to rush out and start buying fish. but the water is the most important part. BE PATIENT. www. 9 3 5 4 1 Driftwood Ornament 8 6 Driftwood Ornament 2 Driftwood Ornament 7 • Combine plants with different leaf shapes.hagen. • A background scene or rock effect wall will transform the overall look of your aquarium without taking up valuable swimming space.

Before they do. THE NITROGEN CYCLE will eliminate traces of chlorine and chloramines and neutralise toxic heavy metals contained in your tap water. but relatively harmful compounds. Cycle to boost 25 Once the friendly bacteria are populations of ‘friendly’ bacteria established. Dosing with Aqua Plus The Mini Master Test Kit TEST REGULARLY .hagen. This will take about ten days . Fish are delicate and need water that is free from harsh chemicals such as chlorine and chloramines. We are far more robust animals whose main requirement from drinking water is that it is free from bacteria. After ten days. That is why you should always start your aquarium with just a few of the more hardy species. When an aquarium is first set up. the pH is the relative acidity or alkalinity of the water. the second type of bacteria begins to populate the tank nitrobacter. and convert ammonia to nitrites. www. You can also get Test Kits for KH/GH (Carbonate Hardness & General Hardness) and Low or High Range This strain converts the still dangerous nitrites into relatively harmless . For example. www. Best Advice You should carry out as many Remember prevention is better than partial water changes as you cure. They reproduce every eight hours. Water that is healthy for humans is particularly bad for fish. Maintaining the optimum water quality will help you keep your fish healthy and happy. unless something occurs to dramatically reduce bacteria levels. so test weekly for ammonia. there are some measurable aspects of water that must be regularly tested and adjusted if you are to maintain a perfect environment for your fish. test tubes and pipette. nitrate and nitrite and dose with can in these first phases. the bacteria that help regulate the harmful compounds take a while to establish. brings together everything you need for routine weekly water testing (pH wide range. and can support helpful bacteria. ammonia. after which all the nitrite should be gone. 24 to remove toxic ammonia and nitrites from your aquarium water using a process essential for a healthy aquarium called The Nitrogen Cycle.hagen. Nitrites and Nitrates explained filters are designed STEP 6 Water : The Science Water quality is the most important aspect of keeping fish.during which time ammonia levels can be high. Nitrate is relatively safe. the water needs to go through the nitrogen cycle. This takes about 21 to 30 days. The Nitrogen Cycle (see chart) Ammonia and nitrite are naturally occurring. nitrate and nitrite) and comes complete with stand. and make the aquarium a beautiful and exciting addition to your home.every few weeks and adjust as necessary. Once your tank is filled.STEP 6 The Nitrogen Cycle Ammonia. levels of ammonia and nitrite will be kept under control naturally. The bacteria that begin the process are the nitrosomonas. change water often and use Cycle to introduce ideal strains of ‘friendly’ bacteria.

soft water originating species of fish and/ or plants are being kept.5 SOUTH AMERICAN CICHLIDS: 6. The success of your aquarium may depend on them. Your local tap water may necessitate the use of certain filter media to help achieve favourable conditions for fish and plants. user friendly and come with easy to follow instructions providing fast accurate results.0 Best Advice Make sure you check compatibility. Nitrate Nitrite S YMPTOMS 1 Gasping for air 1& 2 2 Listless at tank bottom 1& 2 3 Erratic movements and jumping 2 4 Stress-related illness (eg.5 5.6 RASBORAS: 6.hagen. etc.8 to 8. peat is probably one of the most useful media for hard alkaline tap water when acidic. pH and hardness requirements for each species. etc. If you choose a External Filter.0 to F O OT N OT E S 1 Ammonia toxicity 2 Nitrite toxicity .0 to 7. Ich (white spots).8 to 7.2 to 6.hagen.8 TETRAS: 6. fungus (cottony texture).8 www. 14 Yellow spots 15 Poor general growth 16 Poor stem growth 17 Leaves falling off GOLDFISH & KOI: 7. pH Adjust down and pH Stabiliser.8 FISH ➔ 6 Green algae 7 Red algae 8 Brown algae 3 9 Black algae (hair algae) 10 Cloudy water 11 Yellow-coloured water 12 Bad odour 4 13 Poor colour SOUTH AMERICAN CATFISH (Corydoras.depletes oxygen from the blood 3 May be due to lack of light 4 Perform a partial water change and use the carbon pad in your filter www.) 5 New fish doing poorly when first introduced to an established aquarium Iron NH3 NH4 NO2 NO3 pH pH PO4 Phosphate Ammonia 27 Fe GH GH KH KH ➔ The following groups of fish generally prefer these listed pH ranges: W AT E R Q UA L I T Y P L A N TS LIVEBEARERS: 7.0 to 7.2 to . GH and KH 26 Water hardness and pH are two basic parameters that are easily measured with Test Kits and are important in providing an optimal aquarium environment.4 AFRICAN CICHLIDS: 7. It is recommended to test tap water at least on a regular basis to make note of any fluctuations and adjust accordingly with effective products such as pH Adjust up .2 to 6.STEP 6 Water Parameters pH. STEP 6 Water Testing Made Simple There is a comprehensive range of test kits available today. All are high quality.) RAINBOWS: 7. temperature.

avoid territorial Cichlids . Specific points to watch out for are: Clear eyes. lumps. you are well advised to look closely at each specimen. if one fish is visibly aquarium for a variety of different species . 29 Take advice from your local aquatic retailer as to what are the most suitable types to keep in your aquarium. Erect. Gills should be red on the inside. 2 3 3 4 How many fish can I keep? It depends on species and your preference. wait a full 24 hours before feeding.STEP 7 Introducing your Fish 28 Once you are confident you have ideal water conditions. or cottony growths on the fins or body. If these are the very first fish in the aquarium. Remember your fish will grow. no missing or damaged areas . you can begin to introduce some fish. Always make sure you handle them gently and allow them sufficient time to get used to new surroundings. you may want to avoid buying any other fish from that tank. Helping your fish get used to your aquarium is important if your fish are going to remain healthy through this critical period of transition. Turn off the aquarium lights during acclimatisation. Actively feeding. STEP 8 Acclimatising your Fish Selecting your Fish When buying . Good scales.they require a special rocky environment. Open the bag and add a little aquarium water about 1/3 the bag's volume. and check for health and vitality. No holes. and gradually introduce them into your aquarium. ulcers. but you should allow a minimum of 3 litres of water for every 1cm of fish. white spots. If you are setting up a community tank . undamaged fins. 4 www. This allows ample time for the bacteria to multiply and for fish to settle in before new fish arrive. It is best to buy a small group of fish every two weeks. excluding the tail. The best way to introduce fish into your tank is as follows: 2 1 Add a full dose of Aqua Plus to the aquarium.hagen. Wait 10 minutes and repeat. Obviously. its patented stress relieving ingredients will benefit new specimens.especially red blotches or scales that stick out. They do not react well to rapid changes in temperature. 1 Fish don’t like surprises. handling or rapid movements. hardened water and will damage plants. Translucent fish should show no signs of white blurring. Carefully remove the fish with your net and place them in the aquarium or tip the bag on its side to allow the fish to swim out. so allow some extra space. Float the bag containing the fish in the aquarium for about 20 minutes to equalise water temperature.hagen. Regular respiration rates. not puffy or distended.

balanced fish foods that have been specially produced using top quality ingredients containing essential nutrients. free from disease and able to reproduce. Ideal for every day or holiday use. less algae . Excess food left in the water will decay and pollute the aquarium. Feeding Tips 4. Use high quality foods such as Max. as a rule of thumb most surface feeders will eat all they need in about two minutes. All the varieties contain pre-digested plankton. Use an automatic feeder such as Nutramatic or Nutramatic 2x to regulate feeding. 30 31 Max Feeding Ring controls food dispersal and reduces wasted food. www. regular feeding with a variety of the right types of food in order to remain healthy and to thrive. Use a Feeding Ring to keep surface food under control. Wait at least 30 minutes after you turn the lights on to begin feeding. 5. Best Advice If you’re planning to go away for a while. It is available in flake.STEP 9 Feeding your Fish Fish need careful. helping to CONTROL ALGAE and the lowest ash content to reduce waste. from moisture. www.a minimum of two different types of food. you can take a Holiday N UTRAMATIC & N UTRAMATIC 2X AUTOMATIC FISH FOOD FEEDERS dispense the desired volume of food up to twice daily. 3. and vitamins. Provide a varied balanced diet .hagen. However. 2. while bottom dwellers take a little longer . especially wet hands. Keep dry food away Yes. Just a pinch of food is required. granular. Make sure you know the feeding requirements of your fish. a colour enhancing compound and other highly beneficial supplements. leading to a dirty tank and serious water quality problems.hagen. freeze-dried. Good nutrition will ensure your fish are colourful. 7. minerals. Nutrafin Holiday Fish Food blocks will keep your fish nourished with a time-released source of food. The blocks also neutralise pH and purify . 8. BEST ADVICE Always remove any uneaten food with a net. Max is a range of complete. Less waste. STEP 9 How much do I feed? Every species is different and you should seek advice as to the right feeding regime for your fish. 1. Use bottom-feeding tablets for bottom dwelling fish. stick and tablet form. Max is formulated to provide precisely the right amount of phosphorous.about 5 minutes. two or three times daily. therefore cutting down on aquarium pollution. It contains no artificial preservatives or additives. 6.less work for you! Best Advice One of the most common mistakes is to overfeed your fish.

after the treatment is complete. the fish's body can become so bloated that the scales protrude. Pox White spots that join to form patches. parasites or even fish tuberculosis. 7 After power failures. 4 Follow proper acclimatisation of new specimens. temperature variations will stress them. protruding eyes could be the sign of fungus. Fungus Usually only attacks fish weakened by other poor conditions. 2 Purchase fish in limited groups. Tailrot/Finrot Look for torn. and metals are damaging to aquarium inhabitants. Test water and dose with Cycle and Aqua Plus. how they move and interact with their environment.your local supplier for instance. the treatment is similar to White Spot. Carbon should always be removed from the filter during medication and replaced only when treatment is complete). The following list provides general points that support disease prevention: 1 Choose only healthy fish. this nasty parasite causes colour to fade and fish to become feeble . 10 Supply regular feedings of various quality foods. Eye Cloud or Pop Eye Protruding or cloudy eyes Body Slime and Mouth Fungus White viscous film on lips and mouth www. 6 Perform basic water tests and maintenance on a regular basis.hagen. If you see any variation. The most effective way to deal with this reality is to . Switch lights on and off at the same time every day or use an automatic timer.STEP 10 Prevention is better than cure 32 Most living organisms can suffer illness at one time or another. chloramine. although it is best to treat the whole tank. STEP 10 Caring for P oorly Fish You need to get to know your fish well if you are going to be able to spot disease or illness before it becomes untreatable. Sick fish must be removed at once. Try to treat at early stage . 3 Consider a quarantine aquarium. Slimy Skin A thin grey film that covers their body usually in response to parasites. so spend time observing your fish. 8 Regular illumination periods are important for fish and plants. 9 If a medication has been used. bacteria. ragged or stuck. This will allow observation and preventative treatments before exposing new fish to established aquarium inhabitants. If this is not the problem you will need to seek advice from an authority on fish . Observe fish carefully. the first thing to do is to check water quality as it may be a sign of pollution or poor water conditions. Velvet Disease Infected fish have a dusty look. possibly stuck together 33 Ich Illness White spots COMMON FISH DISEASES White Spot Disease A common ailment that responds to treatment well.if the rot reaches the body. cure is unlikely. Healthy fish will not be affected. Fin and Tail Rot Torn ragged fins. Many plants.hagen.often caused by poor condition and www. Fish become emaciated and twisted . Eye Infections Cloudy. rather than wait for a possible problem. Mouth Fungus Unlike body fungus. fish and helpful bacteria can suffer as a result of using medication. disease or parasites. this requires specific treatment. Max provides complete nutrition. perform additional water changes and use carbon filter media to remove residual traces. It responds well to treatment. avoid purchases from aquariums containing sick fish. (NB.together fins.they may rest near the surface. Chlorine. slowly build fish populations. The consequences of having to treat a stocked aquarium with a medication can be stressful and damaging in itself. Skin/Gill Flukes Watch for fish scratching themselves on rocks or plants. 5 Always condition new water with Aqua Plus before adding to the aquarium. ensure that all equipment is working properly. Dropsy Highly contagious and difficult to cure.

it can have adverse effects on fish and plants..but never change more than 40% of the water at any given time. The best route to effective maintenance is to do certain essential tasks on a regular basis . Only use aquarium water to rinse the media . There are a number of common types: GREEN ALGAE Appears as small green spots and dots on glass. Change your filter media a half at a time to preserve helpful bacteria. Use low-phosphate foods like Max. Test phosphate levels weekly. depending on aquarium conditions) partial water changes . Change water regularly. to eliminate algae completely Algae is a sign of good health and balance in your aquarium. and undesirable. rocks and gravel. In extreme or difficult cases ask professional advice .com . Make sure your lighting is not on too long (green algae) may need to use an algaecide or ion exchange resin. Don’t use perfume.never tap water. Monitor the state of your water every day. handcream etc. Only put your hands in the tank when absolutely necessary . Take care when cleaning near the gravel it can scratch the glass.this will save you time in the long run. such as Clearmax www. and not off too long (brown algae).the oils on your hands can alarm your fish. before putting your hands in the water. as well as ‘green water’. Never use soap or detergent on anything that will come into contact with your fish or their water. However.hagen. Use the following pages to help establish an effective care routine. Never completely empty your aquarium to clean it it will stress your fish and disturb the natural balance of the aquarium. pumps filters etc.STEP 11 Algae 34 STEP 12 How to keep it under control? It is www.hagen. removing water from the lower levels of your aquarium where the nitrates lurk. Regular Care & Maintenance Caring for your fish means caring for your aquarium. FEATHER ALGAE Very dark green tufts on decorations. FILAMENTOUS ALGAE Dark green ‘hairs’ attached to gravel or plant stems. Avoid algae invasion by: Keeping your aquarium out of direct sunlight. BROWN ALGAE Thin layers on glass and plant leaves. 35 You will need to carry out regular (once a week or once a fortnight. if it gets out of hand it can be a sign that all is not well and unless corrected quickly.

Always use a purposedesigned fish net to lift them. and to hold fresh tap water and water conditioner while refilling your aquarium. A Net As well as being beautiful to look at. Without them aquarium conditions can deteriorate quickly. STEP 12 Everybody planning on keeping fish will need a few essential items . replacement media for your Fluval internal or external filter. they are a major influence on the quality of the water. medicines and contaminants without altering the water's properties. most fish are delicate creatures and do not respond well to handling. Carbon and Polyester are especially useful. Max Marina Easy Clean Gravel Cleaner caters for the needs of different species. excess food and sludge.hagen. slow-sinking pellets or granules for mid-water feeders and tablets for bottom feeders. Keep up with your stock of: and Aqua Plus Cycle Keep a variety of foods for the different fish in your aquarium. Other media's are also available. Also handy for removing tiny bits of leftover .hagen. Media Keep www. Algae Scraper Designed to effectively remove algae without scratching the tank.inexpensive but indispensable Plastic Bucket for Aquarium use only You will need a clean plastic bucket . water siphon and algae cleaner. Fluval External Foam Pads Marina Long Reach Algae Scrub 37 Marina Net or Multi-Vac Cleaner A 3 in 1 battery powered gravel cleaner. Fluval Plus Filter Pads Fluval Biomax www. Marina Multi-Vac Cleaner Flakes are for surface feeders. Extra Fine polyester pads filter out extremely fine particles and contaminants. dyes. hold siphoned water during water changes.STEP 12 Care Kit 36 Gravel Cleaner Used to remove waste. Carbon improves water by filtering out harmful liquid substances. Don’t forget to maintain your regular supplies of water treatments too. see page 12-13 for more information.

it is a true glimpse of a fascinating underwater world. varied feeding . Plan your aquarium . monthly and yearly checklists. 7. Every Day Feed fish . but which occupy different levels of the aquarium. Keep water stable and well conditioned. remember to replace the bulb. a partial water change about 10 .two or three times a day. Clean inner and outer glass surfaces with specially designed algae . water conditioners. . Every Month 2. Test the water. Be sure to replace any water you remove with water conditioned with Aqua Plus. Every Week Because wastes accumulate continuously. filters and lights are running smoothly. Check all inhabitants for disease. essential to ensure cleanliness and to reduce build up of unwanted chemical waste (frequency of water change depends on filter type and aquarium set-up). Check your supplies of food. 39 Maintain filter. Remove any debris .don’t rush the early stages. uneaten food etc. 8.dead leaves. Use living plants where possible. 10. 9. regular. If your aquarium filter includes a UV careful not to overfeed. media and other regularly used items. If you are using a Filter. Provide appropriate.STEP 12 Essential Schedule 38 The best formula for successful fishkeeping is to keep a regular maintenance schedule STEP 12 10 Basic Rules for a Successful Aquarium 1. liveliness and normal behaviour. Keep fish populations within reasonable limits. extra fine polyester pads remove fine particles in the water caused by disturbing the gravel. Fluorescent 6. and make sure pumps. Rinse foam media in aquarium water. Enjoy your aquarium . Choose fish that are compatible.20% . which should be at the same temperature as the aquarium.hagen.this will help water stability and give you more choice. Check temperature. 3. Every Year Change your Bulbs.hagen. Choose the largest aquarium your budget and space will allow . Dose with Cycle. check the impeller and change the relevant filter www. Follow our daily. Use a gravel cleaner to remove waste and syphon off water. Clean fluorescent tubes and fixtures to maintain a consistent light source. Choose your filtration system carefully. www. weekly. 5.

Hagen (U.) Ltd. Yorkshire. Castleford. don’t hesitate to call us on our Helpline number: 01977 556622 or contact us through our web site at www.hagen. WF10 5QH S77 Printed in England DISTRIBUTED BY: UK: Rolf C.If you have any questions or queries. W.