Setting up fish tanks is a great hobby, and it also boosts your home appeal. However, completing regular fish tank maintenance is not easy, especially if you are busy with other professional duties.
Fortunately, you can make a self-sustaining aquarium with plants to help you manage your busy life and hobby. It can also help you find absolute peace of mind while on vacation.
In this article, we share a few steps on how to make your fish tank self cleaning to help you reduce the amount of time spent doing tedious tasks.
How to Make Your Fish Tank Self Cleaning
Step 1: Find the Right Tank Size
The first thing you need to decide on is the size of the tank you require. Tank size plays a vital role in a self-cleaning aquarium. Larger tanks typically work better than smaller tanks, and the more water your aquarium hold, the less the chances of chemical imbalance.
Variations in water parameters, including pH and temperature, are less likely to cause distress to your fish when they are in a larger capacity tank. Additionally, larger tanks are easy to maintain since you can add many different species and provide a nearly perfect water-fish plant ratio.
The ideal size of a fish tank should be between 30 and 200 gallons.
Once you have found the right tank, clean it thoroughly. Proper cleaning of your fish tank help gets rid of contaminants that may harm your fish pet or aquarium plants.
Step 2: Make a Substrate Bed in Your Fish Tank
Some aquarists underestimate the role of substrate, but it’s vital for a self-cleaning fish tank. The soil, sand, and gravel that make up your substrate help cultivate the suitable number of bacteria essential in a fish tank.
It also ensures that the bacteria remain at the bottom rather than reaching the plants or damaging the tank filtration system.
Here is how to make a substrate bed:
- If you are using a small glass bowl, add one inch of sand and a half inch of gravel.
- However, if you are using a medium or large fish tank, add two inches of sand and top it up with one inch of gravel.
Step 3: Fill the Fish Tank with Well-Treated Water
High-quality water is essential for a self-cleaning aquarium. Depending on the fish species you intend to keep, there are specific requirements you need to meet, such as pH levels, hardness, and temperature ranges.
Make sure to use a high-quality water testing kit for accurate results.
The ideal pH level for freshwater aquariums is 6.8 to 8.0, while saltwater fish tanks are safe with a pH between 8.0 and 8.4. The water temperature should be between 72-to-80-degree Fahrenheit.
Step 4: Add a Variety of Live Aquarium Plants
A self-cleaning aquarium is a system of a natural food chain. So, it’s crucial to choose the appropriate plants for your fish tank.
Live plants can add value to your fish tank in many different ways. Plants such as Java Fern and Java Moss are low-maintenance and may serve as an additional food source for baby fish.
They also don’t grow too big, so you don’t need to worry about overcrowding the fish tank.
Plants also use leftover compounds from the nitrogen cycle as food, preventing rising ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels from turning your water toxic. They are also great water oxygenators, and the plants’ roots will help clean the water.
Step 5: Incorporate Textured Filter Media
Tank filters come in different shapes and sizes. They may either be a separate component or a part of the pump system.
Filters serve various essential roles in a fish tank. They help keep the tank water clean while at the same time providing adequate oxygen for the happier and healthier lives of your fish. They also make excellent breeding places for beneficial bacteria.
A correctly set fish tank with a three-phase filtration system can serve as a self-cleaning system.
Step 6: Cycle Your Tank
It’s crucial to test your self-cleaning aquarium through the cycling stage before you can allow it to run with minimal human supervision.
The cycling phase is where nitrifying bacteria break down fish waste and other debris, self-sustaining the tank’s chemical balance. Without cycling, your fish will not thrive for a longer time.
Step 7: Add Micro-Critters
Micro-critters such as snails, daphnia, and micro-planarians help clean the tank and serve as a food source for fish. However, since most micro-critter are tiny, it’s important to give them at least two weeks to establish themselves.
Step 8: Stock Your Self-Cleaning Aquarium
Find your favorite fish species, turtles, or shrimp, and put them into your newly made fish tank.
The best way to add these pets is to start with smaller species such as guppies and then continue to medium and finish with large species. It’s also important to continue feeding your fish for the first few weeks as the plant grows and micro orgasms start multiplying.
See also: Cleaning algae on rocks in aquarium
Step 9: Add an Automatic Feeder for Extra Comfort
Feeding your fish pet is always exciting, and it gives a feeling of joy and a sense of accomplishment. You can handpick some fish food pellets and give them to your aquatic pets from time to time.
However, sometimes you may feel tired or forget to feed your fish. Or else, you may be on vacation, and there is nobody home to help feed your pets.
See also: Cool things to put in a fish tank
The good news is that you can add an automatic fish feeder to feed your fish routinely and on time. A feeder can also help you give the exact amount of food you want your fish to eat, thus avoiding the risk of overfeeding.
FAQs on How to Make Your Fish Tank Self Cleaning
What Are the Necessary Components for Making a Self-Cleaning Fish Tank?
There are various kinds of equipment needed to make a self-cleaning fish tank. However, the most common components required to set up the aquarium are:
1. A tank
2. Tested water
3. Oxygen pump or filter
4. Sand, gravel, or soil
Why Do I Need a Self-Cleaning Fish Tank?
A self-sustaining fish tank helps reduce the number of hours spent cleaning the aquarium. In addition, it helps increase the lifespan of your aquarium components, and you can easily customize the living quality.
How Many Types of Self-Cleaning Fish Tanks Are There?
There are varieties of aquariums in the market, but the most popular self-cleaning fish tanks are:
1. The Aqua Sprouts Garden
2. Aquaponic Self-Cleaning Fish Tank
3. Micro Farm Aquaponic Garden
4. Gravity Flow
5. Three-Stage Filtering
Aqua Tech: How to Make a Self-Cleaning Fish Tank