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Summer Tank Care

Summer is a busy season. Between family vacations, sports, kids activities and other events, the average person has too much to do, and not enough time to do it! During this time of recreation and travel, be sure to keep your fish in mind - their lives are in your hands!! Regardless of how busy you are, make sure to allow a few minutes each day to simply observe your tank. Figure out what time of day is consistently best for you, and make it part of your routine. By observing your fish and plants around the same time each day, it will allow you to get a feel for what is normal in your aquarium. Being aware of normal conditions will help you realize when something abnormal may be occurring, such as parasite or bacteria infestations; while a problem is still in the early stages it is much easier to resolve. Once you have a good grasp on the optimal conditions of your tank, it is a great idea to familiarize anyone whos willing, whether friends or family, with it as well. When they are over for a visit, ask them if they would want to learn about your fish, and make it fun that way, when you are unable to care for your tank, you have a trained stand-in who is well-acquainted with your aquarium. A great step to take if youre looking to save time is to automate your tanks functions. Doing so will reduce the time you spend on daily maintenance. An automatic timer can regulate aquarium lighting, which will guarantee your fish receive regular days and nights. A battery operated air pump will switch on during a power outage and will give you peace of mind whether youre home or away. A back-up heater is also a good idea in case your main heater fails. An automatic feeder is also a great investment that will ensure regular feeding times for your fish. Because they are battery operated, they will also work right through a power failure. While temperature control is important year round, it is especially critical during the summer months, when open windows and fluctuations in weather affect your tank. As the temperature of water increases, its ability to hold oxygen decreases, which may cause rapid fish respiration and chronic stress. Heating or chilling, or possibly both, may be necessary to maintain a constant temperature. For example, if the temperature is fluctuating between day and night, you might need to turn up your heater to match room temperature. Or, if you do not have air conditioning and your aquarium has electrical devices that raise water temperature, you may need to invest in a chiller. And, as always, keep your aquarium away from direct sunlight, or use blinds or curtains to shield it from the sun. Water quality is essential, especially during times of increased heat. Algae multiply faster in warmth; a magnetic algae cleaner can significantly cut down on your tanks cleaning time. Another concern is the potential changes in municipal water supplies that sometimes occur in the summer chlorine levels are often raised, and a dechlorinator may need to be used more often. Regular water changes are also very important; a 25% each month will help reduce nitrate and ammonia, as well as replace important trace minerals. Although you may worry that summer fun might make caring for your tank difficult, these suggestions will keep both you and your aquariums inhabitants satisfied.

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