KEY POINTS TO HAVING A LOW MAINTENANCE WALL-MOUNTED AQUARIUM
The recommendations below are from my personal experience with having four wall mounted
aquariums myself. I set up my first wall mounted aquarium over three years ago and am now able
to get away with only spending approximately an hour a year in maintenance on each aquarium.
How often you need to maintain your aquarium will primarily depend on your set up, the kind of fish
you get and how many fish you have in your aquarium.
GENERAL AQUARIUM SET UP
Chemicals - For adding new water, I put the following chemicals into the new water: 1) PRIME-
Removes Chlorine, Chloramine, Ammonia and detoxifies Nitrate and Nitrite 2) STRESS ZYME-
Contains dual action live bacteria to speed up development of biological filter
Introducing Fish Once you get the fish home, you should set the bag of fish into the water-filled
aquarium allowing the temperature between the aquarium and bag to equalize. After about 15-20
minutes, add a 1/4 cup of aquarium water into the bag so the fish will get acclimated to the water in
Algae - During the cycling period (initial month of setting up a new tank), avoid keeping the
aquarium lights on all the time to prevent algae build up. Keep your aquarium away from direct sun
light as sun light will also cause algae to multiply quickly. (I travel all the time so I hardly turn my
lights on. I typically only to clean the algae from my aquarium once every 8 months due to this
reason.) Remember, the more you leave your light on, the quicker algae will multiply. You can
always go to your local fish store to get algae stopper chemicals if you find your aquarium with algae
Feeding Be sure you do not overfeed your fish. Overfeeding clogs the filter and breaks down into
toxins that are harmful to fish. A good rule of thumb is to feed no more than the fish will consume
completely in less than five minutes. When in doubt, underfeed! If you are using an automatic
feeder, you must check to make sure the amount of food dispensed is adequate for the number of
fish you have in the aquarium. Test the feeder first before leaving your aquarium unattended.
Make sure you refill your feeder when needed and remember to check the battery periodically.
Changing the Water Depending on how many fish you have in your aquarium, aquarists
recommend changing the water at least once a month. Typically, you will change 10% of the water
per week, or 30% of the water every 3-4 weeks. Never change more than 30% of the water at one
time. If you have neglected your fish tank change 30% every 2 weeks until it is clean. NEVER
siphon out all of the water. Always do only partial water change.
Filter - The level of bubbles in your aquarium can be controlled by the clear long tube that fits into
your filter. You can pinch the clear tube to reduce the amount of bubble output. Make sure that the
bubbles are not too strong for the type of fish you have. If it looks like the fish are struggling to
swim, you need to reduce the amount of bubble output. You should rinse the sponge inside the
filter once every 1-3 months depending on the size of your aquarium and how many fish you have.
A dirty sponge will cause the filter to not function properly. When you do need to clean the sponge,
just rinse it under running water until all the waste is cleaned off. Do not use soap to clean the
sponge. If you travel as much as I do, you can always purchase an extra large filter from us to
reduce the times you need to clean your sponge.
SALT WATER SET UP
Cycling Your Tank When first setting up your salt water aquarium, it is recommended to let your
aquarium settle & cycle. A period of 1-2 weeks should be given to allow the bacteria culture to build
up before introducing fish. Bacteria is needed to consume all the waste put out by the new fish. If
your tank is not given the time to cycle, ammonia and or nitrite can skyrocket and weaken or kill all
of the tanks inhabitants.
Damsels and Clown Fish are very hardy and can sometimes be put into an aquarium within 1 week.
However, if you add the fish without allowing your aquarium to cycle, expect some fish to not make
Salt Water - You can purchase salt water already mixed and prepared for you with the right salinity
level from your local fish store. The cost is approximately $0.59~$1.00 per gallon. You can also mix
your own salt water with aquarium salt purchased from your local fish store. (Salt water from the
ocean near beaches is not good, but you may use ocean water from several miles away from shore.)
Live Sand - I recommend setting up your aquarium with live sand. Live sand creates a healthy
ecosystem for your fish. You can purchase live sand at your local fish store. The average cost for a
bag of live sand is approximately $20~$30. You only need one bag for large aquariums (enough for
1-2 inches of ground cover).
Damsel & Clown Fish I have found these two types of fish to be the lowest maintenance salt water
fish. They are very hardy and can tolerate a lot of changes. Damsels come in a variety of colors.
They can cost as low as $3 each. Clown fish (famously known as Nemo) are also beautiful, bright
and colorful fish. They can cost as low as $8 each. If you introduce the more expensive
temperamental salt water fish, expect a higher maintenance aquarium.
Live Coral - Stay away from live coral if you want a low maintenance tank. Live coral are very high
maintenance and are very temperamental!
Live Rock - I recommend putting live rock in your aquarium to help its ecosystem. General rule of
thumb is one pound of live rock per gallon.
Evaporation - When the salt water in your aquarium evaporates, refill it with filtered water (reverse
osmosis water is recommended but not needed). Do not pour more salt water into your aquarium
unless your salinity level falls below the recommended range noted below.
Changing Water - Replace 1/3 of the water siphoned out with salt water every 3-4 weeks.
Testing the Water - You should check the salinity, nitrate, PH balance, etc for your aquarium about
once a month (most pet stores sell test strips).
temperature: 75°F - 80°F (24°C - 27°C)
specific gravity: 1.020 - 1.024
pH: 8.0 - 8.4
nitrate: 20 ppm or less (especially for invertebrates)
carbonate hardness: 7-10 dKH
FRESH WATER SET UP
Live Plants Live plants can make your aquarium dirty very quickly. Stay away from live plants if
you want to keep a low maintenance tank.
Gold Fish - Stay away from gold fish if you don’t want to change your water often. Gold fish give off
a lot of waste.
Recommended Community Fish Platies, Mollies, Guppies, Neons, Tetras, and Cichlids (keep these
with other cichlids only) are very hardy fish. Other fish I have had were very high maintenance and
temperamental. Temperamental fish can quickly die if the temperature isn't right, the water is dirty,
if there's too much waste in the water or they are being overfed.
Beta Fish Betas are one of the hardiest of all fresh water fish. They are perfect if you want a
virtually no maintenance tank. They do not make good community fish though. I have been lucky
with my betas living peacefully with my guppies in my smaller tanks. However, Betas are
recommended to be in a bowl or aquarium by themselves since they are very aggressive fish.
Please read the manual included with the aquarium for further instructions.