Aquarium fish are one of the most often neglected pets, though it hardly is reported. If you have a friend whose fish tank has been overrun by green slime and smells like a toilet, fish tank adoption is the way to go. It is possible to save the fish in a neglected fish tank if you follow several steps carefully.
Neglected Fish Tank Adoption – Moving the Fish Tank
The first step in saving the fish in the neglected fish tank is to move it to your home. The former owner has already proved that they will not care for the fish properly. Since massive water changes will be needed anyway, it is safe to empty the fish tank about halfway and transport the tank in your car.
Neglected Fish Tank Adoption – The New Home
Once you get the neglected fish tank to your home, you must set it up. Choose a location that is not in the sun if algae is already a problem. Be sure to use a heater if the fish require warmer temperatures. Set up the fish tank light. Clean the existing filter system extensively or buy a new filter. Make sure it is working at full capacity and turn it on.
Neglected Fish Tank Adoption – Determining the Problems
After the fish tank is set up in its new place, you must determine what the precise problems are. Dirty water and an overabundance of debris in the tank is most common. With this comes raised ammonia and nitrate levels in the water. Use a water quality test kit to find out the existing parameters.
Neglected Fish Tank Adoption – Avoid Chemicals
Aquarium and pet stores are full of chemicals in bottles saying they can make crystal clear water, change the pH levels, get rid of ammonia, and all manner of other things. The first step in saving the fish is not to dump chemicals into the tank. This will mask problems and cause more stress for the fish.
Neglected Fish Tank Adoption – Saving the Fish
Now that you have the half full fish tank set up in your home with the filter running, it is time to get serious about cleaning out the tank and saving the fish. First, if there is a large growth of algae, simply scoop it out. Green hair algae can be pulled out and other types can be scooped out with a strainer. Sponge-topped algae scrapers can be used on the glass surfaces of the tank.
Fill a bucket of fresh water and let it sit to release the chlorine and harmful gasses while you clean the tank. Use an aquarium syphon vacuum to suck the waste material off the bottom of the tank. If there are ornaments, remove and scrub them with plain water.
Since the remaining water in the fish tank is most likely very dirty and full of ammonia, you need to add the fresh water to it. You should not remove all the water from the tank, as this can shock the fish. For the next week, add the fresh water, clean the filter every day, and syphon waste from the tank until it is clear. Then, enjoy your new pets.