MSD Manual

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Essential Maintenance

Essential Maintenance


  • Check fish, water temperature, and equipment

  • Feed fish and remove any uneaten food

  • Empty protein skimmer (saltwater tanks)


  • Clean glass cover or condensation tray

  • Add any water needed to compensate for evaporation

  • Remove any algae from glass

Every 2 weeks:

  • Change water (amount changed depends on stocking level)

  • Remove dead leaves from live plants and trim if needed

  • Check pH, total alkalinity, ammonia levels, nitrate and nitrite levels, specific gravity (for saltwater and brackish tanks), and filter flow (clean if needed)

  • Stir top of substrate and remove debris

Every 1 to 3 months:

  • Replace carbon in filter

  • Clean protein skimmer (marine saltwater tanks), filter pipework, and quartz sleeve of ultraviolet sterilizer (if applicable)

  • Service power filters and air pump

Every 6 months:

  • Check lighting

  • Replace ultraviolet sterilizer tubes