‘Tis the season for new gadgets, gear, gift cards and fishes, corals and other invertebrates. I love this time of year–from a personal and family perspective, but also from my personal aquarium perspective–because this is the time of year to think about what I want to do to change up or add to my tank. A lot of us are periodically adding to our tank(s) throughout the year–that’s part of the fun of it–but it can be easy to get swept up in the exuberance of the holiday season and even though well-intended–we can sometimes cause more harm than good.
Here are the 3 biggest aquarium mistakes made during the Holiday Season
- Skipping the quarantine step
- Adding too many new animals at once
- Distressing our corals with our new gear
#1 Not quarantining new livestock
This is one of the biggest mistakes many of us make throughout the year–but I personally find it to be particularly challenging to quarantine during the holiday season because ‘gotta have it’ fever runs so strongly, this time of year.
Maybe you added a fish once or twice before–and you had no problems–so why wait? You decide to just add that fish right away.
The problem, as you probably already know, is that you could be introducing parasites into your tank–parasites like saltwater ich, that can either lead to the death of your livestock or at best, become a major, major hassle. Did I mention it is a major hassle?
#2 Adding too many new animals at once
It’s easy to get carried away, when you have a gift card burning a hole in your pocket–particularly if it’s a gift card to an online retailer, like Liveaquaria.com. It is expensive to ship live fish and corals to your home, so it makes sense to make the most of your investment and save on shipping.
The problem with that is that it is difficult to quarantine and care for that many animals at once. As a result, you may crash your biological filter, or increase the odds of parasite break-outs, and ultimately suffer losses, which is a total bummer for you, the person who gave you that gift (if applicable) and an even bigger bummer for your livestock.
#3 Causing distress with your new gear
Don’t forget that your animals have acclimated to the conditions of your aquarium–and if those conditions have been stable for some time now–causing a rapid change, because of your new gear–could actually cause more harm than good.
If for instance, you got the blazingly bright new LED light fixture you’ve had your eyes on for the last few months, you may be thinking that more light output can help your corals grow faster–but if you give them too much light, too quickly, you could damage and kill them.
The solution for the 3 biggest aquarium mistakes of the holiday season is to have patience. Remember to go slowly. Don’t think of it as ‘switching things out’, and don’t ignore me if you think I’m being a Grinch. Instead, think of it as acclimating your tank to the new conditions. If you keep that very important principle in mind, you’re likely to have more success with your tank, during this holiday season.