Aquarium Maintenance – Can Laziness Set In?

Over the years I have seen many aquariums – some of which are extremely well cared for and others which have become neglected.

At the start of this hobby many aquarists are filled with eagerness and spend a lot of time learning as much as they can about the hobby, what all the equipment does, why water quality is important etc etc and finally they have their very own marine aquarium all set up.

At the start they are very diligent about the maintenance requirements of the aquarium and carefully perform water tests each week, change the water, empty the skimmer, record all the information etc.

However, over time the aquarium becomes an item which appears like it has always been there, the once diligent testing regime starts to slip and the ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ starts to set in which then might move on to ‘I’ll do it next week’..

That’s the laziness bit which was mentioned in the title.

Slowly, over time the aquarium starts to deteriorate, algae may start to set in, the sand may start to get dirty, the corals do not extend as much and then the aquarists reaches a turning point. At some point the aquarist notices that the aquarium is not looking as good as it used to and either realises that it needs to be put right and starts to care for the aquarium again or gives up the hobby.

Unfortunately this happens a lot.

It is my opinion that when the decision is made to keep a marine aquarium that the required maintenance is understood up front and that it must be adhered to. After all inside the aquarium is life which have a requirement to be cared for. If you owned a dog would you leave it at home all day, never take it for a walk and never wash it – no I didn’t think so.

I appreciate that there are a lot of people who have busy lives which could be one of the reasons why the aquarium hobby fascinated them in the first place however whilst the aquarium is a joy to observe and is exceptionally relaxing the life in the aquarium has a requirement to be cared for.

Fortunately this is only a small minority of people – the majority of aquarists have a passion for aquatic life and gain enjoyment from looking after the aquarium as well as watching it.

Personally I live quite a hectic life and therefore do not have a set day for looking after the aquarium however I do ensure that the maintenance is performed. I perform the maintennace on an evening after Joshua has gone to bed and the ‘better half’ has settled down to watch television for the evening. I ensure that all the water tests are performed, clean the aquarium, empty and clean the skimmer and do a visual check of the aquarium.

Although I ensure that everything is performed on a weekly basis I do not really have a routine.

My father John on the other hand however is exceptionally diligent at maintaining his aquarium. Every Sunday morning without fail he maitains his aquarium and I also believe he has a set regime for what he does and when.

There are times when I laugh about his regime but when you see his aquarium you can see why it works. As said I have seen many aquariums over the years and although I am probably a bit biased his aquarium is the best I have ever seen.

As already mentioned the majority of aquarists are very good in this area and perform the aquarium maintenance required however there are a few that don’t and my message to these people is – why did you take up this hobby in the first place – it is not fair to the life in the aquarium that they are not looked after.

The bottom line in my opinion is that if the aquarium cannot be maintained in a timely manner or time cannot be devoted to it then perhaps the marine aquarium hobby is not the right hobby to start.