I’m sure you’ve gone into the pet store at least once or twice looking for some way to make maintaining your fish tank a little bit easier – whether you were looking for something to clarify your water or to get rid of the Goldfish poop that never seems to end! And unfortunately, you probably also walked away with some miracle product that the pet store employee promised would completely fix your problem.
I personally like to think of all those fish tank chemicals as band aids – you can’t expect your fish problems to go away unless you solve them at the root source. Sure, all those ammonia removers and water clarifiers may help you right now, but what about tomorrow? It can become a real pain to constantly try to juggle chemicals around trying to get one level or another perfect again after a water change.
In order to have consistent low ammonia readings and clear water you have to actually figure out what the heck was causing the problem to begin with! For instance, if your water is cloudy take a minute and evaluate a few things – How long has your tank been set up? How often do you feed your Goldfish? How much food do you offer your fish at each feeding? Did you recently clean your fish tank and how thoroughly did you do it? A water clarifier isn’t going to fix a problem caused by the majority of those questions.
The only product off of that entire wall that you absolutely have to purchase is a quality tap water conditioner – I personally use a brand called Prime. The product that you choose should be able to remove three different toxins from your tap water – heavy metals, chlorine and chloramine. As long as you are keeping up with your routine fish tank maintenance, feeding appropriate amounts and consistently checking water parameters your tank will function perfectly fine without the rest of the chemicals that the pet store tries so hard to sell you on.
So just remember, there is no magic cure for cloudy water or an ammonia spike – at least nothing that you can’t do without the help of one of the chemical band aids. Instead, perform a water change and then take the time to figure out why said level is out of whack so that you can take the appropriate measures to correct it (like cutting back on the amount of food you feed!).