Daily tank checks should be done in order to catch problems with living specimens or tank equipment before specimens are lost. Following is a list of items to look for/do during tank checks (Part of this list was from my handbook on how to operate the J. L. Scott Aquarium, where tanks had to be maintained for a daily inspection by the public and politicians. Private tanks should also be maintained for inspection and viewing by the owner and visitors, and to catch and correct any problems.). Tank logs should be kept to document problems with specimens and support equipment, etc. Log in things done to tanks, observations of animals and plants in tanks, plus observations on tanks and support equipment.


  • Find missing specimens (to avoid decay in tank, bacterial growth, and possible tank fouling).
  • Remove any dead specimens (to avoid decay in tank, etc).
  • Remove injured or sick specimens to treatment tank, and treat (or discard).
  • Separate fighting animals (try to remove the aggressor to lessen territorial fights for a while).
  • Remove sheds of crustaceans (to avoid decay in tank, etc).
  • Remove uneaten food (to avoid decay in tank, etc).


  • Remove dead or dying plants or parts of plants (to avoid decay in tank, etc).
  • Remove excess algae (especially on viewing glass) or plants (do water change if excessive nitrates;
    adjust timers on lights, change bulb intensity, or change wavelength of light to increase/decrease the algae/plant growth).
  • Replant dug up plants.

Support equipment for tank

  • Verify air on.
  • Verify all support equipment working correctly and electrical supply safe.
  • Verify no hole in substrate exposing under gravel filter (giving path of least resistance for water to flow
    through hole, and thus decreasing flow through substrate and decreasing biological filtration).
  • Level substrate if using under gravel filter (to more even flow of water through substrate to encourage
    biological filtration throughout substrate).
  • Add water if tank level is low.
  • Verify water clear, not cloudy, or another color.
  • Replace bad lighting bulbs.
  • Back-flush/clean filters and other support equipment.


  • Verify no leaks or overflows.
  • Remove accumulated salts on parts of tank and support equipment.
  • Repair aquascaping display.

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