After the tank is set up you'll need to maintain it. It's very important to keep it up or the fish could become susceptible to sickness. It's better to maintain the water frequently rather than over long periods so as to not shock the fish with stunning changes in the water quality. The main purpose of cleaning is to control the nitrate buildup and remove decaying materials from the gravel and filter, but you also resupply the water with minerals and help stabilize the pH level.
Cleaning the Tank: Regular maintenance of the tank is crucial for fish health. In addition to periodic evaporation fills these cleaning steps should be done monthly or when the nitrate level reaches 50 ppm. [10 ppm is optimal.]
Siphon out 15% - 20% of the water by vacuuming the gravel.
Remove algae buildup on the tank glass using an algae scrubber if a lot has accumulated.
If you have live plants trim extraneous growth and remove any decaying leaves.
Clean the power filter's tube using a special brush and clean the moving parts.
Replace the filter media to replenish the activated carbon.
Replace the siphoned water with spring or treated water.
Equipment: The equipment will wear out over time and needs to be replaced.
Fluorescent lights lose their strength. It's so gradual that you won't notice so replace them every 6 months.
Power filters usually last a few years. Keep a spare on hand.
Heaters usually last a few years. Keep a spare on hand.
Test the Water: Nitrate and pH levels should be tested at least monthly. Ammonia and nitrite should be tested at least quarterly.