6 Common Fish Tank Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

Owning a fish tank is a fantastic hobby for thousands of people. However, less experienced aquarium owners often miss important cues that could be detrimental to the overall health of the fish and the aquarium ecosystem.  

This read will not only illuminate some of the most common fish tank mistakes owners make but also give practical advice to help you keep your fish and your tank healthy long-term.

Let’s dive right in.

6 Common Fish Tank Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

Common Fish Tank Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

1.) Too Many White Worms In Your Aquarium

If you have a freshwater aquarium, chances are you have encountered white worms and tan worms in your aquarium. This is common, and it does not necessarily mean something is wrong within your aquarium. 

However, if you start to realize that the tan worm and white worm population in your tank are becoming prominent, it could be a sign that your water quality is poor. Some of the most common causes of this problem could be overfeeding, an overpopulation of fish, or even poor filtration in your tank.

How to avoid this problem

The most important thing to do when you find yourself in this situation is to remove all food debris in your tank and use bacterial additives to supplement your existing filtration. Ensure you filter your water and keep an eye on the filtration to work as needed.

2.) Buying A Small Aquarium

When people start a new hobby, they typically want to start small and grow as they go. While it may make sense for a beginning fish tank owner, smaller fish tanks require more maintenance work and often become problematic to people new to the hobby.  

A smaller aquarium will need more cleaning and tighter regulation, which can be a nightmare for new tank owners.

How to avoid this problem

Look for the biggest tank within your budget that your space allows when starting, and you can avoid a lot of the pitfalls of smaller aquariums.

3.) Overfeeding Your Fish

We all want a happy pet, right? Part of that is making sure your pet is well-fed. As mentioned earlier, overfeeding in aquariums can lead to several issues; including the overbreeding of white worms. 

When fish are many, more remains are left uneaten in your tank – affecting the water chemistry. The outcome is that more nitrites and ammonia accumulate in your tank, which stresses your fish.

How to solve this problem

Offer no more than the amount of food your fish needs to survive. If there is any food debris leftover, use the net to get it out. Also, it’s good to filter your tank often to remove the debris you cannot net out.

4.) Overpopulation

When you get your new aquarium, there is always the temptation to get more fish and add to your variety. People sometimes forget that the fish you buy will grow after a while, and some will become aggressive to other species.  

Overpopulation affects your tank in many ways, the first being a population of anxious fish. The lack of space to move around within the available space is stressful for many fish, affecting their behavior. Additionally, the ecosystem will suffer from the excess waste within the cramped space.

How to solve this problem 

It is always better to have fewer fish than to have an overpopulated tank. Always keep in mind that your fish will probably grow. So, just buy enough for your tank. Do not keep too many species in one tank as sometimes the water will not be favorable to all the different species.

5.) Adding Fish The Same Day You Buy An Aquarium

It can be exciting to finally get an aquarium, especially if it is a hobby you have been looking forward to starting. One rookie mistake that often goes unpunished is rushing to add fish into your tank when you purchase the tank.  

This is a big problem because fish need an ecosystem to survive, and it takes a little bit of time for all the elements to synchronize. To get to an excellent biological state, you need to set up your tank at least 3 to 4 days before introducing your fish.

How to solve this problem 

This is a simple fix because it’s just avoiding a problem before it happens. Ensure you take the time to set up your aquarium and give your tank time to adjust. Introduce your fish slowly by the third day and keep track of how well they adjust to their new home.

6.) Picking the wrong filter size

Filtration is vital to the well-being of all the elements in your fish tank and the health of your fish. You can rarely over filter an aquarium, but it is easy not to do it enough. Regular filters work well when the fish population is lower and you have smaller fish that are not predatory. 

How to solve this problem 

Suppose you have a larger fish population of predatory fish; the best thing you can do is buy larger filters to get all the waste out. Take your time to check on the status of your water and track your PH levels. Find proper filters and keep your water clean at all times.  


Taking care of your tank successfully is an acquired skill. After getting the hang of it, the sky's the limit to what you can achieve. Taking the sound advice in this post and avoiding these rookie mistakes can save your fish and keep your tank healthy for the long haul.

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