New tank syndrome is a term used to describe the condition that can occur in newly set up aquariums. It is caused by the accumulation of harmful toxins, such as ammonia and nitrite, which can build up in the water before the tank's filtration system has had a chance to establish beneficial bacteria colonies that can break down these toxins. This can lead to stress or death of fish, shellfish and other aquatic life in the tank.

It is generally advise to follow cycle process to mature the tank before introducing any aquatic life. This process involve adding small amount of fish feed or ammonia source to tank to establish the beneficial bacteria colonies in the filter and substrate. Monitoring the water parameters and make adjustments accordingly.

How to Prevent New Tank Syndrome

There are several steps you can take to prevent new tank syndrome in a newly set up aquarium:

Cycle the tank. Before introducing any fish or other aquatic life, it is important to cycle the tank. This process involves adding a small amount of fish food or an ammonia source to the tank to establish beneficial bacteria colonies in the filter and substrate. Monitoring the water parameters and making adjustments accordingly. This process can take several weeks.

Use a high-quality filter. A high-quality filter is essential in keeping the water in your tank clean and healthy. A good filter should be able to handle the size of your tank, and have adequate space for beneficial bacteria to grow.

Add live plants. Live plants can help absorb harmful toxins and also provide oxygen to the tank.

Do regular water changes. Water changes can help remove harmful toxins and replenish essential minerals. It is generally recommended to change 10-15% of water every 2-4 weeks.

Be patient. It can take several weeks or even months for a tank's ecosystem to fully establish. Be patient and give the beneficial bacteria colonies time to grow.

Research the fish species you want to keep. Some fish species are more sensitive than others. Researching and selecting hardier fish species can help avoid unnecessary fish loss in the early stages of tank cycling.

By following these steps, you can prevent new tank syndrome and ensure that your aquarium is a healthy and happy home for your fish and other aquatic life.