Now, I would like to begin by apologising for the click bait title BUT there is a reason for the madness. And just to clarify, the coronavirus does NOT kill aquarium fish. What might be killing your fish during this crazy time though is YOU!!
Those who have chosen to isolate themselves in an attempt to protect themselves from the rapidly spreading Coronavirus soon find that they don’t know how to use the surplus amount of time that is suddenly available to them.
For those who have fish (i.e. all who are reading this article) the obvious answer to the question “how am I going to use my time?” is; look after the fish!
Now, if you’re anything like me, when you have any amount of spare time on your hands the temptation to “fiddle” and tweak various things in your fish tank or fish tanks is almost overwhelming. Decorations/aqua-scaping can be re-arranged, water changes can be done and everyone’s favourite, fish can be fed!
However, while these things are harmless or even beneficial under normal circumstances, they can become dangerous. How? Well, if you normally perform water changes once a month and then, because you are bored, you begin to perform them once a week and even more often or jump from performing 10% water changes to performing 50% water changes it can cause your fish to go into shock.
Routine and consistency are your best friends when it comes to keeping fish alive and healthy. Changes in routine, especially with water changes or the amount of food being fed, can cause rapid changes in water chemistry which can be harmful and even fatal to your aquarium fish.
So am I saying that you must stick to the same boring routine that you had when you were still going to your 9-5 and didn’t have too much time for your fish? Nope, not at all. However, I must STRONGLY advise you to make any changes slowly. Don’t jump from a 10% water change to a 50% water change (SEE: Are Large Water Changes Bad?). Increase it slowly over time. Don’t double the amount that you feed in one week. Increase it in increments.
Now, one final note. While this may be of particular importance during times when us hobbyists have a lot of spare time on our hands, it also applies at all other times. Aquariums rarely deal well with rapid changes. Slowly, slowly wins the race is certainly true here!