These are the instructions for beginners who wish to start doing aquaristics and make their living space nicer…
If you like animals and a peaceful, Zen environment you definitely need to buy an aquarium. Fishes are pets which don’t require a lot of attention, but they will keep you company and fill out your living space. Aquaristics is a big and broad area so you need to inform and educate yourself thoroughly before you buy an aquarium.
We decided to explain the most important things which will help you start doing aquaristics in order to create a small ecosystem which should function perfectly in your home.
1.The size of the aquarium
There is a misconception that smaller aquariums are easier and better for beginners. The smaller the volume of the aquarium, the harder it is to maintain it. Smaller water volume means that every added supplement can seriously damage the water composition so any living creature in the water will have troubles with adaptation. If you are a beginner, don’t buy an aquarium smaller than 65 liters.
2. Aquarium as a living environment
Many people think that aquaristics is simple and that the water and fishes are enough, however, that is not the case. You have to look at the aquarium as a living being. You have to make your aquarium habitable. That’s the only way your fishes and plants can survive and live for a longer period of time.
When you buy a tank, you have to fill it with water and leave it for at least 30 days without fishes. In that way, you cycle the tank and create beneficial bacteria which later clean NO3 gases coming from fish feces. This process can be sped up by adding chemical substances but our advice is to let nature take its course and create suitable living conditions.
Many people forget that you can put plants into the tank. Of course, this is a matter of choice but we advise you to put in a few living plants into your tank. They give a sense of a real natural environment and make your aquarium look more beautiful. Also, plants will create additional oxygen and make the water better for the fishes. They will feel more natural and safer now that there are plants which they can use to hide. Here you can read a guide for choosing the best aquarium plants for your tank.
Plant maintenance is not complicated. There are demanding and less demanding plants and we advise you to start with the latter. They need light and nourishing substrate which is placed at the bottom of the tank. After you plant them, they will start developing and growing really fast. Later you can use scissors to prune them and shape them as you wish. If you want to learn more about aquarium lightning we wrote an article that can help you.
4.Filtration and additional equipment
An aquarium can’t survive long without a filter. The filter must be suitable for the amount of water you have in your tank and contain good filtration materials like activated charcoal and volcanic rocks. This way, the water is cleansed and all dirt is removed from the water. First, seek advice from people in the tank shop who will recommend the best filter for your tank. Later you will learn how it functions on your own. We wrote a useful guide on how to choose the right aquarium filter, it should help you to make the right decision.
Apart from the filter, you need to have a heater which will keep the water temperature constant. The temperature depends on the fishes you have in the tank but if it’s a mix of tropical fishes, the water temperature should be around 26 degrees.
Air spray is also very important because it oxidizes the water and makes it easier for the fishes to breathe in it.
Although we already mentioned the additional equipment, the lighting should be in a separate advice category. As you know, light is very important because it’s the source of life. There are two types of lighting, one for the plants and one for the fishes. The lighting has to be placed right so that illuminates the entire surface of the aquarium. You need to make sure the lighting turns on and off to simulate the cycle of day and night. So, we advise you to keep the light turned off for 14 hours and on for 10 hours, if you want to learn more about aquarium lightning we have an article for you.
You can buy cheap timers which will do the job for you.
When you provide all the right conditions and put in all of the equipment into the tank, you can then start adding the fishes. Try not to add too many fishes at once because every time you add them you change the chemical composition. Before you release them into the water, put the fishes, along with the plastic bag you bought them in, into the aquarium water. That way they will adapt to the aquarium temperature.
Before adding them, you should decide which fish you want to keep. You can have a few big ones or smaller ones. You don’t usually mix big and small fishes. Also, you need to see if they are herbivores or not. If you have plant-eating fishes, like goldfishes, then you can’t have plants in the tank.
The most important thing is to add fishes which aren’t aggressive and which get along with others. You always need to check this and ask the shop assistant if the fishes you want to buy can cohabitate with the ones you already have.
If you didn’t choose your aquarium fish yet, here is the list of most popular aquarium fish for beginners.
Many people think that the tank water is changed at certain intervals but that is partially true. The water should never be changed entirely, but you need to change 1/3 every 7-10 days. The tank mustn’t be exposed to sunlight directly or be near the window, as well as cold and drafty places.
You can clean the glass with a razor or with special magnetic cleaners which will remove all the dirt.
Remember that aquaristics isn’t hard but you need to be persistent and try to provide the best possible living space. That way, the fishes will be healthier and live longer and you will have a wonderful part of nature in your apartment or house.