There are few things you’ll need when starting an aquarium. In the beginning, you should keep things as simple as possible. However, the more meticulous and thorough you are from the start, the easier it will get along the way.
#1 Fish tank
One of the first things you need when starting an aquarium is a fish tank, obviously. Nowadays you can find classic both glass and acrylic fish tanks. It is up to personal preferences which ones to choose, but there are some reasons that might make you opt for one over the other. Acrylic fish tanks are lighter, but due to the density of the material they are also more prone to scratching. Glass fish tanks are heavier, and glass walls need to be a bit thicker than acrylic ones, to maintain the same body of water. Another reason that makes most aquarium owners overlook the price is the fact that acryl refracts light similarly as the water, which gives an impression of a wall-less aquarium.
In most cases, aquarium-kept fish require same or similar conditions as the ones found in their natural habitat. Saltwater fish prefer high Ph water level, and freshwater species thrive in 5.5-7.5 Ph levels. But there’s more to water than just the Ph level. The concentration of ammonia, nitrite, nitrogen, phosphates, and calcium it all affect the quality of water.
Think of an aquarium as an eco-system with numerous factors. In this system, our primary goal is to maintain the life of fish. If they are suffering, we must change something. If they are dying, then we must change everything. There is an urban myth regarding aquarium water-change. But this urban and true myth reveals the whole truth – changing one factor may lead to changes in the overall health of your aquarium. That’s why it’s important to introduce all changes slowly and carefully. Although aquariums have filtration systems, it is recommended to change water over time. But do not change the whole amount of water at once. The best is to change 5%-10% at the time.
#4 Filtration system
You cannot have a serious aquarium without a filtration system. It is fair to say that aquariums are small bodies of water, packed full of fish, rocks, sand, algae and water plants and bits of fish food. This means that in short amount of time, the water becomes saturated with organic waste disposal. In natural habitats, water filters naturally. Sand is still one of the best filters for the water, and most water pumps mimic natural sand filtration.
There are a few renowned fish species that clean fish tanks. These include some types of shrimps, snails, and catfish.
For all species of fish, there is a middle ground in which they are happiest, and they must be kept within that range for optimum health. Examples: Tropical fish – 72° – 80° F (optimal is 78° F), Common Goldfish – 65° – 68° F, Fancy Tail Goldfish – 65° – 72° F
#5 Thermometer and heaters
Handling all the moving parts while starting an aquarium can be overwhelming. There is one rule of thumb regarding fish tank temperature and that is that it always should be as stable as possible. But, there is an optimal temperature level and it varies from species to species. That’s why it’s sometimes too hard to combine different fish types.
That’s why you need a high-quality thermometer and water heater. A few useful tips include not to put your aquarium near any heating or cooling system. Fish react badly to any fluctuation in living conditions of an aquarium.
#5 Aquarium backgrounds are the key detail when starting an aquarium
Good aquarist keeps their fish in clean and healthy water, and the best aquarists mimic the nature the best they can. Mimicking nature includes investing in high-quality aquarium background. You want to do your best to make your fish comfortable and bring the level of stress to the lowest possible.
In the world of endless aquarium background possibilities, it is not easy to decide which one is the best one for you. You can go all-natural, but caution is mandatory. Most nature-made rocks have high levels of limestone, which can mess up Ph levels of water.
#6 Fish and fish food
Finally, once you have previously mentioned all set, it’s time to bring fish into the aquarium. Maybe it is the best idea to first decide on the fish you’d like to own and to adjust the rest of the gear and setup to this.
There’s something soothing and peaceful in the act of throwing the food into the aquarium. It hits the water surface and slowly floats down to the bottom, only to be devoured by a Malawi Cichlid.
#7 Water plants, décor and accessories
Water plants are not a must, but they surely enhance the overall feel and look of an aquarium. These plants enhance water quality and contribute to the aesthetics of your aquarium. Décor and accessories
The last, but not the least is the subject of aquarium décor and accessories. Make sure that these are of good quality and non-toxic.