Pet Fish - Setting Up a Freshwater Aquarium
You don't just dump water and fish in a tank and have a complete aquarium. There are a few things you should think about before you shop for the ideal aquarium.
If you are looking for the information on the following:
You finally got that freshwater tank you've been wanting and brought it home. Now,
you just dump in some water and some fish, right?
Actually, you and I both know that there is going to be a bit more to the process of setting up a freshwater tank than that.
Where to Find Discounted Aquarium Supplies
Before we get into details, I want to recommend that you begin your pet fish hobby, once you have educated yourself a bit, by starting small. Keeping pet fish can become fairly complicated fairly fast, and, by "fast", I mean as soon as you walk into the local pet store, or pet department at Wally World!
For the beginner to the pet fish hobby, I would recommend starting with an aquarium kit.
Good quality aquarium kits come with most of the major items you will need to get your new hobby started. However, even with the best aquarium kit, you will still need to learn and understand the basics, so, here's a quick rundown on what you will need to know when you are setting up your first freshwater aquarium.
By the way, don't worry if you see "aquarium" and "fish tank" used somewhat interchangeably. In most cases, I will be talking about the same thing.
You will need to consider the type of tank or aquarium and the type of aquarium filter needed for that aquarium. You'll also need to know which species of fish go well together to form a community and how many fish to put into your freshwater tank. You will also need to purchase equipment specifically intended for the tank such as gravel, aquarium heater, decorations and a light.
There are a few things
you should think about before you shop for the ideal aquarium.
After all, your freshwater tank has to be a stable system in terms of temperature, pH and the softness/hardness of the water.
Acrylic aquariums are better insulators than glass aquariums and provide a more stable
temperature. They are also clearer, which allows for more light than a glass aquarium. Acrylic aquariums are also more flexible
than glass aquariumas and less prone to leakage, which means they don't break or crack as easily as glass aquariums.
The Acrylic Aquarium is not Perfect, However!
Some disadvantages of an
acrylic aquarium are that it can cost two to three times as much as
glass aquariums and can be easily scratched. Fortunately,
many come with lifetime guarantees. If you can afford the
higher cost, an acrylic aquarium is definitely the best choice for a
first time fish owner.
Once you've decided on
the type of tank you want, you will need to consider tank size.
A larger aquarium is more stable and healthier for fish.
However, if you're only planning to add a few fish to the
tank, then a smaller freshwater tank will be fine. As far as
filtration goes, you should purchase a filter that include biological,
mechanical and chemical filtration as this will make your tank easier
The biological filtration
will reduce the toxicity of the tank, while the mechanical filtration
will help keep the water clear. The chemical filter will
remove dissolved food, plant debris and waste in the water and can
prevent the water in the aquarium from developing a yellowish tinge.
An aquarium with too many
fish is unhealthy for its inhabitants.
It would be a good idea to have an inch of fish for every three to four
gallons of water to keep your fish happy and healthy. Before
shopping for fish for the tank, do some research so you know which ones
can coexist in the same environment or community. You
wouldn't want to put slow feeders and/or weak fish with predatory fish,
as the predatory fish will end up eating the others. You can also just
put an entire school of the same species of fish in the freshwater tank
if variety isn't a concern.
Now, you are ready to set
up the tank.
The ideal location needs to be away from windows or home heater vents as
these could affect the lighting and temperature of the tank.
Be sure to place the tank on a firm stand. A tank
filled with water can weigh several hundred pounds.
It is a good idea to wash
the equipment with water before using it. Never use any soaps
or cleaning agents on fish equipment, the aquarium or even the
containers you use to fill the tank with water. If you feel
as though water alone isn't enough, you can add a teaspoon or two of
salt to a gallon of water to make your equipment cleaner.
Thoroughly remove the saltwater solution with fresh water
before you use the equipment.
Once everything is clean, put water in your tank, setup the equipment
for the aquarium and let it run for 24 hours.
Caring for Pet Fish
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