May 3, 2019

Designing a Beginning Fish Aquarium

Author: Tina Tuszynski

Fish make wonderful pets and create beauty and peace around them. Though fish are fairly low maintenance, it is integral that you keep their aquarium clean and healthy. Planning your aquarium is half the battle.

Planning your tank
First, it’s important to consider how large your tank will be. This is partly determined by how much space you have available and what type of fish you plan on keeping.

There are two types of aquariums recommended for beginners: a coldwater tank and a heated freshwater tropical fish tank.

A coldwater tank is the simplest and least expensive to maintain, as you don’t need to heat the water. Coldwater fish are generally comfortable living in water around 60 degrees, and include such species as goldfish, koi, guppies, tetra and zebras.

Freshwater tropical fish tanks require a heater to keep the water at a comfortable temperature, as fish cannot produce their own body heat. The water must be maintained at a temperature between 75 to 80 degrees. There are several types of heaters to consider for your tank, depending on the type of fish that will inhabit the tank.

Freshwater tropical fish are brightly colored and unique. Some things to consider when choosing the fish are: the size of the fish, their temperament, what they eat, how hearty they are, and how aggressive they can be. Some fish, such as guppies, breed quickly, and if you have both male and females, you can expect a lot of guppy babies. Consult a reputable fish expert when choosing your fish; there are many species that will not coexist with each other.

Other considerations

The location of the tank. Generally, it’s a good idea to keep the tank in an area where you spend a lot of your time, so you can enjoy them. You’ll also need ample room around the aquarium, called a space bubble. You’ll need easy access to the back of the tank for filtration and cleaning. It’s also important to make sure the area has good ventilation and isn’t drafty or near a heating vent.

A close by electrical outlet. If you plan on keeping a freshwater tropical aquarium, you’ll need an electrical outlet nearby for the heater.

Is the floor level and stable? Aquariums, when set up and filled, will weigh 10 times your tank’s water capacity.

Basic Maintenance
There are several duties you need to do weekly, which should take only around 30 minutes per week.

  • Changing some of the water regularly
  • Cleaning the gravel bed
  • Providing the proper filtration

Basic Items you will need to get started:

  • Gravel- coated or pre-washed is best
  • Decorations such as live and artificial plants and ornaments. Make sure to only use tose designate for an aquarium.
  • A net, for transferring fish
  • A heater, if you plan on getting Freshwater tropical fish.
  • Lighting for the tank
  • Water Conditioner, which makes chlorinated water safe for the fish
  • A gravel washer to use for water changes and cleaning
  • Fish food
  • Fish

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