Tips for Beginners - The aquarist's choice for live freshwater and saltwater fish, corals, live rock & sand, invertebrates, and live plants.

Starting an Aquarium

By : Devin Gilliland

Maintaining an aquarium is a very interesting hobby, and fish do make for the best pets. They are non-messy, keep to the tank and, most importantly, add to the décor of the home. An aquarium is never out of place wherever it is kept, and that is the reason why so many people are so enthusiastic about starting an aquarium hobby.
Tropical Fish Tanks and breeding fish

However, amateur aquarium hobbyists are prone to make mistakes that could endanger the lives of their tiny aquatic inhabitants. Not to mention, it would do nothing to add to the beauty of your home. If you are entering into an aquarium-keeping hobby for the first time, you should bear some things in mind. Here are some tips that people who are new to the aquarium keeping hobby can use:

The location of the aquarium is the first important concern. Your aquarium should be placed in a corner where there is adequate light. If you place an aquarium in a dark corner, not only will it not be seen properly, but it will also be detrimental to the health of the fish. At the same time, do not keep an aquarium at a place where there is an overabundance of sunlight. Reflected sunlight will be good, but not direct sunlight, especially if your tank houses temperate climate fish. If you are buying a big aquarium tank, then a corner placement will not do justice to it. Place it then against a prominent wall of the room.

The shape and size of the tank is another thing to be concerned about. The basic rectangular glass tanks are the cheapest ones, and they also show the fish very nicely. If you want some interesting shapes, then you could go for curved shapes or hexagonal or octagonal cut tanks. Round tanks are also good to look at, but they are difficult to clean, so amateur aquarium hobbyists would do well to avoid them. Do not buy a tank that is too big or too small for the fish. One cannot really say how many fish you can place in a tank, because the size of fish can greatly vary. Just make sure you don't have to cramp your fish in it.

You must consider how easy it will be for you to clean the tanks. Again, rectangular tanks are the easiest to clean. Do not get deep tanks while starting out; they will only be too difficult to clean. Also, acrylic tanks are easier to clean (and unbreakable) as compared to glass tanks. You must clean the tank regularly too, because stagnant water can allow algae to breed in them, which are undesirable in any tank. Keeping the water well circulated using an aquarium pump is also a good idea.

There are two types of aquarium that you can keep – saltwater and freshwater. But if you are a beginner, the saltwater tanks are the best avoided. These tanks are difficult to clean, and the fish that thrive in saltwater need several conditions for thriving. There are many other aspects such as pH value of the water in the tank, the nitrogen content, and even the minerals in the tank bed gravel that you need to be concerned about. A little change in the tank could be fatal to the fish. Freshwater tanks are several times safer.

At the least, you will need a good quality filter for your aquarium. An aquarium filter works continuously to remove the impurities and fish waste products through a set mechanism and keeps the water at a healthy level. There are several types of filters available, such as power filters, under-gravel filters and canister filters. All of them are good, but you can do a little bit of research and decide which of these will be suitable to your tank. The power filter is recommended because it is easy to clean and maintain and it can be hidden behind the aquarium tank.

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