The pet store’s aqua department will be full of walls of aquariums, foods, aquarium accessories, and tons of tank sizes and shapes.
This can be very overwhelming for first time aquarium owners.
Purchasing Your Tank
The first step is determining the type of fish tank to purchase. This will depend on the space you have available in your home.
Fish tanks are heavy, and need a sturdy floor to sit on. Do not place them in front of a window as the cold drafts or hot sunlight can affect them adversely.
Once you determine where the fish tank will be placed in your home, you should buy a tank and stand that fits nicely in that space.
Keep in mind that very small fish tanks greatly limit your choice of fish. At least ten gallons is the normal recommendation for first time fish keepers.
Purchasing Your Fish and Aquarium Accessories
Your next step is deciding if you want tropical fish or cold water fish. If you want to breed fish instead, be sure to do the proper research on the specific breed.
Tropical fish require a heater rated for the size of your tank, but cold water fish can do without a heater.
You must also purchase a filter that fits the amount of gallons in your fish tank. Modern filters are usually both mechanical and biological filtration devices.
Physical filters reduce particles in the water, and a biological filter of beneficial bacteria will deal with the chemical aspects of the water and fish waste.
Picking out and designing the decor of your aquarium is almost as fun as picking out the fish you will put in it.
If you have any exotic fish in your aquarium, they may require certain decor to live comfortably.
Setting Up your Tank and Aquarium Accessories
Then, take your purchases home and set the whole thing up. Get it looking just how you want it, run the filter and the heater.
Let your water sit for at least twenty-four hours so that the chlorine can come out of the water.
There are two possible next steps to setting up your home aquarium: fish-less or regular cycling. Fish waste quickly turns to ammonia, which is toxic to fish.
Bacteria must populate your tank: one type to turn the ammonia into nitrite, and another to convert the nitrite into harmless nitrates.
Fish-less cycling is done by adding pure ammonia in specific concentrations to the fish tank in order to establish the colonies of bacteria.
Regular cycling is done by starting your fish tank with a small number of hearty fish, and then adding more fish gradually as the bacteria colony is established.
Adding a full tank’s worth of fish immediately will result in the death of your fish.
If you take the time to care for it, your aquarium will provide years of enjoyment for your home.
Enjoy your aquarium and the habitants!