When you watch those large aquariums that fish breeders have on Youtube, you may get intimidated because they seem to have everything and it all seems expensive. However, petting a fish isn’t a herculean responsibility once you have the right equipment in place before for the number and type of fish or other marine life you plan on having in your aquarium. The one thing you need to remember is that there are specific needs for specific types of fish, turtles and snails that your pet store will give you, but customizing your tank to those features will be easy once you have these basics.
The Right Aquarium
The aquarium is the mini-ocean that will determine the number and type of fish you get to own. The basic advice is that the bigger the tank you can get, the better for the fish because even the smallest fish need room to swim and have fun. It is also easier to decorate a larger tank and make it look cute than a small one. However, if you are planning to own just one or two fish, a smaller tank will suffice. You should ensure that the tank depth is also suitable for the fish you are getting.
Water Conditioner And A Fishnet
Many people assume that once you buy a fish and a tank, it will stay there for the rest of its life but that is not necessarily true. You have to take out the fish and change the water and also clean the tank. After getting fresh tap water, you have to use your water conditioner to treat it of excessive chlorine, ammonia and heavy metals while also setting the right pH for the fish to survive. The Net will help you catch and transfer the fish to a bucket or another tank temporarily while preparing the aquarium.
The Right Air Pump And Filter
Your fish have to breathe and air also helps regulate the temperature and quality of water in your tank so you need to have a proper air pump for every tank you have. If you have proper filtration that ensures that fresh oxygenated water is being supplied to the tank constantly, then you may not have to buy an air pump. You should get a pump that puts insufficient air depending on the size of the tank you have.
Thermometers And Test Strips
Your aquarium is a controlled environment and you have to set the right environment so that all the fish and animals in the aquarium are safe. There are low maintenance fish that won’t need too much conditioning but you still have to invest in a thermometer to ensure that the tank’s temperatures are suitable for your fish. You also need to buy other test kits for checking the nitrate and nitrite concentration, ammonia levels, pH and the level of alkalinity. Most of these are sold in packages so you can get them together on Amazon or your local pet store.
Fish need temperatures that resemble what they would have in the ocean or their natural habitat. Most fish will need temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and the closed-off environment in your house or office won’t do that on its own. You have to get a reliable aquarium tank heater to maintain the temperatures that keep fish happy and comfortable.
Proper Lighting And A Lid
Different fish require different levels of light, even the bottom dwellers that will spend most of their lives on the rocky bottom of your tank. Some fish will be just fine with natural light, but most fish will require you to get the proper light bulbs to keep them comfortable. The lighting also helps you get a perfect view of your fish at all times and make your aquarium beautiful. Some species of fish also tend to jump while some animals may crawl out so a tight-fitting lid is a necessary requirement if you don’t wanna pick the fish off the floor in the morning.
Live Rock, Gravel And Substrate And Green Plants
For a tank to be a perfect host for fish, it has to have a perfect microbial composition as well and your gravel and substrate will take care of these. Perfect polished gravel gives your tank a great look while also providing the environment for good bacteria to grow. The substrate helps in these purposes and also offers food for green plants especially those that have roots that require covering. The green is not mandatory but they also help make your tank a great home. They give the fish something to nibble on and play around as they sneak and swim.
An Automatic Fish Feeder
Putting food into the tank manually and watching your little swimmers eat it can be all fun for a few days but are not easy going forward. You may not always have the time to dispense food manually, so instead of having to hire a fish babysitter, it will be wise to buy an automatic food dispenser. The dispenser allows you to customize portions and time your fish’s meals without you having to lift a finger.
You don’t wanna place your tank on the floor because that will limit your view of the fish and make it hard to nourish and maintain the tank. You could mount a small tank on a table, but it could get a customized stand specifically for your tank, it will serve you better. The stand has to be able to carry the weight of your full tank (1 gallon equals 10lbs) as well as that of the tank. Whichever stand you choose, ensure that it keeps the tank level so that its weight is evenly distributed.
Cleaning Equipment (Siphoning pipe and an algae scrubber)
Yes! Your fish tank will have to be cleaned from time to time because while light and oxygen help plants grow, they also help algae grow. You can add cleanup fish to the tank to deal with the algae but that doesn’t absolve you from your cleaning role either. You will need a siphoning tube for emptying the tanks. You will also buy a non-soapy scouring pad for cleaning algae and other build-ups from the side of your tank. You also have to stir up the gravel and vacuum or scrub them to remove algae. Scrubbing algae during your water changing is the best way to protect the glass and also get the algae off without wasting your gravel.