If you wish to invest in a starter aquarium, you want to make sure you do things properly. A starter fish tank is a great way to learn how to care for fish and is a necessary step if you plan on investing in larger aquariums.
This guide will show one how to get started with one and how to maintain it.
So how does one pick a fish tank? One must first familiarise oneself with the best beginner fish tanks. You have to first consider your preferred size. Prior to buying a starter aquarium, find a room in your home where you will place your fish tank. We'll discuss the appropriate room/location in the next step.
As a general rule, a larger aquarium is great for a beginner to understand how to maintain a fish tank.
A good choice is to choose a 20-gallon tank for a starter aquarium. One must also ensure that the heater and water filter are made to fit this size.
Once you've chosen a fish tank and you know which size you want, you have to consider the location.
It should always be kept away from windows. If your fish tank is exposed to excessive sunlight it will lead to algae blooms. Make sure it's also kept away from a heater, fan, or air conditioner.
One should also keep a fish tank in an area where there's not a lot of movement. So if you constantly move around your bedside, your fish tank should not be kept on your bedside table — lest you knock it over!
If placing the fish tank on a table, make sure that it's a sturdy table. Test out the table by placing heavy objects on it initially, to see whether the table will take the weight.
Once you've decided upon your fish tank, you must decide upon your fish. You want to research which fish have particular dietary requirements that you can handle. One should choose fish that come from the same region.
You want to research which fish occupy which areas of the fish tank. For instance, there are those fish who prefer to swim across the top of the fish tank. Other fish prefer to swim toward the bottom and eat the food that has landed on the gravel.
One also has to ensure there aren't any predatory fish in the tank. These chase, attack, and eat other fish! One also wants to avoid fish that grow larger at rapid rates, eventually outgrowing the tank!
Once you've decided upon the fish, you have to condition the water prior to buying the fish. This means that the water has to have the right chemistry for the health of the fish.
You have to add a water conditioner to your water. This de-chlorinates the water from your tap. It's imperative that one doesn't skip this crucial step. Chlorine water will cause damage to your fish — specifically, it will lead to cell death (necrosis) in your fish, causing them to suffocate.
Changing the water in your fish tank is a regular process. As a general rule, if your fish tank is heavily stocked the water should have 10-15% of the water changed each week.
If a fish tank isn't stocked heavily, one can wait for around 2 weeks to change the water. As a general rule, keep a watchful eye on the fish tank - or better - keep a notebook so you can record specific times if there's a need to change the water.
Let's have a look at some of the best practices for looking after your fish tank. First, one should never overstock their fish tank. This means that there should not be an excess of fish in the tank.
The general rule is to have 1 fish per 1 gallon of water. If you have an excess of fish, this can lead to stress (in the fish) and the spread of disease. As odd as it may sound, you have to think about the fish tank prior to thinking about the fish. As mentioned previously, one should choose fish that won't outgrow the fish tank.
Even if a fish doesn't grow large, it can be because the confinement hinders their natural growth. This leads to deformity in the fish and a shortening of their lifespan.
When you add your fish to the fish tank, begin by feeding them small portions of their food. One wants to ensure that the fish eat their food right away. Food should never float around the tank for later consumption.
Provide your fish with a varied diet but avoid freeze dried foods on a regular basis. These foods should only be given to the fish as an occasional treat.
You should also avoid chemical treatments as much as possible. If you do consider them, make sure you research them and consult an aquarium expert first.
One might wish to consider purchasing a separate quarantine tank. If there's one ill fish, they can spread their disease/illness to the rest of the fish. This can be a smaller tank that has minimal decorations. You can opt for a bare bottom in the quarantine tank as its much easier to clean.
This quarantine tank will also have a filter as your main fish tank does. Your fish should be kept in this quarantine tank for 2-4 weeks before being transferred back to the main tank.
As a final step, once you've begun with your starter aquarium you should join a group such as on social media. Here you can interact with other aquarium enthusiasts and trade advice and help.
You'll love maintaining a starter aquarium. This is a great hobby that will last you for years to come. Make sure to make yourself a part of this wonderful online community.
Now that you know these 7 tips and tricks for a starter aquarium, you are ready to get started. Make sure to share this guide with anyone else interested in owning an aquarium.
We'd love to help you get started! Reach out to us to learn about owning and maintaining your starter aquariums!