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Tropical Fish Tank EQUIPMENT

You will always need to check your purchased tropical fish tank equipment is set up and correctly installed, before adding your new fish into the tank. Getting started the right way is vital to your long term fish keeping success.

Tropical Fish TankTropical Fish Tank

Naturally, when in the quest to own a new tropical fish tank, it is essential for any beginner to understand which tropical fish tank equipment is necessary just to get started.

Some of the these items include: 

  •  Filter: a sponge or canister filter is vital to facilitate biological filtration to break down the fish waste.

  • Bucket and siphon: it is vital to get rid of water from the aquarium quickly. The bucket and siphon are to return fresh water to the fish tank in a manner that fish will not get stressed.

  • A thermometer: a thermometer is essential to ensure that the water is at the ideal temperature for the healthy growth of your fish. 

  • A hood: it prevents excessive heat loss, evaporation, not to mention stopping fish from jumping out of your fish tank. 

  •  Gravel: the gravel you use should be adequately coursed to facilitate water flow as well as subtle enough to help encourage nitrifying bacteria. Some of the best choices include coarse sands, creek stones, or even glass gravel.

  •  Filter: the filter you choose should be rated to turn over not less than 3-5 times the fish tank volume each hour.

  •  Replacement filter media: be sure to have numerous replacement filter cartridges. These will be replaced relatively more during the initial stages of your fish tank. 

  •  Fish food: undeniably, you also need to bear in mind what your tank inhabitants are going to consume to survive. When getting fish food, any beginner should ensure they ONLY get quality food as this will result in brightly colored, vibrant fish. Typically, fish MUST be fed at least two times a day, and therefore the best option is to buy the food in bulk to enjoy the best value. What's more, you can mix frozen food and color enhancing flakes to have more variety.

  • Decorations: when it comes to the decorations, it is important to ensure that the type of decorations are suitable and safe for your set up as well as the fish species you are looking to keep.

Mandatory Tropical Fish Tank Equipment

tropical fish tankstropical fish tank

A Tropical fish tank will require more complex equipment than a cold water tank. When keeping this type of tank, so it is most important that you have your aquarium fitted and installed correctly and placed on a strong and sturdy stand or cabinet ready to use.

At least a 20 gallon fish tank is recommended for beginners, as this size is easier to set up than smaller fish tanks, and you can also add more fish later, as this size of tank is beneficial for smaller fish. (Using the 1 inch of fish per gallon of water) rule.

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As a beginner, it is vital that you ensure that any electrical appliances that you purchase have a drip loop as this ensures that water, if any, runs onto the floor as opposed to flowing directly into the electrical sockets which may prove hazardous.

Aquarium FiltrationAquarium filtration

Aquarium filtration is crucial since they function in ensuring that the environment in which your fish lives in is not only natural but healthy.

Without a good filtration system, you will not be able to nurture and sustain your tropical or marine fish.

One of the advantages of buying a starter fish tank kit, is that it comes complete with its very own filtration system, so you will not have to buy any extra equipment to set up your new tropical tank.

marine LED lightmarine LED light

Aquarium Lighting is also necessary to facilitate the growth of plants as well as allowing you to have a clear view. Furthermore, proper and adequate lighting can bring out the vibrant colors of your fish species. 

Aquarium HeaterAquarium Heater

Tank heaters are used to maintain the correct water temperature, and they are a vital piece of equipment used in any type of tropical fish aquarium.

 Wrong temperatures in the water can result in the fish dying - as they cannot regulate their own body temperature.As well as the heater, you should use an independent thermometer in your tank to ensure the water is the right temperature at all times.

For tropical fish this is normally considered to be 72-84º F/22-29º C.


Substrate refers to all the types of gravel and decoration that may be used in your new tropical fish tank.Gravel should be small enough to promote the growth of nitrifying bacteria (in the nitrogen cycle) which are micro-organisms which convert ammonia to nitrates, which plants use.

Live plants are essential to your new tank as they will help to remove harmful nitrates and phosphates which causes algae growth in the water. They use photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide gas to carbon for plant fertilizer, and oxygen which is vital for the fish.

Biomature filter starterBiomature filter starter

Biomature aquarium filter starter is an essential piece of kit to help you activate the aquarium filter.It contains a mixture of bacterial nutrients, vitamins and mineral salts for the quick maturation of the bacterial filter, which is essential for a healthy aquarium tank.

Aquarium Water Testing KitAquarium Water Testing Kit

An Aquarium Water Testing Kit is an absolute must-have with your new hobby. It will allow you to test the aquarium water before adding your fresh fish - (After the nitrogen cycle completes).

The test kit will alert for toxic water conditions that will help save your new fishy friends. The test kit comprises of different chemicals when added to aquarium water, will determine if the water is toxic or not. PH, nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia levels can be tested, thus giving confidence to you when adding your new fish safely to the fish tank.


Fish aquarium cycle


Fish tank set up

bEGINNER tropical Fish

Tropical Fish

Tropical plants

Plants for tropical fish

Tropical Fish Tanks Cleaning Material Checklist

These materials will help you with the process of cleaning your new tank, before you start the process of adding live plants, rocks, water and fish. They will also help with the ongoing maintenance and care of the tank and its fish too!. A clean tank is a healthy tank.

  • An Aquarium Algae scraper is a magnetic device that allows you to easily remove algae from the glass inside of the tank, without having to get your hands wet.It is a very useful tool to have when maintaining your fish aquarium.
  • It helps maintain your glass clean and shiny to allow a better view. 

A 5 gallon bucket - Vital for emptying aquarium water and for the purpose of rinsing new filter media in used aquarium water to promote good bacterial growth.

 Fishnet: these accessories are handy especially in extracting excess food, dead plant matter, as well as moving the fish if need be.

A water syphon - Probably the most important cleansing tool you will use.

Use this to remove fish faeces and debris from the gravel - to help keep your fish healthy.

This tool use minimizes both nitrates as well as stress on your fish species. 

Sponge filter media - These should be soaked in used aquarium water (during aquarium cleansing) to promote good bacteria.

Old bath towels - to keep the area around your aquarium tank dry and clean.

If you are serious about setting up a tropical fish aquarium it may be worth investing in the Which Fish Tank Book, which you will be able to refer to,for reference or if you need additional information.

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Top 3 Mistakes Newbies Make Setting Up Their Fish Tank.