An aquatic delight, which brings animated beauty that can enliven any home, room or area.
Other than the obvious supplies and fish, what is mainly required is: responsibility, special care, and an ongoing interest in this splendid, creative hobby.
Before you begin…
If you’re new to this, don’t jump right in without giving it some thought. It’s amazing how many people lose interest in a whim, after finding out there is a little effort and care involved. I really think some people believe that an aquarium suppose to just run itself or perhaps, they rely too heavily on others doing the work for them. The fish are confined to a limited water space outside of their natural habitat and they depend on the owner to feed them, clean the tank, change the water, check the PH, replace filters, supply air flow, etc.
On the flip side, successfully operating a single aquarium or multiple aquariums with lots of tropical fish and live plants, can be so easy and fluent that you don’t even consider it to be a chore, just merely fun play and amusement.
But if you are an amateur to aquatics, ask questions to yourself, such as: Do I really have time for this? Do I have too many pets already? Do I really want to change filters with fish waste adhered to them and clean the gravel with a manual vacuum? Can I afford this hobby? If you plan on buying bigger tanks, 29 gallon and up, you better ask yourself if you plan on moving/relocating anytime soon. Take it from me, it is no fun having to transport and reset a tank setup from house to house, but it can be done – if caution is applied. Once a large tank gets established at your residence, especially if you have a lot of stock swimming around, it is a delicate process to relocate them.
What you need for a Freshwater Aquarium…
Basic supplies, besides the actual aquarium, fish, and the optional live plants, include: gravel/rocks, decorative items [semi-optional] of your choice (caves, ornaments, fake plants, etc.), depending on the water flow from your filters – you may need an aerator with electric pump (to oxygenate the tank), food (flake, pellets, freeze-dried, etc.), medicinal products (optional, but sometimes necessary for parasites, infections, etc. — this can normally be prevented be keeping good water conditions), a filtration unit with replacement filters, PH Test Strips with PH buffers – to maintain a proper acidic/alkaline balance, gravel vacuums/water siphons, magnetic glass cleaners, sea salt (an additive that, when added in small amounts, promotes the health of freshwater fish), a lighting unit/bulb – unless the tank comes with one already supplied, and if you have chlorinated city water, you must definitely get a de-chlorinator/water treatment formula to remove any existing chlorine; use this anytime you add water to your fish tank. Don’t forget the adhesive thermometer; you may need an aquarium heater, especially during the winter months (some tropical fish are more sensitive to cooler temperatures than others). All of these supplies can be found at a local retailer, pet shop or online.
Tips & Advice when first setting up a tank…
Don’t add a bunch of fish all at once. There is a biological process (it slowly transpires) that has to take place, which involves healthy bacteria thriving within the tank, on random substrate, that helps break-down waste material. If you overload your tank before this naturalistic fundamental takes place, you will end up with toxic amounts of ammonia in the tank(s), which can be lethal to the fish. Remember, without good bacteria, your tank’s initial waste accumulates Ammonia, then when enough bacteria has cultured, the bacteria breaks the ammonia down to Nitrites (still harmful) and finally, into a less toxic Nitrate – which can be reabsorbed back into live plants, released into the atmosphere or removed manually by your filter replacements and water changes.
Don’t overfeed your fish; too much waste can build up and cloud the water. To rectify this, try adding scavengers and bottom-dwellers to your tank; they will feed off of the excess food and they add a nice touch to the tank.
If you don’t want to clean the glass with a magnetic brush, try adding some algae-eaters. They will keep the glass surface spotless, as they regularly scavenge for microscopic growth, etc.
When first setting up your aquarium, after adding fish, ornaments, et cetera, you may notice the water becoming cloudy in a couple days. This is normal; let it clear on its own, naturally. This is simply a bacteria bloom and even though the nitrites may be high, it should taper down over the next several days into less harmful nitrates. But, during this crucial setup (as mentioned before), be careful not to overfeed or add too many fish. A crowded tank may look appealing, but it is not healthy for the inhabitants.
If this seems quaint or unfamiliar, I’d purchase a simple Beginners Guide/Book for aquariums and tropical fish. Once you get the basics, the rest is trial & error.
This subject is so vast, it would require separate pages that specifically target certain aspects of Aquaria. If you have specific questions, there is a ‘comment field’ below.
This can be a very scenic, decorative piece to add to any residence or area.
Lastly, there is another, more complex aquatic hobby that requires more preciseness, that being Saltwater Aquariums.
But for beginners, I’d recommend freshwater fish for the meantime, and maybe eventually work your way up to the big boys – if desired.
—End of Post “Freshwater Aquariums – A scenic, decorative hobby…
Additional Reading Material:
A while back I started a Wildlife & Nature blog. Recently, I just finished an aquatic series dedicated to freshwater aquariums, fish, plants, etc. You can find that material in the February Archive, located here: http://exotic-life-creatures.blogspot.com/2015_02_01_archive.html