If you are looking for a new hobby to start, owning an aquarium is a fun one to consider. However, it takes more than just dropping a couple of fish in a tank of water to set up an aquarium. In this article, I will show you how to start an aquarium. I will guide you through the basic steps of setting up a freshwater aquarium where fish will be happy to live in. Not only will you end up with a beautiful display in your home, but you get a few fish friends out of it too.
The Aquarium Tank
The first step of how to start an aquarium is to determine the type of tank you need. This depends on how much space you have at home for your aquarium. You also probably wonder if a certain type of fish could live in a certain size aquarium, but we can get to that later.
Aside from size, you also need to think about the material the tank is made of. Usually, aquarium tanks are made of either glass or acrylic. Both materials have different pros and cons.
Acrylic tanks are lighter, but they are prone to scratching. Glass tanks are heavier and have thicker walls. Acrylic tanks refract light the same way as water, so it gives a “wall-less” effect.
Before purchasing a tank, make sure there are no cracks and lose sealants. Also, while you are shopping for tanks, think about how you will decorate your aquarium.
Tank accessories and plants are not just for aesthetic purposes, but they provide fun to your fish friends and even help de-stress them. Plants contribute to the quality of your water. Meanwhile, if you choose a background that mimics a natural environment, your fish will feel more comfortable.
Water, Air, and Filtration
It goes without saying fish need water to survive, but you need to provide clean and healthy water, which can be achieved with a good filtration system. A filtration will also save you the trouble of changing the water all at once.
The organic elements in your aquarium, such as the fish, plants, rocks, and food, will result in some disposal. You need to install a filtration system to make sure the water is clean, and your fish are basically not swimming in their own dirt. You could even add a natural filtration system by putting in species of shrimps, snails, and catfish in your aquarium.
When people try to figure out how to start an aquarium, they usually do not know that the filtration system and air pump are to different things. The filtration system keeps the water clean, but an air pump provides your fish with necessary oxygen.
Lastly, do not forget to add the substrate. To a regular person, this is the small pebbles, rocks, or dirt at the bottom of a tank, but they survive a crucial purpose. They provide the tank with much-needed bacteria to keep the whole system thriving.
Light and Heat
Part of knowing how to start an aquarium is managing the temperature of your tank. Aquarium temperature should be as stable as possible. The right kind of temperature depends on the species living in your tank. A good rule to follow regarding heating is to avoid installing your aquarium next to any heating or cooling system.
When starting an aquarium, lighting also plays a role in keeping your fish warm and happy. However, it’s also wise to regulate the amount of light the tank gets. If you do not want green water, get lighting that as an electric or automated timer. Green water is the result of algae growth. Algae will build up if you leave the light on for too long.
What types of fish do well in an aquarium? Which ones get along with other species? If you are learning how to start a small aquarium, you can start with three to five species. These fish will work well for tanks of five to ten gallons.
If your tank is quite small, these fish are excellent companions. They can survive in water with lower oxygen levels, but they require clean and warm water. However, they are considered semi-aggressive, and you will need to be careful about what type of fish you want to pair them with.
Guppies are small fish that come in all kinds of colors. They all get along quite well, but you do not want to overcrowd your tank, no matter the size. Make sure to get two female guppies for each male guppy to avoid stress in your aquarium.
If you really want a showstopper of a fish, there are zebra danios that are genetically modified to show bright, neon colors. They are tough fish, but you can manage a school of five in a single tank.
If you thought how to start an aquarium was an easy way to keep pets, think again. I hope this article gave you some guidance on the challenges as well as the joys of keeping fish. An aquarium is a beautiful thing to have in your home, and fish can be wonderful to look at when you are tired, stressed, or bored. However, that does not mean no hard work goes into caring for them. Know more about aquariums.