Fishes are one among the most beautiful creatures on this planet and it is truly a breathtaking sight to watch them in their habitat. What is even better is if you can enjoy this view every day, right? That will be possible if you own an aquarium in your home. Having an aquarium at your home will not only add to its beauty but will also give you an interesting hobby. In fact, there are a lot of people who want to maintain aquariums but they do not do so because they have minimal knowledge about fish and do not know how to take care of them. Therefore I have put together the basic information anybody will need to know if they want to get an aquarium.
First and foremost, you must think it out patiently. Aquariums last for a long time and taking care of fish might be a commitment that you will regret if you are not ready for it. So it is better not to make this decision on the spur of the moment. Once you are completely sure that you want to do this, you can go ahead with the planning.
Before getting the aquarium and the fish, it is important to plan out everything step by step. You do not want to end up bringing home a huge aquarium for which you cannot spare enough space or having your big fish suffocate in a small aquarium. A few things that need to be thought about carefully while planning are –
• Where the aquarium will be kept
There must be sufficient space around the aquarium as you will have to clean it often and that will be difficult if it is crammed up with the rest of your furniture. So keep it in a spot that has ready access. Also see to it that the temperature of the water is not altered by its position. For example, sunlight coming in from the nearby windows or doors can overheat the water in the tank and excess of light might trigger the growth of unwanted algae in the water. Nearby windows, vents and doors can subject the tank to drafts of cold air, which will change the temperature of the water. These changes in temperature will cause stress to the fish in the tank. Even when people constantly move about close to the aquarium then the fish will get stressed. Fish require a stable and secure environment. Hence all of these factors must be taken into consideration while choosing the right spot for the tank.
• Research the fish you would like to own
Find out which fish you would like to own. Learn about their food habits, what temperature, pH levels and environment is best suitable for them, what is the maximum size they can grow up to and which other fish they are compatible with. For example, you cannot have fighter fish in the same aquarium as most other fish as they might attack and kill them. Fish that are continuously harassed will tend to get sick due to the physical stress. So it is better to get breeds of fish which can live together peacefully. Also, different kinds of fish have different needs. Thus it would be advisable to get fish of similar requirements regarding food and the temperature and pH levels of water. You can ask people who own aquariums, browse the internet or enquire with any reliable pet store.
After the planning you can get down to action. The first thing you need to do is to select an aquarium. Most beginners will think that the smaller the aquarium is, the easier it will be to maintain. But this notion is wrong. If a tank is small then it will get dirty quicker than a big aquarium. But that does not mean that one should choose a very huge aquarium. The huge aquarium filled with water and supported by a heavy stand, might not be very good for your flooring. Therefore a moderate sized aquarium should be selected, keeping in mind the spot it will be placed in and also the fish that it will hold.
The next thing to be done is selecting a strong stand and a hood. The tank must not be kept on just any table because with the water, it might be too heavy. Also, when the water splashes out (this is inevitable, no matter how careful you are), it might damage the furniture. Hence a stand which is made especially for the tank is best. A hood is a must for any aquarium because many fish are jumpers and they can jump surprisingly high. In order to ensure that none of your fish jump out of the tank, you need to cover it with a hood.
Finally, you must choose the materials that you want to place in your aquarium. This includes water plants (real or fake), gravel and a filter. Remember that the natural habitat of fishes is complete with plants, lots of rocks and a natural purifying system. So you must try to make your aquarium mirror their natural home in every way that you can. Buy chemicals only after consulting with the people at the pet store. But do not be stingy in doing so as this could affect the health of your fish. Only buy good quality equipment.
Once you have everything ready, you can successfully start working on your aquarium. In my next post I will deal with how to start and continue to maintain aquariums. So be sure to read it.