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Want to Set Up Your Own Aquarium? Here’s What You Need

14 Feb 2021

Want to Set Up Your Own Aquarium?

Having an aquarium in your home can add a peaceful ambiance to your days—it’s something beautiful to look at and, if you’ve got little ones, it’s also an excellent opportunity to teach responsibility and care. Of course, when you first dive into the world of aquarium keeping, it can be a little overwhelming. It’s hard to know what you need and where you can get it, and if you mess up and have the wrong pH or something like that, your fish can die, and none of us wants that.

The following will explore the things you need to get in order if you want to set up your aquarium. Please be aware that not all fish have the same requirements—ensure that you speak to the person from whom you’re buying the fish and do research on the specific type of fish you’re getting to be sure that all of his or her needs are met. If you are getting multiple fish species, you need to research each species individually and pay attention to whether or not they get along with other fish.

The Tank

Of course, you’ll need a tank to keep the fish in. The size of the tank you choose will likely be influenced by the space you have to store it in and the number and size of fish you want. When in doubt, always err on the side of a larger tank. A larger tank will reduce the risk of your fish dwarfing (not fully growing) because they don’t have the space they need. It can also result in a lower quality of life for your fish. Remember, these are wild animals that are used to having endless space to swim around in. Fish need exercise, just like people, and if they are kept happy, they’ll live longer. Beyond this, larger aquariums tend to be more stable and so easier to care for.

Aquarium Filter

You need something that will keep the water inside clean. When choosing a filter, you want something that has a turnover rating of at least three to five times the tank volume every hour. You’ll also want to get yourself some replacement filters, so you can switch them over as soon as you need to.

An Air Pump

Believe it or not, fish tank water needs oxygen. Ideal oxygen levels in the water can keep your fish healthy and happy. Bigger fish tend to need more oxygen, but there are also smaller fish who require a high-oxygen environment. Air pumps can be plug-in devices or battery-operated, and many come with a back-up system in case the power goes out. Again, research the specific species of fish that you have chosen to understand the appropriate settings and oxygen levels for them.

A Water Test Kit

You need to keep an eye on the toxicity of your aquarium conditions and the pH, nitrate, ammonia, and nitrite levels. A test kit will help you know what needs to be altered to keep your fish alive and well. You’ll need to know whether you’re getting saltwater fish or freshwater fish when choosing your testing kit. A word of caution regarding saltwater fish: over 90% of these fish are caught using highly-toxic sodium cyanide, severely damaging the oceans. When purchasing fish, ensure that they come from a positive and healthy source.

The Space You’ll Keep The Tank In

When it comes to where you display the tank, there are several factors to consider. The first is temperature. Your fish tank water will need to be at the right temperature to keep your fish healthy and happy. Of course, most tanks will help manage this, but if you place the tank next to a radiator or other heat source or keep it in a room that tends to get colder, like the basement or garage, it will be harder to keep the temperature ideal.

You might also want to avoid keeping the tank directly in front of a sunny window. The sun will result in far more algae than is fun to clean up, and the brightness can throw off most fish species. Again, research the fish you choose to understand how bright is too bright for the particular species you purchase.

Aquarium Heater

A heater will help reduce the risk of disease but will also keep the water at an ideal temperature for your fish. Again, research the climate your fish needs.

home aquarium fish pet tips - Want to Set Up Your Own Aquarium

The above information should get you all set up with your new aquarium. Choose pebbles, plants, and decor elements based on what your fish would be surrounded with in the wild.

Comments on this guide to Want to set up your own aquarium? article are welcome.

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reefLIVE aquarium, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Design exterior: Ethos Architects ; interior: Kay Elliott Architects and Theme 3
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image courtesy of architects practice
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image courtesy of architects practice
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rendering : 3XN
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