A Simple Guide to Aquarium Fish Tanks

Here’s a summary of all the things you need to know when it comes to buying and setting up an aquarium fish tank.

A picture of a product called the Biorb Classic Aquarium

For Your Fish of Mind

Setting up an aquarium is a fun and exciting task, especially for first timers. You get to mimic the natural aquatic habitat of the fishes by carefully selecting the fish tank, filters, lighting, food supplements, and live plants to go with it. As you go to the pet supplies store though, you can’t help but wonder if you are picking the right type of equipment. To avoid this kind of confusion, we have taken the time to explain the process of buying and setting up aquarium fish tanks, whether it be for a home or an office setting. If you're busy, you might want to consider purchasing a self cleaning fish tank or a auto fish feeder to ensure your fish are healthy and fed.

I have been fond of fish since I was a teenager. Watching the fish and the bluespace had been quite the therapeutic hobby for me. Maintaining the aquarium fish tank had also taught me patience and ownership, and even now, fish keeping is a hobby that I will definitely recommend for a myriad of reasons. Throughout the years, I have gained enough experience with cleaning aquariums, and ensuring that my fishes are getting the best aquatic home outside their normal water world. Read further to find out how you can do the same for your fishes, too!

Some Considerations in Buying an Aquarium

First of all, you would have to read up and do some research on the type of fish that you would like to keep. Different fish types demand different procedures of maintenance, and of course, equipment. You would have to identify how big the fish would grow up into, as this will determine the size of the fish tank that you should buy. Some references say that the normal density standard to foster a healthy aquarium environment is 5 cm of fish for every 8 liters (small fish) and about 5 cm of fish for every 24 liters (large fish types). Different types of fish require different conditions, as well. With this, you have to take the fishes’ compatibility into consideration; their sizes, eating habits and temperaments are factors on keeping them together into one aquarium. Another important factor to consider is the space that the fish tank will occupy; you have to ensure that you can find a location in your home or office that would accommodate the aquarium’s size, and that there is sufficient room for filters, heater, among others.

The material of the fish tank is also a major consideration; as most aquariums for sale are typically made out of either glass or acrylic. A glass fish tank’s surface is very difficult to scratch and so its clarity can be easily maintained over time. Most glass aquariums are rectangular in shape, and have to be supported by stands that are rigid enough to support the tank’s weight. Meanwhile, acrylic fish tanks have highly-scratchable surfaces; but they can be easily repaired through acrylic polishing kits. Generally, acrylic fish tanks weigh lighter than glass ones, and can be molded into many other shapes other than rectangular design. Just like glass aquariums, acrylic fish tanks also need stands that would hold up its bottom weight. However, if you are planning to set up a very large tank of about 500 gallons or more, it is advisable that you buy an acrylic aquarium.

Find On Amazon. See More

You’ve Got the Fish Tank, Now What?

So you’ve got off your neighborhood pet store and got yourself an aquarium; what should you do next? It’s time for buying other equipment and set them up for your finned friends! The first thing to do is to place the aquarium in an area that is sturdy and is away from too much light or changes in temperature. You must also be aware of the natural phenomenon of eliminating toxins from the tank, which is referred to as the nitrogen cycle. These harmful toxins are brought about by the waste produced by the fish; so as you add more fish into the tank, the more waste, ammonia and toxins are produced. The nitrogen cycle is responsible for converting the ammonia into a special kind of bacteria known as nitrites and nitrates. These bacteria would build up and get into the gravel or substrate, or even your filters; and would gradually multiply and break down the increasing amount of waste products produced by the fish.

Proper filtration and selecting the right kind of filters are also essential in maintaining the bacterial colonies, detoxifying ammonia and keeping your aquarium in good condition. The role of aquarium filters can be summed up into the following: biological filtration which keeps the bacteria colonies from being disrupted; mechanical filtration which filters waste particles such as sludge, bits of food, and fish excrement; and chemical filtration which takes care of getting rid of dissolved wastes. You can choose from canister filters, power filters and wet/dry filters to accomplish these three combined types of filtration; and add on UV sterilizers in order to regulate the growth of harmful organisms such as viruses, parasites, and even algae. Another important aspect of fish keeping is providing an appropriate amount of lighting, as light is indispensable in the food-making process of marine animals or live plants contained in an aquarium habitat. Moreover, always see to it that the water temperature, with the use of a heater, is kept at constant levels, generally between 75 and 80ºF.

Our Verdict

Fish keeping is a wonderful hobby that can relieve you of stress and even improve your heart rate, mood and blood pressure. But beyond just staring into blue space and watching the tropical fishes swim by, fish keeping is mostly about the business of ensuring that our finned friends have a comfortable, healthy environment to live in; through glass or acrylic aquariums. In this article, we have understood the primary considerations in choosing and buying a fish tank, and knowing the other essential equipment in setting it up as a habitat for our finned friends. This is truly helpful especially for first-time fish keepers.

As we wrap up this article, we hope that we have answered all your concerns and worries when it comes to the experience of getting a fish tank. If you know anyone else who might be in need of a how-to guide in buying and setting up an aquarium for the first time, please feel free to share and recommend our article! We would also like to thank you for taking the time to read our article and for trusting us as a source of information when it comes to fish keeping. We are looking forward to your next read!