A stunning and captivating sight is a tank full of fish. For decades, people have marveled at the wonders of aquariums.
Unfortunately, we don’t always know all that goes into keeping happy, healthy fish before we begin. There’s a lot to think about before you launch.
It is not as easy as simply supplying food and water. Some fish don’t get along with others.
Individual fish have distinct personalities. Aggressive Fish need special tank mates or none at all, while Community Fish are good tank mates. This guide will assist you in avoiding the most common errors.
When you’re first setting up an aquarium, you’ll want to double-check that your tank is cycled correctly and that all of the equipment is in working order.
Aquarium Tips for Beginners
1) Choose an Appropriately Sized Tank
The size of the aquarium you want to buy is the first thing to think about. Most newcomers begin with a small tank of one or two gallons, assuming that this would be easier to maintain.
Larger aquariums are actually ideal for a beginner aquarist. For your first tank, it is highly recommended that you start with at least 20 gallons.
Of course, not everyone has space or the budget for a tank this big but start with the largest tank you can afford.
It’s also simpler to keep the water chemistry and temperature steady in a larger tank.
It’s also a good idea to have a tank that’s longer than it is tall so your fish can swim back and forth more easily.
Make sure your filter and heater are sized properly for your tank.
2) Find a Place for your Aquarium
It is important that you locate the perfect location for your fish tank. You’ll need a spot that isn’t near any walls (Sunlight causes algae blooms).
Often, keep it away from heaters and air vents.
It would also be helpful to choose a low-traffic area so you would be less likely to be inadvertently bumped or disturbed.
Check that your tank is level and that it is supported by a solid stand. It will create stress on that part of the tank if it is tilted in one corner, which could lead to cracks and leaks.
You’ll also want to make sure you have enough outlets nearby to accommodate all of your equipment.
3) Know your Fish
Consider carefully what kind of fish you want to hold. Depending on where they came from, aquarium fish have a wide range of needs.
Even though several species are classified as “tropical,” this does not indicate that they all have the same requirements.
You’ll need to find out what diet and water temperature you want, as well as the water chemistry you like.
It’s a smart idea to hold fish from the same area together because they’re more likely to have the same needs.
Also, think about how big each fish is expected to get, and avoid any species that could outgrow your tank.
To avoid putting predatory fish in your tank that would eat the other residents that you have worked so hard to care for, research their behavior.
4) Condition your Water
After you’ve decided on a tank, a spot, and the type of fish you want to hold, you’ll be itching to get some fish in your tank as soon as possible.
Try to be careful, and bear in mind that your fish’s water must be just right for them to survive. The first step is to use a water conditioner to remove the chlorine from your drinking water.
Chlorine is highly toxic to fish, causing necrosis (cell death) in their gills and suffocation. Never fill your aquarium with untreated water.
5) Cycle your Tank
This is the most crucial move, and it is often overlooked by those who are new to aquarium keeping. Ammonia, which is toxic to fish, is released into the water by fish waste.
To help with this problem, special bacteria must form in the filter. Ammonia is converted by one type of bacteria into nitrite, which is much more toxic than ammonia.
However, another form of bacteria transforms the nitrites into nitrates, which are harmless at low concentrations.
Cycling refers to the time it takes for bacteria to build up in your filter.
6) Perform Regular Water Changes
There are many different perspectives on how much and how often you can change your water.
It is largely dependent on how well-stocked your tank is in relation to its size. The most recommended rate of change is 10–15 percent per week, with 20 percent for tanks at full capacity.
Lightly stocked tanks will go longer (up to two weeks) between water changes. To vacuum debris from the bottom of the tank, conduct the water shift with a syphon.
Also, keep in mind that beneficial bacteria can be found in both the gravel or sand and the filter.
If you clean both at the same time, you can lose a lot of bacteria and potentially restart the cycle.
When cleaning your filter pads or sponges, make sure to use tank water instead of tap water to avoid destroying the bacteria.
In your tank, do not use soaps or other cleaning materials.
7) Don’t Overstock your Tank
It is important that your tank does not get overcrowded. Stress and disease result from an overstocked tank.
You should not, however, put a fish that is expected to grow to 10 inches in a 10-gallon tank.
Fish growth is supposedly driven by tank size, according to popular belief. Please only select species that will grow in your chosen tank.
8) Do not Overfeed your Fish
Feed small amounts of food when getting to know your fish, and make sure your fish is consuming everything before adding more.
Just give your fish what they’ll eat right away. Extra food should not be floating around in the tank.
Feeding your fish twice a day is normally sufficient, but make sure you study your fish species and understand what they need. Remember that fish, like humans, thrive on a varied diet.
9) Use Caution with New Fish
When you want to buy new fish, it’s a good idea to have a quarantine tank on hand. This is particularly true for oceanic saltwater fish, but it is also beneficial to freshwater fish.
You may be able to skip this step if you know your fish source is trustworthy, but it’s still safer to be safe than sorry.
A single sick fish can easily kill an entire tank. Choose your fish carefully, avoiding those with damaged fins or gills.
If you see any dead fish in the tank, you can either wait for another day or go to a different fish shop.
When you’ve chosen the fish you like, float the bag in your quarantine tank for at least 15 minutes to allow the temperature of the water in the bag to gradually match that of the water in the tank.
10) Use caution with treatments and chemicals.
Do not use any chemicals or therapies in your tank until you are fully aware of their immediate and long-term consequences.