Which Tank Should You Get?

If you are considering getting fish as pets, you have to decide what size tank you need first. Your decision about what type of fish you will be getting is a major factor in what you will choose for your aquarium. Smaller fish need less room to grow and flourish, whereas larger fish that reproduce in large amounts need a bigger environment in which to thrive. Most stores sell anything from a 2 gallon sized aquarium up to 150 gallon sized aquariums.

Smaller tanks are ideal for fish such as goldfish, mollies, betas, or neons. These fish are usually easy to care for, but require a good bit of maintenance due to the fact that they produce large amounts of waste. Goldfish are the most difficult to keep clean, as they produce more waste than any other fish. You will have an easier time feeding fish in small tanks as well, because you can buy one canister of flake or pellet food to last a few weeks in most cases. Ideal sizes for small tanks are 1 gallon, 5 gallon, 10 gallon, and 20 gallons.  A 30 gallon fish tank can be a good mid-size tank. While sometimes easy to clean, smaller tanks do tend to limit the type and quantity of fish that you can have, but if you want a few fish that will grow no larger than three inches or so, a small tank is just for you.

Larger tanks that hold more than twenty gallons of water are more cumbersome, so choosing the right size both for your fish and your home is a good idea. Some species that can use larger tanks are eels, koi, sharks, seahorses, and other larger fish. Many exotic fish collectors choose even larger fish for the extremely large tanks that are over 150 gallon capacity, but these usually come from specialty shops that have to special order them or have them made to specific dimensions. In-home large tanks require frequent cleaning and usually require a filtration system that is not necessarily mandatory in smaller tanks. Filters are a great way to help keep the tank clean of leftover food particles and of solid wastes, but must be cleaned often to ensure that they continue to work properly. Larger tanks, while sometimes more maintenance, are often more pretty to look at and can house more of a variety of fish with plenty of room to grow.

Whether you choose a small tank or a large one, you have to make sure that what you use as decorations is not harmful to your fish. Some gravels and rocks are not made for aquatic tanks and can only be used in mostly dry tanks such as reptile or amphibian tanks. They often contain parasites and dirt that could harm some species of fish, so choosing the proper gravel and plants is very important.

Finding the right size fish tank for you and your home is a pretty big undertaking at times, but with a little research and a lot of love, you can create the perfect environment for your fish without any problem. It helps if you can consult someone who works with fish in a pet store or at a breeding center about what you need to do before you jump in head first, but for some fish, reading a book about it will do the trick of informing you just as well.

Tips For Setting Up A Freshwater Aquarium Correctly

Nothing can match the beauty of well-maintained fish aquariums. Setting up a freshwater aquarium can be fairly easy when you follow the correct steps for doing so. If you would like to have an aquarium in your home or office, you can start by thinking of the kind of fish you would like to have.

Selecting the fish you want will determine a few things about the tank you choose. One is the size and another is the type of plants you may want to add. Many beginners choose to use fake plants to avoid trying to care live plants while mastering the care of fish and aquariums first. Some fish only grow to be a couple of inches long while others can grow to be as large as your hand. Make sure you know how big the fish will get when choosing tank size.

Getting together all the items needed for set up is important. You do not want to get started and realize you have forgotten a vital item back at the pet shop. Making a list is best to avoid this happening. In addition to an aquarium, you will need gravel, a filter and replacement filter media, heater, thermometer, water test kit, and a pasta strainer for washing gravel before putting it into the tank.

Other important items needed include a special vacuum just for aquariums, fish food for the kind of fish you want, a small fish net, and a scrubber made for the walls of active aquariums. Keep in mind caring for aquariums and fish is a great responsibility. Water changes must be performed regularly and you will need to stay on top of any changes you see taking place with your fish and with the water for preventing disease or death.

Select an area in your home or office for placement of your tank. Be sure to choose a spot that is out of direct sunlight. Do not put the tank near drafty areas or too close to heat or air conditioning units. When buying your tank, make sure to get the right aquarium heater for the size of tank you are taking home. Maintaining a certain temperature is vital to a healthy environment for fish to thrive happily in. Place your thermometer away from the heater on the other side of the tank so you will get the correct readings.

Everything you choose to put into your tank will need to be washed in mild soap. Rinsing well is an important part of preventing chemicals from contaminating the water in the tank. Making sure you rinse away all soap residues to prevent this from happening. Wash gravel by putting it into a pasta strainer and turning it over and over under running water. Fake plants can be easily washed and rinsed in the kitchen sink as well.

Pour gravel into the aquarium you have wiped clean of dust and small debris. Some people rinse the tank out and wipe it dry with a lint free, clean cloth. This can be done depending on the size tank you select due to the weight involved in some larger versions. Be sure to never use soap of any kind inside your tank. Add gravel before placing plants or other decorations.

Place a small bowl or saucer plate in the middle of the gravel before pouring water into it. In this way, you avoid disturbing the placement of your gravel and other decorations from the force of the pouring water. Pour half way so you can arrange plants and decorations a final time before filling to the top about an inch from rim.

The cycling step of setting up your aquarium is vital for fish to thrive healthily. This process might take anywhere from two weeks to a couple of months. Cycling is a process that occurs naturally in water that allows balancing of nitrates, nitrites, ammonium, and ammonia. This is the time you will need to use your water test kit to measure for proper levels of each one. Ammonia and nitrate both are harmful to fish while ammonium and nitrates are beneficial. Follow specific testing instructions that come with your test kit for making sure tank water is completely safe for adding fish.

You might think about not using fish to start the cycling process when setting up a freshwater aquarium to prevent their death. Start your cycling by adding a few flakes of food to the tank each day. When the food begins to decompose, you will have the release of ammonia to start the process. Keep putting a little in each day until your test readings are perfect for safely adding fish.

Learn How To Start A Freshwater Aquarium Right

People looking for something interesting to add to their home decor can consider finding out how to start a freshwater aquarium. A fish tank will add a splash of color and soothing movement to any environment regardless of location or size. Setting up a tank is not complicated but there are several things to consider before buying the first fish.

Tank placement is important. A very small tank can be kept on a sturdy piece of furniture but anything over 20 gallons should be placed on a dedicated stand due to the extreme weight. Smaller tanks will obviously require less space but they are actually more difficult to maintain when it comes to water quality.

Make sure the floor is structurally strong enough to support a fully loaded tank. It is best to choose a location against an interior wall away from direct sunlight. This will keep algae growth to a minimum and make it easier to keep the aquarium clean. The ideal location will also have easy access to power outlets for the various pieces of equipment needed.

Tanks are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. The stand should be designed for whatever size and shape is purchased. Taller tanks are preferable for environments created with live plants. Certain fish species are more suitable for certain size tanks so it is important to make sure they are compatible.

Consumers can purchase a tank kit which will include all the necessary equipment to maintain an underwater environment. Anyone who wants to build a set up from scratch will have to think about things like a heater, filter and lighting system. Live plants may require a specialized lighting system depending on what species are used. Fluorescent lights burn cooler and are good for showing off the colors. The lights should be turned off to give fish a chance to sleep.

There are two basic types of filters. A power filter hangs over the top edge of the tank and must be big enough to handle the capacity. A power filter should be positioned so the outflow keeps the water evenly distributed. Some tank lids have cut-outs that can be used as a guide. An under gravel filtration system sits on the bottom of the tank. Again, the powerhead or air pump must be strong enough for the aquarium size. This type of filter is not an option if any type of fine substrate like sand is used. These filters tend to be noisier and require more maintenance than most power filters.

A heater will be necessary to make sure the water stays a constant temperature. Different kinds of fish prefer different water temperatures, so the heater should be adjustable for the best results. A fully submersible model is the easiest to set up. The heater is usually attached to the glass with suction cups.

An appropriate substrate is necessary to keep a healthy environment for the inhabitants. Sand or gravel is inexpensive and can be purchased from most home improvement centers. Burrowing fish will prefer sand but the substrate must be stirred occasionally so no dead spots develop. Gravel or rocks must be thoroughly rinsed before spreading them out on the tank bottom. With an under gravel filter, the gravel must be vacuumed regularly to prevent the filter from getting clogged and maintain the proper nitrite levels for a healthy environment.

Any living thing that goes into the tank should be thoroughly researched. It is important that whatever is added is compatible with whatever is already there. Some fish require special maintenance to thrive. A lot of money will be wasted on dead fish and plants if the proper research is not done ahead of time.

It pays to be patient when stocking any tank. Fish should be introduced to the water just a couple at a time over a period of several weeks. Adding too many fish to begin will prevent the water from cycling properly. The water will become toxic and the fish will die. People who buy schooling fish often make the mistake of only buying a couple fish. There must be at least five fish in the school for them to remain healthy and stress free.

Going through the process of learning how to start a freshwater aquarium is a rewarding hobby. Designing an underwater ecosystem is a relaxing creative outlet and the result is on display for all to admire. Watching the fish swim lazily through the water is soothing and a great way to eliminate stress after a hard day of work.

Things To Consider Before Adding Salt To A Freshwater Aquarium

People who have been keeping pets in tanks inside their homes have most probably been practicing adding salt to a freshwater aquarium. In fact, this practice can actually be said to have been around since the hobby was first introduced. Many people believe that adding sodium chloride to the tank will help reduce stress, add hardiness, enable medicating, as well as make the environment more suitable for species that have been used to reside in brackish waters.

Before tank owners decide, on whether or not to add sodium chloride, proper research and fact-finding has to be done to ensure that doing so will indeed benefit, and not harm the species that are inside. One should also get to now the variety of odium chloride that can be used to ensure the well-being and general health of your aquatic pets.

Among the most common reason why owners employ the use of sodium chloride on their tanks is that it enables medicating on the liquid that is being used. Accordingly, the substance makes I possible to get rid of ectoparasites like ichthyophthirius, costia, and anchor worms or lernaea. Oftentimes, the ideal amount of sodium chloride to be used in this type of situation is about one-half cup to every thirty-eight gallons. This level needs to be maintained inside the tank for the next three weeks.

When adding salt to a freshwater aquarium, one should bear in mind that not all species can tolerate the degree of sodium chloride that is being utilized. One should take careful attention in making sure that the species inside the tank will be closely monitored in case they are suffering from excessive stress.

Fishes that have incurred damage in their shins or have lost a lot of scales can actually benefit from putting a therapeutic amount of sodium chloride into the quarantinehospital tank. This amount will help the fish through osmoregulation. This is where the fish is able to maintain the level of the sodium chloride in its bloodstream while it is healing its wounds. Once the fish has properly healed, the water has to be changed as sodium chloride does not evaporate.

Some people believe that using sodium chloride will help add electrolyte which helps in reducing the osmosis stress in the gills of the fish. Fish can benefit from this in maintaining homeostasis especially during disease since it will still be able to maintain the process regardless if the surrounding water is disturbed.

Another benefit that many see in adding sodium chloride is that it does not only speed up the healing of some wound sites, but it also helps in producing the slime layer. The efficacy of this substance has not been truly proven by many experts, however, tank owners who chose to use this method should always remember that if the substance is not pre-dissolved properly can give bad burns to the fish- especially to species that are scaleless like some catfish and eels.

As always the general rule is that tank owners should refrain from adding salt to a freshwater aquarium unless they have thoroughly established that this will cause overall benefits to the species living inside. A much better option would be to refer to experts first before making the necessary action.

Tips For Keeping Small Freshwater Aquariums

An aquarium adds beauty and movement to any environment. For many people, keeping one in a home or office is a relaxing hobby that provides Anyone who is considering keeping fish as a hobby can benefit from these tips for keeping small freshwater aquariums.

A smaller environment is ideal for people who have limited space but it does require special attention. A tank smaller than 30 gallons will show fluctuations in temperature and water quality faster than a larger system, so any imbalances must be recognized and corrected immediately.

The majority of tanks are made of plexiglass and glass. A plexiglass model is lighter than glass and less likely to leak but will cost more and is vulnerable to scratches. A cover should be included to keep fish from leaping out and reduce evaporation.

Some beginners will opt to purchase an aquarium kit that includes a light system, heater and filtration unit. This saves the hobbyist with limited knowledge from having to choose separate components.

A small aquarium should be placed in a location where external sources of light and heat will not affect water temperature. Unfiltered sunlight will cause the water to warm up. This is not only unhealthy for the fish but may also lead to green algae growth.

It helps to select a theme and stick with it. Choose fish and plants that are the same species or from the same geographical region. This makes it easier to keep the environment within parameters that are favorable for all inhabitants. A familiar shelter will also reduce stress levels and allow fish to thrive.

Introducing a natural filtration system is the most convenient way to maintain a favorable environment for the inhabitants. Choose live plants instead of artificial ones and let nature take its course. If an external filtration system is necessary to supplement this natural environment, only a minimal system will be needed.

Thoroughly wash gravel before spreading it across the tank floor. Arrange decorations and plants around the interior and fill it with water. Set a plate on the bottom and direct water onto the plate when filling the tank to avoid messing up the arrangement.

Avoid overstocking the tank to make it easier to keep the water viable. Choose small fish to start with and introduce them a few at a time over a period of several weeks. Float the fish in a plastic bag in the tank for a few minutes to allow them to acclimate to its water temperature. Introduce some aquarium water to the bag after about five minutes to give the fish a chance to adapt to the pH level. These steps will reduce stress levels. Start with a small school, add a maximum of two showcase fish and complete the community with a few bottom cleaners.

Carefully observe fish behavior. Hiding, drifting, darting and gasping are all indicators that the water quality is poor. Purchase some test strips designed to test for nitrite, ammonia, nitrate and pH level and periodically analyze the results. Water quality in a smaller aquarium will cycle quickly, so it pays to keep a close eye on it.

A portion of the water should be replaced on a weekly basis. Water currents are responsible for carrying away toxins in nature but there is no way for the water in a closed environment to be replenished naturally. Approximately 10% to 20% of the water volume should be replaced each week to keep the inhabitants healthy.

A small problem will become more serious quickly due to the low volume of water. Any imbalances need to be fixed right away. Postponing action even a single day can cause the system to crash and make it impossible to recover.

Changing the filter media on a regular basis is the best way to keep algae from taking over the aquarium. Follow the manufacturer recommendations for frequency. Some media will seep toxins back into the water when it has become saturated.

An aquarium will add to the decor of any living space. At the same time, it will humidify the air for a more comfortable environment. People who feel stressed find it very soothing to sit quietly for awhile and gaze at the fish swimming around.

These tips for keeping freshwater aquariums will make it possible for anyone to add an underwater ecosystem to any living space. Tanks, equipment, decorations and fish may be found to fit all size budgets. Consumers are encouraged to take a look at the various options and choose something that suits their individual needs.

Effects Of Freshwater Aquarium Nitrites To Fishes

Many fish tank owners do not have that much comprehensive knowledge about substances that may prove harmful to the species inside their tanks, as well as the processes that the tank undergoes in its day to day activities. However, having the proper knowledge on what is good and what is harmful to your aquatic pets is highly important in ensuring their well-being, and also increasing their lifespan. One important aspect that every fish tank owner should learn about is the effect of freshwater aquarium nitrites to the fish and to the tank in general.

High-level presence of this substance in fish tanks has been attributed as one of the most common cause of fish kill. Hence, it is very important to learn and know what causes this substance to manifest and how to manage it to be able to properly determine if your fish are healthy or are suffering from any malady.

This product is created as a by-product of beneficial bacteria and ammonia. It can finally develop into nitrates when it reaches the final phase of the nitrogen cycling process that every fish tank undergoes. Though toxic to fish, both substances are highly essential in keeping the aquatic environment healthy and well-balance. Hence, it should not alarm fish tank owners if they detect the presence of such substances in the H2O. Keeping the levels at a tolerable low is what needs to be done.

Every aquatic environment requires the presence of the three substances. Nitrates at the most does not cause any relevant harm to fish, instead it helps keep the function of the biological filtration system inside the tank in a perfect balance. However, having too much of these substances inside the tank is where the problem starts. Fish will end up dead or become sick with too much of these levels in its environment.

Ammonia is a result from the combination of plant waste and fish waste or excretions. When the substance mixes with some beneficial bacterias, freshwater aquarium nitrites are formed. Both substances, though toxic to the fish species are essential to be able to start the nitrogen cycle inside the tank. This is one of the very reasons why tanks should be properly cycles before adding live fish inside. This practice will ensure that the fish will not end up suffering from any health complications and even death.

When nitrate is formed, it is generally harmless to the aquatic species inside when maintained at a low-level. However, too much of this substance will result to extreme growth of algae inside the tank. High levels of this substance will also cause stress to the fish because it causes the organs of the fish to work harder.

Aside from stress there are many other consequences that could result due to the presence of high levels of these elements in the tank. Elevated quantity of such substance will likely cause slow growth, lethargy, redness, vulnerability to diseases, sores, development of red patches on the fish’s bodies, and wounds will generally take longer to heal.

Since freshwater aquarium nitrites though harmful are essential to the overall functionality of the ecosystem inside the tank, owners should make sure that they keep the level at a tolerable low. The presence of mangrove plants, sand, live rock, a combination of both, or even use some chemicals that will help reduce the level can be employed to make sure that fish health is properly maintained.

Tips To Maintain The Ecosystem Of A Freshwater Aquarium

When you are planning to set up your own fish tank, you will need to know how to create the ecosystem of a freshwater aquarium. This can be a long process to do it correctly, so you will want to get started as soon as possible. Get your tank set up in a location where it can be viewed but is not likely to be disturbed. Ideally have it in an area where all of the necessary supplies can be placed in a cupboard or drawer nearby for easy access.

It is important to start with the right materials first of all. Depending on the size of the tank that you want to use, you may need more or less of the various items to create the proper look. Remember you do not want your tank to appear crowded. You want to create a natural looking environment for others to view while maintaining the living environment for your fish.

The first step once you have the tank is to thoroughly clean it inside and out. Use a disinfectant if possible to ensure that you have no bacteria growing prior to even getting started. You will need a variety of gravel. Some people enjoy using the various colored stones while others prefer the natural looking stone. Create a slope by placing less stones in the front and gradually sloping up to the back of the tank. Doing this creates a very nice display as well as adds a healthy environment for the fish. Some like to hover close to the bottom while others prefer to have a free area to swim in.

Whichever you prefer, you want to create a slope from front to back. This helps to create a nice view into the tank. After you have thoroughly rinsed and arranged the stones, make sure you use a spray bottle to keep them moist while you add in more items. Some people add things such as artificial logs or things of that type that will allow the fish to hide inside of them.

You next step is to select your plant life for the tank. You want to use typical plants that would be found in a fresh water environment. Make sure they are securely attached within the gravel so that when water is added they do not float to the top. After you have arranged the plants as you want them, you can add your other items that are used for decorations in a tank.

Adding the water will be a critical step at this point. The best method to avoid disturbing the layout is to place a container within the tank and pour the water into it. After you have added enough water you can remove the container. To do this you will place the container somewhere within the tank and pour the water directly into the container, allowing it to overflow and fill the tank. This ensures that the stones and plant life that you have placed will not be disturbed by the water.

Now it is important to let the tank cycle for a week or so to ensure that there are no chemicals remaining in the tank. It is important that you do not overfill the tank and that you change some of the water through that period to help remove any pollutants. As the ecosystem of a freshwater aquarium builds, you will find that there are some debris that will float to the top of the tank. Remove these with a fish net to avoid any problems. Additionally it will be important to feed the plants during this time as well. Adding small bits of fresh fruits and vegetables will be helpful to the plants.

After a week or so you can begin adding fish to the tank. Do not add all of your fish at one time. You want to add a few like species to avoid problems. You also want to keep in mind that the fish you add to the ecosystem of a freshwater aquarium should be species that match the size of the tank. If you have a ten gallon tank you should not add fish that will grow to over five inches in length. If you buy too many fish you will find that your tank is quickly soiled and you will spend a lot of additional time cleaning it. A small tank is intended for no more than thirty very small fish such as guppies. Larger tanks are equipped to manage more fish.