An aquarium is a vivarium of any size having at least one transparent side in which water-dwelling plants or animals are kept and displayed.
Fish have been kept in people’s homes since ancient times and remain a popular pet choice today. Early cultures such as the Egyptians, Romans and Greeks were known to have kept fish for entertainment rather than just food. However, the Chinese are the most significant contributors to the popularity of keeping fish. They started breeding and keeping carp for ornamental purposes back in the 10th century. Through this breeding, they created the goldfish, which would not be introduced to Europe until the 18th century. This small fish captured the imagination of the rich and scientifically inclined and quickly became a must-have item.
Things You Want to Get Your Fish Tank
The primary purpose of the top on the aquarium is to keep your animals from jumping out. The top also supports lighting and can hold some air pumps or fans. Another important function of an aquarium top is to reduce evaporation. Excessive evaporation can cause increased levels of dangerous chemicals and can also make cleaning more difficult.
Tops are available that are made of glass, plastic, wood, acrylic, or metal in a variety of styles to fit different tanks or decor.
- A filter basically cleans the water of debris, removes the toxic buildup of ammonia and nitrates, and aerates the water so your fish can breathe. Which, unless you want an aquarium full of dead fish (or one filled with plastic fish), is a very good thing, indeed.
- Sure, with very simple tanks, you can remove the fish, clean the tank, replace the water, then return the fish. But really, why bother with that on a weekly basis?
- Removing the fish is traumatizing, especially for the fish (although you may freak out a little bit if it tries to squirm away). And no one wants to have neurotic fish, it simply isn’t right. Also, a filter means you don’t have to do all that work every week.
The substrate in a tank can be very important depending on how you decorate. Live plants need a warm, soft, particulate substrate. Most fish, on the other hand, don’t care what is on the bottom. If you are using an under gravel filter, you will need to have a layer of gravel that is 1.5-2 inches thick over the plates. This gravel has to be coarse enough that it will not sift through the slots in the filter plate and plug the filter. The gravel should be sloped so that any decaying matter will drift down toward the front of the tank and be easily siphoned off when the tank is cleaned. Some burrowing fish, like Peacock Eels and Banjo Catfish, need a softer or finer substrate so that they won’t hurt themselves trying to move through it.
- San Francisco Bay Brand Brine Shrimp Eggs Vial For Baby Fish & Reef Tanks
- Zoo Med Sun Dried Large Red Shrimp
- New Life Spectrum Marine Fish Formula 1mm Sinking Pellet Fish Food
- Tetra Bloodworms
- TetraMin Tropical Flakes
- Tetra JumboKrill
- Hikari Bio-Pure Freeze Dried Blood Worms
- TetraFin Goldfish Flakes
- TetraMin PLUS Tropical Flakes
- TetraCichlid Flakes
- The stand is something for you to put your tank on. You will probably want something tall enough that you can easily see the tank from a comfortable position. Remember when you are selecting a stand that
- Water weighs about ten pounds per gallon. This means that you have to get something sturdy for your stand. I have seen friends lose tanks because their stands weren’t strong enough.
- Putting something heavy at the top of something narrow or off balance is asking for trouble. Your stand should be sturdy and stable, and so should the floor beneath it. Remember that if you put your tank on the top of a tilting stand, it is easy to knock it over.
- The stand needs to be flat on the top. Glass can crack easily under very slight stress when it is already under pressure, and acrylic seams can split if a twist is applied to the tank.
Top Freshwater Fish
A perfect fish for the community tank. Platies are a very peaceful fish which will live peacefully with any other non-aggressive fish. There are lots of varieties to choose from, and they come with a variety of different colors, as a result of selective breeding.
Platies are not picky when it comes to diet. They will eat any type of flake foods, as well as most frozen live foods
Killifish are widespread throughout Asia, South and North America, Africa and parts of Europe. They are lavishly colored and popular amongst hobbyist in the word because they are easy to keep in your freshwater aquarium. They come in red, blue and orange colorations.
The female Killifish are much less vibrantly colored and the male bodies have blue and yellow coloration with orange spots and stripes from the body to the tip of fins. It may be difficult to find one at your local fish store because Killifish are so attractive and popular amongst hobbyists.
Another freshwater fish that is perfect for beginners is Guppies. Although the behavior and characteristics tend to be the same from fish to fish , Guppies come in a wide range of colors. They are a hardy fish, and they can eat regular fish flakes. However, like many fish on this list, they can also eat frozen brine shrimp, blood worms, and Daphnia. The fact that Guppies can go over a week without food, shows how hardy they are.
German Blue Ram
The German Blue Ram is a peaceful and colorful small-sized Cichlid. This species is flamboyantly colored. Yellow-green colors make up the main body and blue dots cover the fins. There are also seven darker vertical stripes on the fish and one very obvious strip on the head and through the eye.
There are red patches on the belly, near the eyes and upper and lower sections of the dorsal and tail fin. The fins are red and blue and the dorsal fin is dominated by yellow with black markings.
Although they may take a while to settle into their new tank, Cherry Barbs are the perfect freshwater fish for a home aquarium for all of the reasons listed above. They can tolerate big changes in water parameters, they are friendly, and they only grow to around 2 inches long. As one of the most endangered species of fish in the wild, the Cherry Barb is still a favorite within the fish keeping community, thanks to it’re bright, eye-catching colors, and it’s entertainment value. They are a very active fish, and once they become accustomed to their new surroundings, they will be very active and fun to watch.
The Peacock Cichlid possesses distinct characteristics that have made them popular amongst aquarium hobbyists for over 30 years. The Peacock Cichlid display dozens of color patterns and iridescent brilliance, which consists of blue, gold, bright yellow, red, and vivid orange.
They also have vertical dark stripes along the body. Unlike other Cichlids, the Peacock Cichlid is relatively peaceful with other fish.
Often touted as a ‘beginner only’ fish, Sword Tails (Given the name due to the sword like the shape of their tails) have recently begun to build a huge following of devoted fans, looking to seek out the rarest of the species. Mostly found in small streams, Sword Tails typically prefer a plant based diet, so a tank full of naturally occurring algae will be perfect for them, however, they also do well with live foods from time to time. A vegetable based flake would be the perfect food for them on a consistent basis.
This semi-aggressive Flowerhorn Cichlid is farm raised in the United States and has come into existence due to crossbreeding different American Cichlid species. They are named for their distinctive shaped protruding head and their dark flower-shaped spots. The most popular color amongst hobbyists is red.
We have added the Betta to our list of best freshwater fish for beginners because they are one of the most stunning tropical fish you can keep. The long colorful fins will catch the eyes of anyone having a peek in your tank. Betta fish are also very easy to care for, and they will eat most types of food including fish flakes, bloodworms and brine shrimp. For a treat, try offering some live foods to the tank.
How to take care of your Fish and Fish Tank?
Consider the tank size It’s true that if you’re just starting out, a large tank can seem like a lot to deal with. But there are advantages: If the filter clogs or the heater breaks, the water will remain stable much longer in a spacious model, giving you a chance to fix any problems.
Plan ahead Think about buying freshwater fish — they’re easier to maintain than saltwater ones. But first get the tank ready: Ask a pet-store employee (or read a fish-care book) for tips on pretreating the water, setting up a filter, and creating the healthiest environment for your future finned friends.
Pick a swimmer who’s a winner Small, peaceful fish are best, like neon and cardinal tetras, cory cats, gouramis, and zebra danios. (Goldfish need more attention.) An aquarium light enhances fishes’ colors, but don’t leave it on all the time — it can encourage algae.
Feed frugally whatever food your fish get (ask the salespeople at the store for advice), whether its flakes, pellets, or freeze-dried or live treats, don’t overdo it; uneaten bits make the tank dirty. Your kids can still handle feedings — just help them measure out the right amount.
Go with the flow you’ll need to change at least a fifth of the water in the tank every week; it’s even better if you change half. But don’t take out more than that — it’ll disturb the delicate balance of beneficial bacteria that keep your fish healthy.
How to Clean a Fish Tank?
Many commonly kept fish are not exceptionally difficult to care for provided their water is kept clean. Aquariums are closed systems and regardless of size, they all need some maintenance. Here’s a list of the equipment and the basics for cleaning the aquarium.
- Gravel siphon
- Algae pad or algae magnet
- Clean bucket (one used only for water changes is best)
- Water conditioner (that removes chlorine)
- Salt, if used (aquarium salt or any non-iodized salt)
- Soft cloth rag or paper towels
Basic steps to cleaning the fish tank:
Before removing water make sure to either unplug the heater or lower it in the tank to make sure it stays submerged in order to prevent cracking. Also, unplug the filter. If there are any snails or frogs in the tank, to prevent injury take some time to remove them from the tank while cleaning.
Remove and scrub any plastic plants and another decor as needed. Just use plain water without soap, as soap residue can increase phosphates and cause an algae bloom.
Remove algae from the glass using an algae pad or algae magnet. Do this before removing water so you will be able to remove algae debris with the gravel siphon. This will also help prevent the algae from spreading.
Start removing water using a gravel siphon. Siphon the tank water into a clean bucket for use in the next step. Quickly and carefully siphon all the areas of the substrate being very careful around live plants. It helps to siphon at an angle. This will help to prevent clogging the siphon as the angle allows the substrate to slide back out.
Siphon until you’ve removed the amount of water you want to replace. This is typically anywhere from 15% to 50%, depending on the bio load and type of fish.
Remove the filter media pads. Rinsed them with the water in the bucket (taken out of the tank) and then put them back in the filter. Don’t use tap water to rinse the pads as the chlorine in the tap water will kill beneficial bacteria that is living in the filter media.
Don’t replace these filter media pads with new pads when doing a water change as this can remove too many bacteria. Removing the bacteria will upset the water chemistry balance and cause a shock to the fish.
It’s better to include a new filter pad with the existing one. Then you can remove the old pad after the newer one has had a chance to colonize with bacteria, at least a couple of weeks.
Replace the decor, plastic plants, and anything else taken out of the tank.
Empty and rinse the bucket, and then fill it with clean water, making sure that it is the same temperature as the tanks water. Add a water conditioner to remove chlorine and add salt if used.
Carefully start refilling the tank with the conditioned water.
Plug in the heater and filter, and wipe down the outside of the tank glass with the soft rag or paper towels.
Fish Care Tips When You Travel
Clean Tank – Do your partial water change and make sure the tank is full the day before you leave.
Change The Filter – Check to see if a filter change is needed and replace accordingly.
Feeding Your Fish – Do not overfeed your fish before you leave. You will only make your fish bloated, sick and constipated. It is not necessary to have someone feed your fish if you will be away for one week or less. If you will be gone a week or more, however, use one feeder block if you have a bottom feeder fish. For other types of fish, use a mechanical feeder or find a fish-wise friend to feed the fish for you.