Having your own aquarium the perfect way to bring a touch of nature into your home. It’s also relatively simple to do as long as you do a bit of research first. You will find that with the range of accessories on the market today – from aquarium chillers to monitoring equipment – it is easier than ever to keep your fish in good health. But you have to make sure that you get the set-up right, so your new pets have the best chance of survival right from the outset. To help ensure you do this, here are the steps you should follow:
- Choose The Tank: Fish tanks come in many different sizes. The one you choose will depend upon the type and number of fish you plan to keep, as well a how much room you have to spare in your house. Generally speaking, the larger the fish, the more waste they will create and therefore the more water they will need. Also, you will need to take into account the amount of room any plants or other decorative accessories will take up. If you’re really unsure, there are plenty of calculators out there to help you decide how many fish you can keep based on tank size.
- Buy A Stand: This is something many people tend to overlook, but if you’re buying an aquarium that holds more than 20 gallons or more you are definitely going to need a stand. Make sure you buy one that is designed to hold the tank you have chosen. Never underestimate how much the water alone will weigh! (Furniture such as dressers, chests of drawers and so on is simply not designed for this function.) It will also need to fit precisely, as it’s not safe to have the edge of the tank hanging over the side of the stand.
And what about the placement of your stand? Is it near enough power points? Is it near a window? Remember that too much sunlight will cause excessive algae growth and could be detrimental to the health of your fish.
- Temperature Control: All fish require different climates in order to thrive. Goldfish and other more common varieties may require you to buy a heater as they prefer warmer water. Other, more exotic species may need a colder environment, in which case you will need to install a good quality aquarium chiller instead, such as those made by Teco. You can’t even think about introducing the fish until you are satisfied that the water temperature has evened out to the correct level.
- Install Monitoring Equipment: The technology available today for fish keepers makes the task of setting up a tank and taking care of your fish a lot easier. You will need to regularly monitor factors such as temperature, chemical changes in the water and so on. If you install a remote monitoring device – such as those made by Seneye – it will deliver regular information updates directly to your phone or other mobile device and alert you immediately if there are any problems. It’s worth making the purchase for the peace of mind it will bring you.
- Fill It: Once the aquarium is installed on the stand, you need to add gravel and sand (putting in the filter first if it is an undergravel version). Make sure you follow the manufacturers’ instructions to the letter when it comes to installing the filter and take your time over it. Once these steps are completed you can set up any plants or other accessories you have chosen. With plants, ensure that they are compatible with the species of fish you are going to be keeping. Once this is done you are free to fill your tank with water. You should not turn on your filters, heater or any of your monitoring equipment until this is done. When you are satisfied that the water temperature is right you are ready to go!
A good place to start looking for all your fish tank supplies is a company called Reef Perfect who will also be happy to give you advice plus you can buy online. And now your aquarium is set up you are free to (slowly) introduce your fish. Make sure you know exactly what and how often they need to eat, as all species will differ and you should never overfeed them.