An aquarium is a great option for people who would like to have pets but are restricted in certain ways, either for reasons of space, allergies, or stipulations of the land owner. An aquarium also has tremendous therapeutic benefits and is a great, involving hobby. But as with most investments of time and money, it’s something that needs a bit of consideration first.
There’s no single ideal when it comes to setting up an aquarium. If you’ve never had one before, it’s probably best to start with the basics in place, then adapt it to the specific needs of the fish as you introduce them to your environment.
Your first consideration should be the type of fish you’re thinking about raising in an aquarium. Freshwater aquariums are more common and traditional, but saltwater aquariums are gaining in popularity, even allowing for the introduction of live coral into the habitat. Either way, you’ll need to get one that’s the right size for the fish you’re choosing. For a rule of thumb, most tanks will have a capacity of twenty gallons or more. The shape of the tank is also important; you might need a deep tank, or a wide but shallow tank. Again, this will depend on the breed of fish you’re considering.
Your local aquarium supplier will be able to help you at this stage. Take into account how many fish you’re thinking about having in the tank, but don’t use the examples you’ll see in the shop as a guide: those tanks are stocked that way for display purposes, where the comfort of the fish isn’t so important if they aren’t living in that environment for long. A big mistake early owners make is to cram too many fish into one tank; fish need room to move around freely and not feel confined, as some breeds are especially territorial and aggressive, so the right size tank is essential if you want to avoid these problems.
Once you know what kind of tank you want, the next consideration is the filter system. This is the most vital piece of equipment in your aquarium as it keeps oxygen circulating in the water, as well as cleaning it out. Pump filters are by far the most common, continually circulating the water. The filter needs continual maintenance, but this is a very easy task that should be seen as part of the housekeeping that goes with being an aquarium owner. Better yet, it’s a relatively inexpensive piece of equipment, given how it’s effectively going to be the heart of your aquarium.
You can also invest in fully biological filters – filters that are composed of beautiful, living corals grown in trays and used for larger aquariums. These represent the most natural way of keeping air circulation maintained, as well as offering perhaps the best way of removing algae. Beginners may want to look at this option further down the path of this new hobby in order to keep things simple when starting out.
Finally, you might want to consider a heating system to ensure your fish live at the correct temperature; for some breeds, especially tropical varieties, you’ll find that a heating system will be a requirement as many fish are very sensitive to the colder temperatures.
A supplier of pond and aquarium supplies will be able to help you navigate through the sea of choices present in this fascinating hobby. Make use of a free online directory service like Directory Today to find aquarium supplies on your high street or in your town centre – there’s sure to be one near you who will be happy to help get you started!