Once you make a decision to bring pet fish home for maintaining a beautiful aquarium, you have to decide on the equipment needed for making their stay comfortable. Here is an outline of things you will require.
The first thing is planning on the type of fish tank. In the past, people used to keep pet fish in bowls. This is not considered to be of good practice now. You need a proper tank for the well-being of fish. Tanks are available of any size or any shape you can imagine. You have to do a little homework. Decide on the area where you are going to install the tank. Once you are sure about the area, you can think of a nicely shaped tank which can be fitted in that area.
One more thing you have to consider – which type of fish you are going to keep. There are mainly two types – freshwater and saltwater. Both of them are good but they will require different sets of equipment.
Once you decide on the type of fish, you can do some on-line research about size of such fish, the type of water they will need and how many fish you can accommodate in your aquarium. If you are thinking on buying a freshwater aquarium, you can estimate 1 gallon of water per 1 inch fish to start with. On the other hand, for salt water fish, you should estimate 3 gallons of water per 1 inch fish. It is better to write down all these calculations so that you will not make a mistake.
Once you are through all these calculations, you can go to the pet fish shop and have a look at the tanks available there. You have to decide between a glass tank and an acrylic tank. Acrylic tank is light and scratch-free. On the other hand, glass tank is heavy and will require a strong stand to mount it. So estimate the weight of the tank also.
Then you should think about the accessories. The main accessories are the gravel, the lighting arrangements, the filters, the air pumps and the heaters. You should consult the pet shop to find out the details about these accessories so that you can make a decision about the best suitable type. Here are some important things about these accessories.
As regards lighting, there are several types available. If you are planning on a large number of live plants in the tank, you will require more lighting. On the other hand if you are planning for a tank without any live plants, you can go for fluorescent lights.
Filtration is a must for any tank. There are mechanical, biological and chemical filters available. You can either take them individually or can buy a suitable combination of all of them. They will be doing a great job of maintaining the cleanliness and hardness of water.
You must have some gravel in the tank. The type and size of it will be dependent on the type of fish you are going to keep. Your biological filtration system should also be able to cope up with the size of the gravel. This decision is a bit technical and you should consult your pet shop before you buy.
Some tanks will require heating system, but that would depend on the type of fish. Goldfish is the cold water fish and it does not require any heating. However other cichlids may require a constant temperature in the tank for their health. If you plan to keep tropical fish, they will have separate temperature requirements.
So this is the basic outline of the supplies you will require for maintaining your fish tank. You should not rush to bring home your pet fish before you have a detailed analysis of all these supplies. Once you buy a particular item and put it in use, you will not be able to return it to the store. So do your full homework before making any purchase.
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