New Aquarium Tips
Deciding on a Fish Tank and Supplies
When starting a new fish tank, an important thing to consider is tank size. If your starting an aquarium for the first time a bigger tank is better. Starting with a bigger tank will save you a lot of trouble in the long run. Bigger fish tanks provide more room for the fish and error. With smaller fish tanks the pH is easier to maintain. Also once the tank is established the bigger fish tanks are easier to maintain. At least a twenty-gallon fish tank is suitable for a novice.
Keep in mind the inch per gallon rule when buying fish. This rule insures that your fish have enough space in the tank and good to follow to avoid overcrowding. For every inch of fish there should be at least a gallon. If you have a twenty-gallon tank then you can have two ten inch fish, or five two inch fish, any combination of fish as long as the inches of fish do not exceed the gallons of water the fish tank holds.
There are many styles of tanks such as hexagonal, pentagonal, cylinders and even in the wall aquariums. The easiest to maintain is the rectangular style since the edges are minimal. If you have a bigger tank you may need more maintenance items such as filters, heaters and lights.
There are many different types of filters some common styles are: power filters, Bio wheel filters, internal filters, and under gravel filters. Power and bio wheel filters are probably the most efficient and easiest filters to maintain. They hang over the side into the tank and have cartridges that have to be changed about one a month. The under gravel filters have their benefits and drawbacks. They are an older style filter and are placed at the bottom of the tank under the gravel. They do not have cartridges that have to be changes monthly but can get gummed up and have to be taken completely out to clean. They also usually will not clean as well as a power or bio wheel filter but can be made at home and are cheaper.
Usually heaters are fairly the same, submersible heaters are the way to go. Usually it’s a good idea to have two heaters in the tank so that if one breaks you have another going so the fish have a temperature that they can survive in. Lighting is important if you have live plants in your aquarium so they can flourish. Most lids for the tanks come with a standard fluorescent bulb, but brighter bulbs are advised for optimal lighting for aquarium plants. Lastly, any décor and extra utilities like bubblers can be added for look and to help the fish have a happy and secure habitat.
Types of Freshwater Fish For a New Aquarium
There are many types of fish for a community tank. Take a look at some pet stores and find the fish you like best. Here are some suggestions:
Fish great for breeding are: guppies, moons, swords and mollies. These types of fish are livebearers and can produce large spawns. There are some drawbacks to raising livebearers. Even though they may produce many babies, an overpopulated tank can lead to overcrowding. These fish also may not get along with angels and gouramis.
Schooling fish like to stay in groups and are usually more timid. The more you have in your tank the more secure they are. Do not buy just one schooling fish. The minimum you should buy is probably three, but a safe bet is at least five. The more of the same type of fish the better. Some types of schooling fish are barbs, tetras, and danios. Some varieties of barbs are: Red Line Torpedo barb (Pintius denisonii), Rosy barb (Pintius conchonius), Black Ruby barb (Pintius nigrofasciatus) and the Tiger barb (Pintius tetrazona).
So algae does not become too abundant in your tank it is a wise decision to have a few fish that eat the algae. Here are some suggestions: Cory catfish (Corydoras hastatus), Plecostomus are great alage eaters. A personal suggestion is the Albino Bristlenose Plecostomus, they are very good cleaners. The Chinese algae eater is not recommended it does not eat very much algae and sucks the slime off other fish that is essential for their health. Some varieties of catfish and Cory catfish are: Bristle-nosed catfish (Ancistrus sp.), Shark catfish (Arius seemani), Adolfo’s cory (Corydoras adolfoi), Albino cory (Corydoras aeneus), Peppered cory (Corydoras paleatus), Panda cory (Corydoras panda) and the Three-line cory (Corydoras trilineatus).
Cichlids That Work Well With Others:
Some other good community fish are Angels, Kribensis and rams. They work in well with almost all other fish.
Cichlids are not recommended for a beginning fish, the need a lot of room and are very territorial. They are egglayers and will protect their eggs at all costs. Also they like to dig a lot, they are quite amusing to watch when digging. Cichlids will usually beat up or kill other fish in the tank. Some varieties of cichlids are: Agassizi’s dwarf cichlid (Apistogramma agassizii), Macmaster’s dwarf cichlid (Apistogramma macmasteri), Salvin’s cichlid (Nandopsis salvini), Lyretail cichlid (Neolamprologus brichardi), Lemon cichlid (Neolamprologus leleupi), and the Bumblebee cichlid (Pesudotropheus crabro).
Snails can be very useful and also very pesky. Snails will clean up your tank there is no doubt about it, but multiply like crazy and are very hard to remove once they have multiplied.
Bettas love to fight each other they should be refrained to one per tank. Gouramis are the cousin of the betta, but be advised they can vary from an inch to a foot long.
Decorating an Aquarium
The best part of owning an aquarium is decorating it however you want. Decorating an aquarium can be fun, but the decorations still have to be suitable for the fish. Fish feel more secure with more hiding places. If you have only a few decorations in the tank the fish will feel unsecure and not swim around the tank as much. If you have lots of hiding places then you will not be able to see the fish very often. There is a balance that you must find for a happy, healthy tank.
The first step to decorating the tank is the needed fixtures needed in the tank. The tank first needs the filters, depending on your size of tank, depends on how many filters you have. Depending on your lid, most lids have a place cut out for the filters to conveniently fit into, and if not you can cut a make shift hole in the lid for the filters.
If you do not have a lid on your aquarium, then I suggest investing in one. A lid provides more security for the fish so that things do not get into the tank. Also a lid helps regulate the temperature in the tank. Most lids have lights and, which are very beneficial. If you can, invest in a lid with a light, most aquarium tanks come with a standard lid with a fluorescent light.
Plants are a key point for an aquarium. Either fake plants or real are suitable. Fake plants are a lot of less maintenance and will not get chewed up by hungry fish. If you have real plants a high florescent light is required for the plants to survive and grow. Make sure that your tank has enough plants so the fish can hide, but so that you can still see the tank.
Rocks, and fake caves and décor are also great for aquariums. A few hiding spots, for the fish to hide is good. When choosing rocks for the tank make sure they are suitable and do not dissolve or give off bad minerals to harm the fish.
Heaters are necessary to control the temperature of the tank so the fish stay alive. Placing submersible heaters in the back of the tank is preferred. Also it keeps them out of the way of the fish.
Gravel or sand is vital for the fish to have a similar habitat that they are use to. Smaller gravel can be a hassle and huge gravel can engulf many things. Medium size gravel is suggested for most tanks. If you have marine fish then sand is suggested, but can be hard to put many decorations in, such as plants.
When it comes to decorating your tank keep these tips in mind do make a tank a good living environment for the fish. The accessories and décor for the fish tank are great but keep in mind to not forget about the essentials such as filters and heaters.
Getting Your Aquatic Pets Home
Whether it’s your first aquarium or you are an expert aquarist, bringing fish home from the store can be a tricky task for everyone. Getting your fish home safely can be easy or very difficult. With a few steps your fish can arrive home and be happy and healthy. The distance to get your fish is a big factor in getting your pets home safely. Longer distance can cause hardships for the fish and yourself.
If you live far away then planning when and how you get the fish home can be vital. If you cannot get the fish home right away you might consider investing in a small plastic transporting tank. A tank can help the fish feel more safe and they will have airflow in the tank.
Leaving the fish in the bags they come in is ok, but not suggested. The bags have only a certain amount of water and the fish ca survive for a small period of time in the bags. Moving the fish to a different container is highly helpful.
One of the biggest mistakes many people do is to leave the fish alone. Leaving the fish alone can cause many problems; they can die, spill out of the bag, overheat or freeze. The best decision is to keep the fish with you at all times until they are home in your tank.
When the fish are home the last step to establishing them into the new tank. Floating the bags in the tank is a key point to make sure the fish do not go into shock when they are released into the tank. Float the bags in the tank for around thirty minutes so the fish can get used to the temperature of their new habitat.
Following the steps put forth in this article will save you a lot of time and money. Being careful can help your hobby in being an aquarist and can also make it more pleasurable. Tips and tricks are very helpful and can be acquired easily and quickly until you are an expert.