Christmas is one of the best times to purchase an aquarium for any interested hobbyist. Especially since many aquarium providers offer special deals on entire aquarium packages that are a great start for any hobbyist to be able to geat into the magnificent aquarium hobby. But, once having all the materials to setup an aquarium can be overwhelming especially if you are not complely sure how it all works. Well, lets clear up that confusion and I will add some tips too!
The aquarium you have could be glass, arylic or plastic. Many of the smaller aquariums (under 5 gallons) can be made out of plastic or glass. Larger aquariums are made out of glass or arylic. The big difference between glass and arylic is that the arylic wil be lighter than the glass (1/2 the weight!) but tends to scratch easily.
The filtration of an aquarium is basically what keeps your fish healthy and alive! The filtration is usually a filter that hangs on the back of the aquarium, is placed inside the aquarium, is an undergravel filter or is a canister filter that is completly outside the aquarium. The filtration of an aquarium is composed of mechanical, chemical and biological filtration. Remember although you have a filter, your water must be decholorinated and the correct parameters, and your aquarium must cycle before you can safely add fish!
Mechanical filtration: removes small particles (dirt. plant parts, uneaten food) from the water by moving the water throught a mesh or a seive and should be replaced monthly
Chemical filtration: removes wastes that have been dissolved in the water and is usually acomplished by using carbon in the filter media
Biological filtration: is acomplilshed by bacteria that convert the ammonia (the waste your fish release) into nitrite then into nitrate. You can get bacteria in your aquarium as your aquarium ages or by adding a bacteria supplement. This is your most important filter, as the build-up of waste products, especially Ammonia, will kill fish very quickly!
The second best part of setting up a new aquarium is decorating it! The decorations of a freshwater aquarium usually consist of gravel and other standing decorations that are used to give your fish hiding places. You can decorate your aquarium with any aquarium decorations that you can find at your local fish store. Make sure to gently wash the gravel and any decorations with clean water before placing them in your aquarium.
This is the best part of any aquarium! Selecting fish can be a exciting time for any new hobbiyst but, you need to make sure your aquarium is the best home for any fish you pick. Make sure you have added water and dechlorinator (makes tap water safe for fish) to your aquarium along with instaling the filter and adding the final touches to your decorations. Once the aquarium is all ready, let it run for at least 24 hours before adding any fish.
Now, for adding the fish. Take two trips to the fish store, one to write down species names of fish you are interested in and the second trip to make your fish purchases. I always recommend to research the fish you are interested in having before buying them. It safes you money and prevents the fish from dying incase your aquarium is not sutable for it. Here is a link on some great beginner fish to start your aquarium with along with some tips for the new hobbiyst. Along with these articles make sure to read Jumpstarting Your New Aquarium Cycle and Beginner Hobbyist: Avoid These Fish. Good luck on your new aquarium and feel free to email us with any questions regarding aquarium care!
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