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Considerations When Starting a Fish Tank

Considerations When Starting a Fish Tank

It is a common public misconception that fish tanks make for the easiest keeping of pets. We often get visits from parents looking for fish in order to quell their child’s demands for a pet thinking that fish are cheap and easy. This is not necessarily the case.

Keeping a fish tank requires an un front investment in proper equipment, regular maintenance and testing of the water, and careful selection of plants and fish to inhabit the tank. Here are some important tips if you would like to become a fish hobbyist:

  1. Don’t start too small.Because water conditions need to be just right to sustain your aquarium, larger volumes of water are actually easier to manage than smaller. The more water there is, the more waist is diluted, temperature changes are tempered, and issues are hedged against. Of course, bigger tanks will require larger filters and heaters to go with them, but if you are a beginner, the margin of error this gives you is worth the investment.
  2. Test your water before you add fish and regularly for maintenance.You can’t just set up a fish tank, fill it with water, and dump a bunch of fish in there. Not if you want to have those fish tomorrow. Our tap water is treated with chlorine and contains numerous heavy metals and dissolved gasses which can be harmful to fish. You need to fill your tank, treat the water with a dechlorinator, and allow your filter and heater to run for some time to make sure the water is ready for fish. You should have a thermometer to check the temperature of the water and test the water pH, hardness, ammonia and nitrate levels before you add any fish to make sure that the conditions meet their needs.
  3. Research your fish, and don’t add too many.Make sure that you carefully research the types of fish you would like to keep to ensure that you have conditions set up appropriately and that the different types you would like can live safely and happily together. Start by adding hardier fish first in small numbers and only add more when thigs are going smoothly. Be sure when you are deciding on the appropriate number of fish that you are taking into consideration the water volume lost in your tank to the space the gravel and filters take up.
  4. You still need to clean your tank even if you have a filter.A filter helps to keep waste levels low in a fish tank and pulls out any solid materials that may be floating around. However, having a filter does not mean that your fish tank is a self-cleaning machine. You should regularly scrub the walls of a tank with a scrubber designed for this purpose and vacuum the gravel to remove dirt and debris. You’ll also need to do a partial water change every week to two weeks replacing some of the water with clean, treated, aged water. The amount and frequency will depend upon the size of your tank and number of fish. Also, don’t forget to replace your filter cartridges according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

The best way to get started with a fish tank is to spend some time with one of our associates learning about the types of tanks available and what fish they serve best. Come into the store for a chat, we’ be happy to help.

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