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What You Must Know Before Buying An Aquarium

A beautifully aquascaped aquarium teeming with schools of brightly colored, thriving fish is a wonderful thing to behold. Fish are popular pets. They look great, they’re perfect for kids to help care for, and you don’t need to hire a pet sitter when you go on vacation! But there’s a lot to know about fishkeeping before you dive in and buy your first aquarium.
So, we’ve put together this informative guide to help you avoid the common pitfalls that often befall newbies to the hobby.

Size Matters!

When it comes to fish tanks, size really does matter.
Many newbie fishkeepers think that a small tank means less work, but that’s not the case. How so? Well, fish produce lots of waste in the form of feces and uneaten food. That waste decomposes, producing chemicals in the water that are harmful and toxic to the fish. 
Essentially, harmful chemicals are more dilute in a greater volume of water. Therefore, the larger the tank, the more dilute the dangerous toxins will be, the safer the environment will be for your fish, and the lighter the load will be when it comes to tank maintenance.

Filtration and Maintenance

As mentioned above, you’ll need to maintain the tank properly if the fish are to remain healthy and thriving.
Did you know that before adding fish to your new tank, you need to cycle the aquarium properly? You also need to check detailed reviews of a good quality filtration system for your aquarium.
So, before you buy your aquarium, you need to know that you will need to devote at least an hour to tank maintenance every week or two. That said, older kids love to help out with pet care tasks, so get them involved too!

Where To Keep Your Aquarium

An aquarium full of water is a heavy fixture that isn’t easy to move once you’ve set it up. When choosing a location for your tank, consider the following practicalities:
  • Is the flooring level, and will it safely take the weight of a full aquarium and its stand or cabinet?
  • Is there sufficient space around the tank to accommodate cabling and maintenance?
  • Are there enough power sockets for the filter, heater, light unit, etc.?
  • Is the tank well away from direct sunlight, heating sources, and draughts?
You can’t put a fish tank on a regular cabinet. Regular furniture isn’t strong enough to take the weight, so you’ll need to buy a proper aquarium stand or cabinet, adding to the cost of the setup.

How Much?

A top of the range aquarium can be very expensive to buy, especially when you factor in extras, such as substrate, decorations, plants, a heater, extra lighting, and fish. So, set a budget for your fish tank and stick to it. Often, aquarium starter kits are a brilliant idea for newbies. These kits usually come with everything that you need to get up and running, and they’re typically the most cost-effective way to buy an aquarium.

How Many Fish?

Overcrowding can be a big problem in newbie aquariums. Depending on the species, those little fishies that you buy as cute babies quickly grow, and some can reach three or four times their juvenile size as adults. Too many fish results in extra waste, excess bioload on your filter, and poor water quality. That, combined with the stress that overcrowding causes is bad news for your fishy friends, and health problems usually result.
So, before you buy your fish, do some research to find out their adult size. As a general rule, you should allow one inch of fish per gallon of water in your tank. If you choose goldfish, you’ll need even more water space because they are very dirty fish!

What Fish Species?

There are hundreds of species of tropical and coldwater fish to choose from. Check out this amazing tropical fish care guide for tips on selecting and keeping your tropical fish healthy. Many are extremely easy to care for, such as platies, mollies, gouramis, and some tetras, and these peaceful guys make a nice community of fishes. But that’s not the case with all species.
For example, many kids want a beautiful betta fish, but you must choose his tankmates with care. Bettas are highly territorial creatures, and they can be very aggressive if mixed with the wrong company. So, the moral here is to research what fish species get along and choose those that are social and non-aggressive.

Final Thoughts

Fishkeeping is a brilliant hobby to get into! Caring for a tank filled with sparkling, swimming gems is so rewarding, and it’s also very educational for kids.

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider before you splash your cash on an aquarium. So, be sure to research your purchase thoroughly first, and use the helpful, practical information in our guide to set you on course for success!

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