Keeping an aquarium is not only a hobby but also a way to achieve harmony and peace and a way to get rid of stress. For beginners, the aquarium at home is a way to join in something new and unknown, to learn the secrets of the depths and their inhabitants.
The knowledge of the simple rules of aquarium keeping, backed up by desire and patience, will help any person to master this interesting lesson.
Table of Contents
Rules for Selecting An Aquarium
Newbie aquarists often do not know where to start, but you need to do this by choosing the right tank. The main thing to think about is where in the house or apartment it will be located.
The answer to this question will help determine the shape of the container and its design. So, the tank can be kept on a stand or table, be suspended, or have a frame base. The shapes of the aquariums are also very diverse.
Types of Aquarium Shapes:
- Rectangular (in the form of a parallelepiped);
- Square (cubic);
- Panoramic (whose viewing glass is convex);
- Round (ball-shaped);
- Prismoidal (used for installation on the floor);
- Triangular (for closed aquariums).
In addition, an important condition for Fish Keeping is to think of all the factors of keeping fishes and caring for them.
Proper installation is necessary for free access and maintenance of the home aquarium like changing the water, cleaning the filter, feeding the fish, caring for the plants, etc.
You have to make sure that direct sunlight does not falls on the tank. This can harm fish and some types of algae. The size of the aquarium in liters is selected based on the number and length of its inhabitants.
So, for 1 cm of fish, 1 liter of water is needed so that your aquarium residents can freely swim and feel comfortable.
Necessary Equipment and Accessories
Maintenance and care of the aquarium for beginners require care and adherence to the rules. The well-being of its inhabitants depends on whether all the necessary materials were correctly selected.
Before starting fish and planting algae, a beginner needs to purchase a standard set of equipment for the aquarium.
- Lighting: Lamps need to be selected depending on the species of fish and underwater plants.
- Water Heaters: The water in the aquarium should be at a comfortable temperature, so it is best to choose a model with an automatic heating control.
- Filtration Devices and Aerators: Water must be regularly cleaned of impurities and saturated with oxygen. This will prevent the disease of fish and their death.
- Additional accessories are selected at will, and also, if necessary, for certain phenotypes of fish and plants.
Often, along with the capacity, a pedestal stand and an aquarium lid with a backlight are offered. These accessories will serve the novice aquarist well.
The lid will help prevent some species of fish from jumping out and provide proper lighting, while the cabinet can be used to store aquarium accessories such as fish food, nets, thermometers and others.
Composition of The Aquarium Soil
Particular attention should be paid to the selection of soil. In no case should you use sand from the shores of water bodies for the bottom. It may contain protozoa that will cause fish diseases.
The shallow soil is not suitable for your aquarium since it is difficult to clean it from the waste products of the inhabitants of the aquarium, as well as residues of feed and other contaminants.
An ideal option would be basalt soil. It is not only easy to care for, which is a plus for beginners, but also softens tap water. The soil should be poured with a layer of 4-8 cm, depending on the plants and the development of their root system.
Fish Tank Installation
The aquarium must not only be installed correctly but also take care of its internal environment. To do this, you need to organize the space, taking into account the features of the natural habitat of the fish. At the bottom of the tank are aquatic plants to create shadows, algae, decor.
When the designing of the aquarium is completed, it is necessary to create a biological balance of its environment. For 14 days, space is illuminated 7-8 hours a day so that algae can get planted naturally. It is important not to change the water before starting with your first fish.
Cleanliness and Sterilization
Aquarium care is an integral component of the proper maintenance of its inhabitants.
Standard works include:
- weekly water change;
- cleaning filters and aerators;
- removal of feed residues;
- soil cleansing from fish waste products;
- washing glasses and covers from plaque and sediment.
The soil of the aquarium can be cleaned once a month. The process must be performed carefully so as not to damage the root system of aquatic plants. Aerators and filters must not be washed with tap water using soap. For this, only aquarium fluid is used.
Sterilization of the aquarium is not an obligatory step in the care of it. It is carried out under the condition that among the inhabitants there are species subject to the influence of protozoa, parasites, and fungi.
Disinfection is carried out by ozone and ultraviolet. There is a special device for each method, however, ozone sterilization is suitable only for experienced aquarists, since it is very easy to exceed the gas concentration, which will negatively affect the health of underwater inhabitants.
Ultraviolet sterilization is performed using a lamp. This method is cheap and easy to use. It is safe and UV exposure is easy to control, which is a definite plus for beginners.
Beginning aquarists should start breeding fish with guppies and swordtail fish. These are the most unpretentious species that will help to find out if the created atmosphere is suitable for their life.
If the fish do not get sick and do not die, then all the materials have been selected and installed correctly. In this case, it is possible to start the uptake of other phenotypes, such as zebrafish, speckled catfish, and Barb fish.
There should be no more than 8 individuals, including 2 males. The main thing is to remember the size of the aquarium and the number of fish in order to avoid overpopulation.
Do not forget about the compatibility of species in order to avoid eating some phenotypes by others. Predatory fish should live separately.
Nevertheless, before you start with a new kind of fish, you need to wait a while so that they acclimatize to an unfamiliar atmosphere. You can find out if the environment is suitable for new fish by conducting a water test.
In specialized stores you need to buy tests to determine the composition of the water in the aquarium. To do this, pour a small amount of liquid into a separate test tube, add the reagent to it and use the reference card to find out the composition.
If necessary, water can be softened by reducing the acid level.
Useful Tips for Beginners
It is difficult for beginners to immediately understand the process of maintaining and maintaining an aquarium, therefore they often turn to people with experience in this matter for help.
Knowledge of the rules of the aquarium for beginners can facilitate the process of understanding the underwater life in an aquarium:
- Novice aquarists should choose the classic tank models: square or rectangular.
- A thermometer is necessary for both beginners and experienced in the aquarium business. Water temperature is very important for fish, and its sharp changes can lead to their death.
- It will be useful to have several tests for the composition of water and regularly carry them out in order to adjust the softness of the liquid in time.
- Aquarium care is complicated depending on the rarity of the species of its inhabitants.
- Aerators and filters should work continuously.
- Mandatory lighting of the aquarium is 8-10 hours a day.
- Feeding fish should occur according to the developed scheme. They can not be fed, as overfeeding affects the health and life of underwater inhabitants.
Keeping fish at home will bring the aquarist many pleasant moments, because observing the water inhabitants can be compared to meditation.
Maintaining an aquarium for beginners is not difficult, because the main thing is to want to learn the underwater world and not be afraid of learning something new.
William Smith is an Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology & holds 5+ years of experience in fishkeeping. Inspired by his grandfather’s aquariums, he created CichlidTips.com to help both novices and seasoned fishkeepers. His expertise spans aquarium setup, maintenance, fish behavior, and health. William constantly researches to provide up-to-date and accurate content, aiming to make CichlidTips.com a trusted resource in the fishkeeping community. He encourages engagement with fellow enthusiasts for mutual growth and improvement in this captivating hobby.