Buying fish from a local fish store is a good way to get quality and healthy fish for your tank. You don;t have to go out fishing and waste hundreds of hours to look for some exotic species in ponds and lakes, but buy them from a local fish store.
Most local fish stores breed these species in their store and have a dedicated expert team to take care of them. By buying fish from these stores you’ll save a ton of time and get your tank a healthy stock. However there are some points to look for when you buy fish from a local pet store.
1) Most pet stores will hand over the fish in a plastic bag which is half filled in water and half empty for oxygen exchange. The quality of water in this bag is very less and the fish is likely to consume all the oxygen from this water.
That is why make sure you pick a pet store which is close to your home so that you can travel back fast to your home and drop the fish in your tank.
2) While picking up fish from the store see that fish are actively swimming and not lazy. Check for any undulations of the skin, white/black spots on the body of the fish and avoid them if you find any of these, as these may be sighs of a disease.
3) Do not buy fish with other sick fishes in the tank as these can be contagious and other fishes may be carrying the germs with them on their body.
4) If the salesperson at the pet store must allow you to pick up any particular fish from the tank. If he or she forces you to buy any particular fish then let them know about your choice.
5) Do not buy fish from the tank if you find a dead fish in the tank.
6) Before you want to buy more than two different species of fish then make sure you know about fish compatibility before you buy them. There are certain rules you must follow while keeping fish in a tank as not all species are well suited with each other.
7) While carrying the plastic bag home make sure you prevent any sudden shocks to this bag as the fish is very sensitive to sudden movement and that too in a small space like a plastic bag.
An aquarium is much more than a tank filled with water and fish swimming in it. It’s a complete habitat where you are trying to replicate the exact conditions found in nature where your fish will feel “homely” and will be happy to live. Here are the necessary equipment you must have to keep your fish tank safe and healthy for a long time.
1) Water Heater -This is required if you want to keep tropical fish because in tropical regions the water tends to be a little warmer. The heater is required to maintain a temperature of about 24 degrees Celsius constantly so that fish can feel like tropical regions.
Water heaters come in a variety of types but the best ones are this that comes with built-in thermostat as these prevent overheating of water and save your fish from too much heated water.
2) Thermometer – These are required to continuously detect water temperature for a tropical fish tank. Several types of thermometers are available in the market but the best ones are digital ones that have a probe dipped into water and a LCD display hanging on the outside of the fish tank wall tell you the correct reading of the water. Since the probe is dipped into fish tank water the temperature reading is not affected by the surrounding room temperature.
3) Water Filter – These are responsible for keeping your water clean and circulated for easy air exchange between air at the top and water. Fish survive on oxygen dissolved in the water and the filer helps to circulate the water for easy oxygen exchange as well as removes excess solid waste that may alter water chemistry.
4) Air Pump – Air pump forces bubbles of air into the fish tank water. Most of the times as “air stone” is fixed at the end of the air pump tube for decorative purposes and sometimes the end is buried under decorative ornaments to simulate underwater scenery. Air that bubbles up the water surface breaks the surface further allowing easy exchange of the water and help fish easy breathing.
5) LED Lighting – Lighting a fish tank is not an absolute must but if you have aquatic plants as decorative elements in your fish tank and light will help to keep them healthy. Too much lighting can encourage growth of algae turning your tank water green. An 8 -10 hours schedule daily will work just fine as far lighting is concerned.
Apart from these 5 you’ll need a fish net and a siphoning tube for partially removing the fish tank water (about 25% weekly) for cleaning the tank internally.
If you have just these 5 pieces of equipment then you’ll have a great tank that you, your family and friends will admire.
Locating your fish tank is crucial and will make or break the quality of life in your aquarium. If you pick up the wrong place your fish will suffer and will probably die, that is why make sure you take proper care before you fill it with water. Once you fill it, it will become heavy and it will be almost impossible for a single person to shift it from one place to another.
1) Do not place your fish tank on floor level or ground because other people passing by may accidently get hurt by kicking it and the tank will get vibrations all the time. If you have kids at home they will drop toys, food into tank making it a mess and your fish will suffer.
2) DO not allow direct sunlight falling on your tank because of two reasons
- Sunlight causes water temperature to change and this can be too harmful for fish. Overheated water is not suitable for fish because dissolved gases will escape from water because of overheating.
- Sunlight encourages growth of algae in your tank and this will turn your tank water green.
3) Do not keep your fish tank near TV or any other equipment that radiates heat because this can gain cause expansion and contraction of the glass walls and even affect water temperature.
4) If people in your home smoke then make sure you suck air for the air pump from outside because if smoke enters the tank it can definitely harm your fish.
5) Choose a sturdy platform for your fish tank because even slight vibrations can cause damage to glass walls and fish cannot take even small vibrations. If you pick a wooden stand or a table make sure it does not wobble after your fill your tank completely.
Cleaning a fish tank at regular intervals is the best way to avoid your fish being sick and providing them a healthy environment. Since the water in a fish tank does not flow like in natural environments, it’s necessary to maintain cleanliness in a fish tank for a healthy habitat.
There are certain rules that you must follow when it comes to cleaning a fish tank from inside when it is occupied with fishes.
- Under any circumstances DO NOT use soap to clean your fish tank even when it is empty.
- Under any circumstances DO NOT remove all the water from your fish tank (as well as fish).
You must follow these two rules while cleaning your fish tank.
For cleaning purposes use a siphon tube to extract dirt and solid particles from the bottom and corners of the fish tank. You can dip your hand into the tank and slowly point the end of the tube to extract the dirt carefully from all areas of the tank.
While decorating your tank you can create slope using gravel so that all the solid waste gets accumulated at one corner and it will be easier to suck it while cleaning.
Only siphon the waste till 25% water has been extracted. To add the water that has been extracted only use water which has been de-chlorinated. You can store a bucket of water 24 hours before you start the cleaning process so that chlorine disappears naturally from this.
Here is a video that shows you how to clean a fish tank
Before you dip your hands in fish tank make sure you don’t wash them with soap. Many people think that harmful bacteria from your hands will enter the tank so let’s clean the hands first by soap and then clean the tank, but this can be dangerous as no matter how much you clean your hands, soap residues are always on your hands.
You can decide a day of the week (like Sunday) to clean your fish tank and remove only 25% of water and easily maintain a healthy tank. One easy way to always reduce your cleaning task is to only feed your fish the quantity of food they want to eat. You can observe once how much they eat and adjust your quantity overtime. Uneaten food particles settle down in tank and get rotten altering fish tank water chemistry and this can be harmful for fish health.
Cleaning and maintaining a tank is just a matter of creating a schedule and observing small changes. If you do this on a regular basis you’ll have a beautiful and healthy fish tank in your home.
Many beginners in the aquarium fish keeping hobby face this crucial problem of picking up the perfect size of the fish tank. A fish tank is much more than just water and fish swimming in it.
It’s a complete ecosystem in itself which requires maintenance, care and knowledge. That is why if you are a beginner it’s better to start small and then expand as you gain experience and knowledge.
To start with you can go in with a 10 gallon tank that measures about 20″ X 10″ X 12″. This size is not too big and not too small and is easy to clean. This size of tank will even look beautiful and add value to your space because it will be noticeable.
There is a simple principle behind picking up a fish tank. Since fish survive on oxygen dissolved in water, it’s necessary that your fish tank setup allows easy exchange of oxygen from top water surface.
That is what always pick up a tank which is wide open from top. A tank with the same volume as a 10 gallon tank but with a narrow opening on to is not a good idea to start with. You’ll notice many fish tank in circular and vertical fashion, but as mentioned above they will affect oxygen exchange into the water.
Sky is the limit when it comes to decorating your aquarium. There are many cool ideas you can follow to replicate what you see in nature with proper care and guidelines. Here are some ideas to start with.
1) Use gravel at the bottom of the tank by sloping it a little towards the front. By making a slope you can easily collect solid waste in one corner of the tank and it will be easier to suck it out while siphoning your tank once in a week. Aquarium gravel is available online as well as in local pet stores.
2) Decorative rocks can add great abstract beauty to your fish tank. An arrangement of rocks can be used to form hiding places, caves that fish absolutely love. Some fish species are shy and love these hiding spaces. Many times these inner spaces are also used for laying eggs if you want to expand your hobby into fish breeding.
3) Aquatic plants – A wide variety of aquatic plants are available that make your fish tank look like a marvelous piece of nature. Since plants are living things they require some extra care like controlling duration of lights that falls on them.
4) Gem stones – These are available online in various colors an can be sprinkled at the fish tank bed by embedding them in gravel.
5) If you don’t want to spend any money on expensive decorating ornaments you can create your own caves, hiding spaces by using broken ceramic cups, pots. These add great excitement in your fish tank.
6) If you have some spare money you can buy dedicated decorating ornaments from online pet store or local pet stores like ships, tents, bridges that have been specifically designed for fish tanks. These add great beauty to your aquarium.