How to Buy The Right Aquarium
by: Kathy Strander
Buying Your First Aquarium, What To Look For
If you are interested in buying an aquarium and keeping several varieties of fish as pets, there are several things you should know before you start looking. Some factors to keep in mind are type of fish, number of fish, and what type of decor would you like. Buying an aquarium can end up costing a great deal of money but if you shop smart you can get a nice aquarium for a good price.
If you haven't owned an aquarium before, you might think it would be best to start off small. In truth you are establishing an ecosystem, so buying a small tank and only a few fish, is actually harder than going a bit bigger. In order for your aquarium to survive, you need the correct pH balance and also some live plants. Think in terms of twenty gallons as a starting size. This will give your fish room to swim and not feel trapped in a tiny space. It will give you more to look at and enjoy as well.
Don't purchase too many fish in the beginning. Four or five is a good number. You'll be able to add more later on if you want to. Another consideration is deciding if you want fresh water fish or salt water fish. You can't have both in the same aquarium. Most of the tropicals live in salt water.
Before you randomly choose some fish, do some Internet research or talk to the pet store employees. Some fish species don't interact well and may actually eat one another for lunch.
Now that you know the tank and the fish you want, it's time to think about decorations. There are a lot of choices at the pet store, and the right ones depend only on what you like. That doesn't mean however, that you can just put anything in the water. Gravel especially must come from a pet store, since it won't have an adverse affect on your aquarium system, like beach gravel would. You don't want to upset the balance you've worked so hard to establish.
After having your fish and decided upon the aquarium you would like, next you will have to bring in the water. The chlorine in the normal tap water is harmful for the plants and the fish. This is the most important factor. You will have to treat the tap water to remove the chlorine content. Use a chlorine remover before adding the water to the aquarium.
Maintaining the correct water temperature is another important consideration for your aquarium. It needs to be between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, so be sure to purchase a thermometer. If the temperature isn't just right, your fish could die.
The next thing to be considered is the food for the fish. Most fish are not fussy about the food they are given, fish flakes and pellets are both fine with the fish. Recommendation for any special food can be ascertained from the pet store.
Some people are of the opinion that just placing a few gold fish in a bowl and hoping that the fish will be fine. However it takes much more effort. Starting an aquarium and then maintaining it can be very enjoyable and satisfying.
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