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Getting Started with Fish
Choosing a tank:
Believe it or not, the larger the tank the easier it is to maintain. The toxic substances released by the Biological cycle are more dispersed in the larger volume of water, which allows the water quality to stay higher for longer periods of time. People with less experience keeping fish will benefit from the larger tanks.
A perfect tank for a beginner is 55 gallons. This tank measures 48 x 12, with a 20 inch height. A tank this size is easy to care for and yet not too large to be overwhelming. A common mistake with beginners is keeping small fish in small aquariums. The reality is that small fish are usually more active and need more room to swim around.
The most important thing to think about when choosing a stand is where the aquarium is going to be placed. Water weighs 8.3 pounds per gallon, which means that this stand must be in a safe position and be able to support a good amount of weight. There are two types of stands: Wood and Iron. Wood is functional and serves as a great decorative addition. Iron is stronger then wood, but will rust over time.
The cover on an aquarium must fit uniformly to the top of the tank. The purpose of a cover is to provide a base for the aquarium lighting. It also helps slow down the evaporation of the water. Make sure to get a cover that fits perfectly.
Filters come in all shapes and sizes to best suit your needs. There are many different types of filters with their own pros and cons respectively. Having good filters on your aquarium will keep the water crystal clear and your fish healthy.
Two of the most common filters:
Canister - These filters are usually hidden in the stand. Canister filters come in different capacity sizes. These range from 5 to 300+ gallons. Hose intakes and returns connect the filter to the tank and can be isolated through the use of valves. These filters can run a long time between cleanings and maintain great water quality and are virtually silent.
Power - Without a doubt the most common type of filter used on aquariums. They filters hang on the back of the tank and are extremely easy to use and maintain. These filters move large amounts of water and provide great filtration. Like all filters, power filters have different capacity sizes.
An important aspect to remember when selecting which lighting to use is what fish you are going to keep. Different fish require different amounts of light, so it is important to think about the fish you want before you select your lights. When buying lighting, it is a true case of "you get what you pay for".
Tropical fish require different temperature ranges that usually fall in between 74-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Heaters are available in different wattages. The larger the tank, the more watts you are going to need to heat the tank. It is important to keep the temperature right in the middle of the different tolerable ranges. Remember, every fish is different, so make sure you are well educated on the different types of fish before you add them to your aquarium.
Foods and Feeding:
Feeding habits of your fish are perhaps the most important thing to consider. Given proper temperature and water conditions, the health and growth of our fish will depend almost entirely on how and what you feed them. These are the three different diet types:
Carnivores - Need meat and / or fish in their diets
Herbivores - Plant eaters or algae eaters
Omnivores - These fish will eat either meat or plant matter
Keeping carnivorous fish will require more filtration, and you should avoid "feeder" fish because they can easily transfer diseases into your aquarium. To best suit your fish you must understand their profiles. Visit our fish indexes to get a better understanding of different fish needs.