In a way, having an aquarium puts you in charge of a mini ecosphere and makes you feel all-powerful! A well-designed aquarium has plants, fish, rocks, a curio or two and of course, plenty of water. Fish are considered by many to be the easiest pets to look after. Unlike dogs, they do not need to be taken for walks and unlike cats, they don’t walk over everything. All a fish needs to be happy is to be fed regularly and a clean tank to swim in. However, depending on how many fish you have, the latter can be quite a task. Another advantage of keeping fish as pets is that they are very budget friendly pets.
Keeping fish as pets is not only a good hobby but is also beneficial to your health. Some studies say that having an aquarium in the room lowers blood pressure and stress. As pets, fish may not be as interactive and playful as dogs but they make up for this by being peaceful and relaxing companions. Watching fish swim around an aquarium can calm even the most agitated mind. Fish themselves display vibrant colors and are beautiful to look at. When combined with green foliage and well lit, aquariums enhance the room’s décor and add color and life to the room. Looking after fish is also an excellent way of teaching a young child responsibility and how to care for another living creature.
Along with buying a tank and fish, setting up an aquarium involves buying sand and plants for the aquarium along with filters, heaters, etc. Thus, like anything else, if you’re planning to set up an aquarium, the first thing you need to do is allocate a budget for it. The size, design and material of your tank will depend on this budget along with the type and number of fish you can look after. Aquariums can be categorized as freshwater and saltwater aquariums. The former are more budget-friendly as fresh water fish are firstly cheaper to buy and require less maintenance.
Once upon a time, aquariums were available in standard rectangular shapes. Today, there's a wide variety of shapes and sizes to choose between when buying an aquarium tank, ranging from small fish bowls and cubed aquariums to pentagons and bowfront aquarium tanks. For amateur hobbyists, a table top tank is a good size while if you’re looking to breed fish, you may need a much larger tank. A general rule to follow when buying an aquarium tank is to allow a minimum of one gallon of water per fish. Therefore, the size of your aquarium also depends on the number of fish you want to take care of.
Aquariums also differ on the basis of the materials they are made of. While glass aquariums do not scratch easily, they are fairly heavy and prone to chip. Acrylic aquariums, on the other hand, are cheaper and lightweight but can get scratched very easily.
The only thing you need to do on a daily basis to maintain an aquarium is to feed the fish at regular intervals. Cleaning the tank is the most important part of maintaining an aquarium. Once a fortnight, clean the aquarium walls with a sponge or filter floss. Start from the bottom and move upwards to clean the tank. Vacuum the gravel to remove plant waste and rinse the filter inserts. Along with this, test the water for pH levels, carbonate hardness, and nitrite-nitrate levels. Also, change 10-15% of the water in the tank every fortnight. The water in an aquarium should never be changed completely as it takes time for the mineral levels of water to be balanced to suit the fish. The filter inserts and cartridges should be changed once a month.
This intriguing fish aquarium design is the brainchild of AquariumGroup based in Kent, United Kingdom.
A glass aquarium should be placed at the eye level so that you can enjoy watching the fish swim by. Having an electrical outlet close by is another essential aspect of deciding where to place an acrylic aquarium. Avoid placing the fish tank in an area where temperature varies a lot such as in direct sunlight or close to a radiator or air conditioner vent. Direct sunlight also encourages the growth of algae that is harmful to fish and makes your fish tank look dirty. The vibrations caused by opening and closing doors can overstress your fish. Hence, an aquarium should not be placed in high traffic areas or near doors.
While every glass aquarium needs lights, the current trend is moving towards LED lunar lights. These lights simulate natural moonlight while consuming less power than traditional aquarium lights. Compact or nano aquariums are also very trendy these days. These aquariums incorporate filtration and lighting equipment into the fish tank hood so as to not compromise on the aesthetics of the aquarium. You could also set up an aquarium that incorporates a sustainable herb garden as part of the aquarium. These acrylic aquariums feature planters on top of the fish tank which feed on the ammonia rich water of the fish tank and release nitrites and nitrates back into the tank. This is also known as aquaponics.
Before buying a glass aquarium tank, determine what type of fish you would like to keep. Do a little research and find out their compatibility with other species, the size they will grow to and their nutritional needs. When buying a fish tank, buy all the accessories and lights together so that you are sure of them fitting into the tank. Also, buy yourself a long hose pipe that will be needed to change the water in the fish tank. Along with this also put in a few acrylic aquarium accessories and plants for your fish to swim around. Lastly, when introducing fish to a new aquarium, let them acclimatize by first mixing the existing water in the fish tank with the water in the packet they were bought in for a little while before emptying the packet into the fish tank.
Check out our Room Dividers to Maximize Space ideabook for another fish tank tip!