Keeping a home aquarium can be a rewarding hobby. Not only does a healthy school of fish make a charming addition to any home, but caring for them can provide health benefits like reduced stress and blood pressure for their keepers. And few aspects are more exciting than setting up a brand new tank.
But whether you’re establishing a saltwater or freshwater aquarium, your success depends on having all the right equipment. So to help you start your new tank off on the right foot, here are all the aquarium essentials you need to maintain a thriving marine ecosystem in your home.
1. A Home Aquarium Tank
It stands to reason that you won’t make it very far with a fish tank to hold your new marine friends. But the size of the tank can have a major effect on your success.
For example, many first-timers will settle for a 10-gallon tank. However, it’s often a good idea to opt for a larger model, if possible. The bigger the tank, the more water you’ll have to dilute toxic waste from your fish, and the more room your fish will have to grow and thrive.
2. An Aquarium Heater
There are some species like common goldfish, Japanese ricefish, and white cloud mountain minnows that handle cool temperatures quite well. But most freshwater and tropical species need a warmer environment to thrive.
If your home tends to be cooler than about 74°F, you will want to invest in a heater to keep your fish from getting sick.
3. A Filter
A filter is essential to keep your fish tank clean and its residents healthy.
There are a few filter types on the market, with simple hang-on-back filters often being the easiest for beginners to set up and maintain. Other aquarium keepers swear by sponge filters as a cost-effective alternative.
Whatever style you opt for, the main factor is ensuring that the filter you get is of a suitable size for your aquarium.
4. Proper Lighting
A key mistake many first-time aquarium keepers make is not investing in proper lighting. The misconception is that lighting is an afterthought that only adds to the aesthetic value of the tank. But they play a vital role in helping keep algae blooms under control.
This is especially an issue for a saltwater aquarium, where a lack of lighting can encourage the growth of algae-causing cyanobacteria. To learn more about the causes, prevention, and treatment of this aquarium scourge, check out this article.
5. Substrate and Decor
The substrate is the ground cover you see on the floor of aquariums. Aquarium gravel, sand, and plant substrate are all popular varieties. You’ll also want a selection of rocks, caves, and other structures that fish can use to hide and rest in.
Aquarium backgrounds are another nice addition. They hide unsightly wires from the lights and filter, and will reduce the appearance of shadows that might scare your fish.
Everything You Need to Set Up an Aquarium
Set up properly and well cared for, your home aquarium can be a delightful addition to your home for years to come. Before you know it, your fishy friends will become a part of the family.
But aquariums aren’t the only way to add a spark of life to your living space. For more ideas on how to liven up your property, be sure to follow our latest home and garden guides.