What Do You Need For Your First Fresh Water Fish Tank


You’ve decided to get fish… but you have no idea how to set up the tank or even what you’ll need. In this article we will discuss the basic’s needed to setup your very first fresh water fish tank.

First decide what type of fish you would like. Fish like Guppies, Tetras and Goldfish are common, easy to look after fish, for first time fish owners. Once you’ve decided on a type you can go ahead and start getting their home ready.

THE TANK

The minimum sized tank that you want to get should be around 5 gallons( approximately 20 l). Having a tank at least 5 gallons(20 l) or more  tank is actually easier to look after as it would require less frequent cleaning and changes in water parameters will not be as drastic compared to a smaller tank. The tank should be placed on a flat , sturdy surface that can hold its weight. It should preferably be near a plug point and away from direct sunlight. You could also opt for getting a fish tank that has a stand included.

GRAVEL / SAND

Once the tank is placed in a suitable location add in the sand or gravel at the bottom of the tank. If you decide to use sand ensure that it is around 1 inch or 2.5cm deep. Alternatively if you decide to use gravel ensure it is at least 2 inches or 5 cm deep.

FILTER

A filter is necessary to ensure that the water in your aquarium is being cleaned and waste is removed to ensure the happiness and wellbeing  of your little friends. There are many varieties of filters that you can use and you can find ones that can be placed either inside or outside the tank. The filter should ideally be able to filter and turn over all the water in the aquarium 4 times per hour at minimum.

HEATER

Fish that require warmer water like guppies would require a heater to keep the water at the correct temperature. However, not every type of fish would require a heater but it is important to check if they require it before you buy your fish.

AIR STONE

An airstone is not always required but does help in oxygenating the water. Additionally it does serve as an element of decor.

LIGHTS

Lights are used to brighten up the tank at night and add to the tanks aesthetic.

DECOR AND FINISHING TOUCHES

There are endless ways to decorate your fishtank. The décor items can be combined with the airstones and lights. Logs and glass pieces can also be used. This is where you make your fishhouse into a fishhome.

CYCLE THE TANK AND CHECK THE WATER PARAMETERS

Add in the water and use either a water conditioner or antichlorine in the appropriate amounts. To speed up the cycling of the tank add bacteria (buy from a petstore or pet supply store).

Allow the fistank to cycle so that the parameters can stabilise.

FOOD

Buy nutritious and healthy food for your fish. The type of foods will vary depending on the type of fish you have. Flakes, pellets or live food such as worms are common fish foods.

FISH

To determine how many fish you can comfortably house in your tank 1 gallon per 1inch fish. You can technically fit more fish in, HOWEVER ,you want your fish to have enough room to move about and be happy and healthy. So for a 5 gallon tank you can fit 3-5 guppies comfortably inside. If you have a larger tank it is recommended to add in no more than 10-12 fish in at a time. As a beginner try to start with one type of fish and thereafter find compatible fish to add in.

Finally introduce  your fish to their new home.

ADDITIONAL SUPPLIES TO CLEAN THE TANK

You may consider getting these items to help with the cleaning of the tank as well. A clean bucket ( approx  5l/ 1.25 gallons) to fill water into.

A clean cloth too wipe the tank or any spills.

A water syphoner to clean the bottom of the tank.

A net to catch any uneaten food or fish if need be.

CHECKLIST

  • TANK
  • GRAVEL/SAND
  • FILTER
  • HEATER
  • AIR-STONE
  • LIGHTS
  • DECOR
  • FOOD
  • ANTI CHLORINE / WATER CONDITIONER
  • FISH
  • BUCKET
  • NET
  • WATER SYPHONER

Time to sit back, Relax & Enjoy the view

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