A successful aquarium is one that maintains its own little ecological system (with your help of course). So when you’re planning on enjoying the lifestyle of a few friends with fins, the first thing you need to decide is the kind of fish you want. That single decision alone will determine almost everything else – from the type of water you put in there to the kind of plants you include.
Appropriate Aquarium Lighting
The light that an aquarium needs is tricky – and really depends on the type of life that exists in it. A saltwater aquarium for example, requires different lighting from the lighting designed for freshwater aquariums. To find out what kind of lighting is appropriate for your *specific* kind of fish, you can ask the store from which you purchased it. But generally, the following advice applies to all kinds of fish and other aquatic creatures even though aquarium lighting is more beneficial to its plant life than it is to the life that happens to swim around in it.
Appropriate Aquarium Heating
Keeping your aquarium at a consistent temperature is vital to the health of your fish – especially if you own a saltwater aquarium. That’s because the temperature of a saltwater aquarium (and the room in which the aquarium sits) plays an important role in its salinity. As temperatures drop, saltwater water becomes denser. And dense water increases an aquarium’s salinity. High salinity as well as low salinity isn’t healthy for saltwater fish – so to keep your aquarium at a consistent warmth, you’re going to need an appropriate heater.
Appropriate Aquarium Filtration
Nature has an interesting and curious way of taking care of its inhabitants, and filtration is one method in which nature keeps its fish alive. You can do the same inside of your aquarium by using appropriate aquarium filters. Inside of an aquarium, filtration removes fish wastes and impurities, and it also reduces high ammonia levels – commonly the result of overstocking a tank.
Adding Driftwood to Your Aquarium
Fish certainly aren’t the only things that people like to keep in aquariums! That would be boring and even stressful on the fish. That’s why you’ll find things like plants and rocks inside of aquariums however driftwood is a common favorite accessory as well. Driftwood is as visually interesting as plants and it gives fish a place to explore, hide, or even spawn. What’s driftwood? Driftwood is wood that has been washed ashore. If you don’t live near a beach or river where you can pick up a piece of this stuff yourself, you can purchase some of it for as little as twenty dollars.
A Little Aquarium History
Evidenced through ancient paintings, drawings, song and literature, we know that people have favored fish as pets and kept them in aquariums since the time of the Sumerians in ancient Mesopotatmia. Of course they didn’t have the aquariums that we have today. Instead, they kept their pick of fish in man-made ponds. In fact, almost every major ancient society built an aquarium of some sort, and that includes historic Egyptians, Romans, and Asians.
Cleaning Your Aquarium
Suddenly, your crystal clear fish tank is looking a bit cloudy. In fact, you aren’t quite sure your fish are all still there, because the water isn’t clear enough for you to see them. When this happens, you have reached the point where your aquarium will need to be thoroughly cleaned before your fish become ill from swimming in the dirty water. Of course, you really shouldn’t wait until there’s a problem before cleaning your aquarium. Ideally, a tank should be cleaned every two weeks.
Choosing A Filter For Your Aquarium
A good filter is probably the most important piece of equipment you can add to your aquarium. Aquarium filters usually provide biological, chemical or mechanical filtration. You might want to get a filter that provides all three kinds of filtration in one, as this will make your tank easier to maintain.
Your Aquarium’s Maintenance Crew: Algae-eaters And Bottom-feeders
In order to maintain your aquarium, you may want to purchase a maintenance crew. This crew is actually a group of scavengers that will feed on algae and on uneaten food at the bottom of the aquarium. Some scavengers can dwell in community tanks without causing harm to the fish while some may eat or attack smaller fish, so be sure that you only buy community friendly scavengers. Why not add a few of these cleaning machines to your aquarium’s maintenance crew?
Adding Plants To Your Aquarium
Adding plants to your aquarium is a good idea for several reasons. They are aesthetically pleasing and provide a healthier environment for fish, since they aid in creating an ecosystem within the aquarium. Live plants help provide oxygen for the fish and other creatures in your aquarium by converting carbon dioxide to oxygen through a process known as photosynthesis.
Adding Fish To Your Aquarium
Your aquarium is set up and you’ve tested the water to be sure it is safe. Now, you are ready to run to the store and buy ten or fifteen colorful fish, right? Actually, if you want to have a happy, healthy environment for your fish, there’s a bit more to it than that.