How many trips to the pet supply center do you want to make when you are first setting up tropical fish tanks? You might be surprised how many times new owners run back and forth to the store to get items they have forgotten.
Let us take a look at the essentials for setting up tropical fish tanks, and try to keep your trips to the pet store down to one.
Get started with an aquarium kit
One of the easiest ways to avoid all the extra trips is to buy an aquarium kit. It is very common for pet stores and large department stores to have kits in stock which look great at first glance. They have the aquarium, the filtration system, lighting system, a net, and many times a good cleaning system. Some kits even include a can of fish food to get you started.
What fish tank should you buy?
What these kits often lack is proper sizing. One of the first requirements is thinking about what fish you are planning to keep. Different sizes of fish require different amounts of water. Even goldfish can require up to 10 gallons of water each with a starting point of 20 gallons in the aquarium. Many of the kits are a 20-gallon aquarium, which means you have room for only a few fish and you have reached capacity.
It is better to err on the side of an over-sized tank instead of having too small of a tank. A small tank allows the buildup of ammonia and other poisons very rapidly. This is one of the reasons you may wish to steer away from most prepackaged kits.
Essentials for tropical fish
When you are buying each piece separately you need to make sure you are getting these essential components:
- Filtration System
- Air Stone
- Cleaning Equipment
- Water Treatment Chemicals
- Lighting System
- Heating System
- Appropriate Fish Food
Most of these items will need to be matched in size to the volume of your aquarium. Make sure you buy a filtration system which is equal to the volume or rated for higher volume. You never want to undersize your filtration system.
Don’t buy your fish tank at a discount store
Size matching is where going to a discount store often gets owners in trouble. The staff at many of these stores have no idea what they are talking about, they were just hired to stock shelves and give you the products you ask for. Pet specialty stores have trained staff and can advise you on the proper sizes.
Even online stores are very helpful in selecting the right equipment. They are excellent at putting together custom kits to match your start-up needs to be matched to the types of fish you are going to purchase.
Tropical fish tanks are not difficult to setup or maintain once you have purchased all the essentials, the problem usually comes when you keep overlooking one more critical parts of the puzzle. Compare any kits or the advice of your salesperson to the above list and make sure you are getting everything you need.