Setting Up Your Aquarium

The type of fish you will be keeping, together with your preferences for how you want your aquarium to look, will determine which supplies and accessories you should get hold of for your new aquarium. Keeping coldwater species, such as Guppy or Goldfish, will mean that your choices are quite straightforward. However, at the other end of the scale, you could also go for an elaborate reef tank of a couple of a hundred gallons, or even larger.


If you are keeping it simple and are opting for a basic aquarium, a great choice for those keeping fish for the first time, here are some of the essential supplies you will need to make your fish feel at home:

  • An adequately sized aquarium (of course!).
  • A sturdy aquarium stand that fits the size of the aquarium.
  • A range of good fish foods that are designed for the species of fish you will be keeping.
  • Aquarium gravel to line the base.
  • For freshwater fish, you will need aquarium salt to prevent and help cure diseases.
  • An aquarium hood and lighting, to help plants to grow and give your fish some shelter.
  • An aquarium heater to maintain the water temperature.
  • A thermometer to monitor water temperatures.
  • A filtration system that maintains the water quality.
  • Filter materials for the filtration system, to remove debris and other substances from the water.
  • A water conditioner to reduce chlorine levels in the water.

If you opt for a saltwater tank there are a few extra supplies you will need to get hold of:

  • Marine salt adds essential trace minerals to the water.
  • To maintain pH, you will need a marine substrate.
  • A hydrometer to monitor salt levels in the water.

In addition, there a lots of other supplies that are recommended to make your life easier as a fish keeper and provide your fish with a better environment:

  • Air pumps keep the water oxygenated.
  • Check valves prevent back siphoning of the water.
  • An ammonia testing kit to monitor the water quality.
  • Nitrate testing kit.
  • pH testing kit.
  • An algae scrubber to clean the aquarium glass.
  • Fish nets mean that you don’t have to touch the fish (and the fish don’t have to touch you!)
  • Live plants, rocks, driftwood and coral to make your aquarium look good and give the fish somewhere to hide.

There are loads of fish aquatic tanks and accessories suppliers online or you could just pop down to your local aquatics store (your local town is bound to have one).

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