If you’re new to keeping freshwater aquarium fish you’ll probably feel a little overwhelmed when you try and work the aquarium equipment you’ll need for your new hobby. You may have been keeping fish for years and still feel a little confused. Technology moves so fast, in fish keeping there is always some new bit of equipment to get your head around.
There are essential bits of kit you will not be able to do without. If its freshwater aquarium fish you’re planning to keep, the essential items will be;
A heater – to keep the water at the right temperature for your fish.
A filter – to clean the water
A tank – to house your fishes and water.
And most likely depending on your choice of tank, you’ll need a tank stand. When I started fish keeping a tank stand was an essential item, but with the introduction of lightweight acrylic aquariums this is changing.
There are other items you will probably want in your first aquarium and these would probably be an air pump and a lighting system. Fish can cope without the addition of an air pump; however they do provide an attractive focus point for the aquarium. A lighting system is only essential if you plan on growing live plants and of course, it helps to be able to see your fish.
It is very important to get the basic equipment right. Good equipment is an investment which will last for years. I would advise you have a rough idea of the sort of fish you would like to keep before picking out you equipment.
There are many good complete aquarium kits available to fish keepers. Most come with all the basic equipment and some also include gravel and some fish food. The advantage of buying a complete is you all the bits will work together saving a lot of time and it also works out cheaper. The disadvantage is you can’t customise it to your personal needs. Being a fan of messy fish I chose to buy a much more powerful filter to cope with any extra waste produced.
When you have the basic equipment sorted you need to think about how the interior of your aquarium will look. Some of choices will depend on the fish you are planning to keep, different fish like different decor and it’s important to meet their needs. You may decide to go for a location themed aquarium. The Amazon is a popular theme choice.
The things you can use to design the interior of your aquarium include.
Substrate – sand, gravel, soil or a mixture
Plants – real or fake
Fun furnishing – for example pirate chests which open and close when connected to an air stone.
To keep your tank looking lovely and clean you will need to do regular maintenance tasks. To perform these tasks you’ll need a maintenance kit. Don’t worry most of the stuff you’ll need is cheap and readily available. To start with I recommend you get the following;
An algae scraper
A pair scissors for trimming live plants if you have them.
A fish net