Thinking of starting an aquarium ?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by baggy007, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. baggy007

    baggy007Well Known MemberMember

    Hi guy`s

    I thought i would start a not to complicated thread for people who would like to get into the "hobby" were they could find a "starter pack" of info so to speak to start them on the right path

    NITROGEN CYCLE, probably the most important thing to know in fish keeping, there is lots of articles on this on the forum, please read up on this as it is a very important

    THE TANK, the bigger the better, try to get the largest tank you can afford, manage and have space for, a large tank is generally easier to maintain than a smaller one, also try to get one that has a hood and light as these can be costly to buy separate

    THE STAND, anything will do really just make sure it will support the tank when full and make sure the tank doesn't hang over the stand as all of the base of the tank needs to be supported

    THE FILTER, there are generally 3 types of filter, SPONGE, HOB, CANISTER, Sponge filters are usually the cheapest option driven by an air pump, HOB filters go inside the tank and Canister filters run outside the tank, usually go for the filter that you can afford which gives you the best turnover of water per hour

    THE HEATER, try and get 1 that has adjustable temperature settings and that is of suitable wattage for your tank

    AN AIR PUMP, not always necessary for an aquarium but necessary if you want to run a sponge filter, they also create surface movement and add oxygen to the water

    TEST KIT, necessary to keep a check on you water conditions, API test kit is what the majority of what people recommend, get the liquid test kit (ammonia nitrite nitrate ) the strip tests can be inaccurate

    WATER CONDITIONER, used when doing water changes, it neutralizes harmful chemicals in the water which could harm your fish and the beneficial bacteria in your filter, PRIME is a great product if you can get it as it is very concentrated so it very cost effective, a lot of members on here recommend it

    SUBSTRATE, most common types, GRAVEL or SAND, 2 inch depth is usually standard

    PLANTS, fake or real, both can look great but if you are going to go for real you will have to do research into lighting and fertilizers depending on which plants you choose

    DRIFTWOOD, looks nice and does have benefits for some fish but does leech tannins into the water so it might turn your water brown but you can soak it beforehand to reduce this or add carbon to your filter

    DECOR, whatever you like but do make sure it is aquarium safe

    WATER CHANGES, are very important for the health of your aquarium, they are usually done weekly with a minimum of 20% but remember to use water conditioner for the volume of the whole tank not just for the amount of water taken out, you will need a gravel vacuum and a bucket

    INHABITANTS, research, research, research, whatever you would like in your tank do the research and ask as many questions as you feel you need to, dont be shy, the only silly question is a question not asked

    its a pretty basic thread and not meant to be in depth but it might help people with the basics to get started

    sorry this is only for fresh water as i have no experience in salt water aquariums

    maybe someone will post something similar for salties

    if i have missed anything important please feel free to add your suggestions
  2. Mrs.Price

    Mrs.PriceValued MemberMember

    I only have time to comment briefly as my HP mini is about to die and I need to go to sleep...

    I do believe in depth information on this can be found within this website....

    Bigger the better indeed, but all you really need to consider is the full growth of the fish you plan on keeping, and plan for a tank big enough for that.

    It's very important to specify that not all tanks need a heater.

    It's necessarily for a variety of fish :) but indeed, not always necessarily, but usually helpful.

    Gravel, sand, and river rock... I've never kept 2" substrate however.

    There are pros and cons to both, live plants are very healthy for an aquariums ecosystem, however, depending on the type of fish you keep will depend on the types of plants you can have, some like to dine on them... and fake plants can cause damage to flowing tails and fins.

    And that it has blunt edges...

    The amount of water you change depends on the size of your tank, the species you keep and how stocked you are, only treat the water that you put in, not the volume of the entire tank. Water should be treating with delchlorinator before you place it into your aquarium, always be sure to follow directions regarding dosage... a little extra won't hurt, but don't go overboard.
  3. OP

    baggy007Well Known MemberMember

    thats briefly...

    it is supposed to be a basic thread and not in depth
  4. Reefdweller

    ReefdwellerValued MemberMember

    You forgot to mention a wet/dry (sump) filter as a option. Especially with larger tanks I think a sump is a must.
  5. LyleB

    LyleBWell Known MemberMember

    I just have two comments off the top of my head:

    In #3 The Stand: You stated that the entire base of the tank needs support. Not in actuality. What is important is that each corner is supported. Having any high points along the sides will stress the glass and can cause breakage. Full support is fine, as long as the stand is perfectly flat - not often the case. A small square of glass, or a quarter under each corner solves the majority of uneven stand problems. Another option, place the tank on a piece of foam insulation, that will absorb most irregularities.

    In #4 The Filter: Minor point, but HOB filters Hang outside the tank, Internal filters go inside the tank. The difference is in ease of maintenance and taking up room in the tank, plus looks.

    Good idea for a thread. Some nice simplified info. Just thought #3 above was something that should be gotten right at the start, tougher to change-out or modify once set-up is done.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  6. Mrs.Price

    Mrs.PriceValued MemberMember

    Even brief can be accurate ;)
  7. CoryCats

    CoryCatsWell Known MemberMember

    Aquarium decor isn't always safe for all fish. Such as holes small fish can get into and not be able to get out.
  8. Siggi

    SiggiWell Known MemberMember

    Good idea starting such a tread.
  9. Matt B

    Matt BWell Known MemberMember