The dream of having our own pet to take care of accompanies us from an early age. It is usually then that we begin to persuade our parents for a hamster, dog or fish. The latter often either simply please us, or are recommended to us, for example, for health reasons.
How to start your adventure with aquarium hobby? Should you be a specialist at the very beginning? Not necessarily! It is enough if you know the basics, and learn the rest in practice.
Choosing an aquarium – where to start?
At the very beginning you should consider what size aquarium you are interested in. We recommend that at first you limit yourself to a tank with a maximum capacity of 60 liters. Containers above this volume are already a really big expense, and it may turn out that after some time you will come to the conclusion that you are not interested in aquaristics after all. Besides, maintaining proper order in a large aquarium and caring for both plants and a large number of fish is at a much more advanced level. Smaller tanks are a safer option for both the keeper and his charges, especially in case of layman’s mistakes.
What else will you need?
First and foremost, not counting the tank, is lighting. It is it that plays a key role in the breeding of aquarium fish. This is mainly about the issue of plant development. After all, we care that they grow and produce oxygen. Some of them also purify the water and, besides, provide shelter for the fish. In the beginning, a fluorescent lamp designed for aquariums is enough. Often in pet stores we can buy a set: a tank + a cover with a built-in light source. This is quite a reasonable solution at the beginning of our aquarium adventure.
Filter and aerator
Another important piece of equipment is a filter. For a small tank a small internal filter will work, it is important that it has the power and parameters appropriate to the capacity of the aquarium you have. It must not be too weak or too powerful. Beginning aquarists are encouraged to choose a 2-in-1 filter, which not only purifies, but also aerates the water.
Specialists also emphasize the important role of the heater. To begin with, it is worth choosing a small model with a built-in thermostat, which we will set to the temperature we are interested in. In turn, this one is usually selected according to the fish inside. Some species prefer cooler water, almost at room temperature, while others need a constant temperature oscillating between 27-28℃. In general, the larger the tank, the more necessary is a heater of sufficient power.
Fish and plants
The choice of fish and plants is a matter of course, but also individual. We usually choose the ones we like visually, but also the more hardy species. These include peacock-eyed guppies, panda cuirasses, two-spot gurams, slender beetles, Chinese cardinalfish or “Black Molly” mollies. It will also be necessary to purchase food tailored to the species you decide on.
Other equipment, which is useful, but not necessary, includes water conditioners, decorations, gravel or pebbles, fish net or background (usually laminated).
main photo: pexels.com/Emir Kaan Okutan