If you plan on owning fish, they deserve the best, as any pet does! Here is some important information to know before starting an aquarium of your own!

Since the water in an aquarium isn’t constantly rushing and naturally filtering itself as it would in a river, for example, your aquarium needs proper filtration to keep the water clean and healthy. A brief list of materials you’ll need before you get your fish are: the aquarium, gravel, water conditioner, a net for transferring the fish, a filter, and fish food.

You’ll want to add approximately two pounds of gravel for every gallon of aquarium water to the tank. In order to not disrupt the gravel, it is recommended that a strainer or similar item is held over the tank while the room temperature water is being poured in, so that the slow stream of water doesn’t move the gravel. Make sure that the water is treated with conditioner (to get rid of any chlorine) before it enters the tank –plain, untreated tap water may kill your fish!

The type of tank you choose to get will determine the kind of filter you need, but all of them will do their job just the same –keeping the water clean and healthy for your fish to survive in. Most tropical fish will require a water heater so that the water is always between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Goldfish and cold-water species will not need a heater, as it really all depends on which type of fish you choose to get. 

You will need to replace the filter’s cartridge and perform a water change every two to four weeks. You may also want to clean out gravel to get rid of any debris or waste that has built up. Anytime the tank’s water becomes yellow, green, cloudy, or foul smelling, this is a good indication that it is time to change the filter cartridge. And when water is replaced, make sure that the new water is close to the same temperature, to avoid shocking your fish! Although it seems like a lot, you should only have to spend around 30 minutes per week with aquarium maintenance.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local pet store if you have questions on this or any pet related topic.