you avoid common pitfalls and disappointment. Here are a few planning tips to get you on the right track.
The tank you invest in should fit both your fish’s needs and lifestyle as well as your own. If it’s too big and has tons of bells and whistles, the maintenance alone will put off even the most enthusiastic novice. The larger the tank, the heavier it will be, so always consider the sturdiness of the surface on which you plan to rest your aquarium.
If you’re just starting out, a 15 to 30-litre tank with just a few fish is a good place to start, although if you can afford a 40 or 50-litre tank, that would be even better. Not only are these sized tanks easier to maintain and keep clean than much smaller fish tanks or fishbowls, but it’s important to have a good amount of oxygen circulating in the tank to keep your fish alive.
Depending on the fish you choose, they will also need room to grow to their full potential, so make sure the tank you choose can accommodate this.
Glass or Acrylic
Glass is ideal for smaller tanks. It’s mostly scratch-resistant, easy to clean and provides the clearest view of your fish friends, but there can be some distortion. In comparison to acrylic tanks, glass tanks are generally more affordable.
Acrylic is best for larger aquariums. It’s lightweight, durable and easier to move. It can, however, be difficult to clean as it is easily scratched. Acrylic aquariums can also be less square as the material is easier to mould into non-traditional shapes.
Saltwater or Freshwater
Freshwater tanks are much easier to set up and maintain in comparison to saltwater tanks. However, saltwater tanks are generally more colourful and vivid than freshwater tanks. Do a little research on what would suit you best.
Selecting Your Fish
This is not just a case of picking the fish you think are pretty from either the freshwater or saltwater variety. Every type of fish requires different water conditions and environments, so you must choose fish that can all live in the same habitat with the same water temperature.
Plants are not essential for healthy fish, but beyond the aesthetic appeal, the benefits of including these are increased oxygen levels in the tank, reduced algae growth, giving your fish places to hide to help them feel secure and providing food for fish that like to nibble on the plants. Make sure you choose plants that are compatible with your fish and can survive in the same water conditions.
Home Aquarium Lighting
Lighting is a must-have if you’re putting some plants into your aquarium. Lighting with adjustable control settings is optimum as plants generally require dimmer lighting, moving towards increased brightness over time. This method serves to adjust the plants to the environment without shocking them. You also don’t want any algae growth to explode while your new aquarium environment is acclimating.
LED lighting is a savvy purchase as it uses minimal electricity. It’s recommended, however, not to leave the lights on in your aquarium for more than 12 hours at a time because, believe it or not, fish actually prefer to sleep in the dark.
Cost of the Aquarium
Once you have a better idea of what type of fish you’d like to put into your aquarium, along with any plants and lighting, then it will be a lot easier to start shopping for your home aquarium and finding out about the actual cost.
We recommend checking out the Hailea Home Aquarium range as a starting point.
Pool Spa knows their stuff. Chat to one of our friendly experts today about home aquarium options to suit your lifestyle and provide a happy and healthy environment for your fish. Visit www.poolspa.co.za