Aquarium Buyers Guide for Beginners

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When it comes to pets, most people often think that fishes are the most low-maintenance pets to take care of—but the truth is that it’s not as simple as that. While it may be true that fishes don’t require so much of your time as some other kinds of pets, they do require an aquarium, which might be harder to set up than you might think. If an aquarium isn’t set up properly, it can be detrimental for your fishes. For those who haven’t previously owned fish, here’s beginner’s guide to aquarium buying:

  1. Choosing a Space

Before picking the kind of aquarium for your fishes, you first need to scout for a location that will fit your aquarium. Choose a location where it can support the weight of your aquarium and the water in it. Always make sure to choose a location with a flat surface near an electrical outlet as the aquarium’s lights, heating, and filtration system will need electricity. Don’t place your aquarium near an air conditioner or a heat source because it will mess with the temperature of the water inside your aquarium. In addition, don’t place your aquarium direct sunlight because it can cause a lot of algae growth. 

  1. Preparing Your Supplies

First, you have to make sure that the essential supplies and pieces are prepared for your aquarium. Here are just a few basic things you need to properly set up your aquarium:

  • Aquarium Tank

The first thing you definitely need is your aquarium. The larger it is, the better. However, you always have to keep in mind if you have ample space for it in your home. With a bigger aquarium, your fishes can roam around more freely. As a word of caution, you must avoid tall, narrow tanks and instead choose short, long tanks. Shorter, longer tanks will provide your fish with more swimming space and air exchange. 

In addition, it’s also better if you can get glass aquariums rather than acrylic ones because it’s sturdier, as discussed by experts at Considering the weight of the water that a tank holds, you want to be sure that you have the most structurally sound tank that you can fit and afford. 

  • Fish Net

You also need a good quality net in order to catch your fish when you clean your aquarium or simply need to take out your fishes out of the aquarium. The length of the fish net handle should also be proportionate to the size of your aquarium. By doing this, you won’t need to stick your hand in the water when you’re catching fish, and you’ll have an easier time reaching corners of the tank you wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise. 

  • Water Conditioner

Not all kinds of water are suitable for fishes. If your tap water isn’t aged, then you need to dechlorinate it before adding the fish into the aquarium. With this, you’ll need a water conditioner first to mix into the water. The water conditioner will remove any ammonia, chlorine, or metals, such as lead, mixed into the water. 

  • Air Pump

To make sure your fishes get ample amounts of oxygen, you need an air pump to give that extra boost of oxygen into your aquarium. You can buy this in your local pet store. It will provide a stream of air while producing minimal vibrations. 

  1. Fixing the Filtration System

When it comes to filters, make sure that you find one that suits your budget. There are many different types of filters available, so make sure that you take the time to choose one that best meets your needs and is within budget.

A filtration system is one of the most critical equipment that you need in your aquarium. This will keep the water in the aquarium clean, thereby keeping your fishes healthy as well. Although there’s lots of filtration systems available, the recommended one is a power filter with a biowheel system with a flow rate that will filter water at least four times every hour. 

It’s also best to choose a filtration system that is appropriate or proportionate to the size of your aquarium. Additionally, make sure that your filtration system can operate on all three stages of proper filtration. The first one is mechanical filtration, which takes in solid items, such as your fish’s waste or uneaten food. The second one would be chemical filtration, which uses activated carbon to dissolve pollutants that might cause the water to have a bad smell or discoloration. On the other hand, biological filtration takes out toxic ammonia and nitrite that might accumulate in the water. 

  1. Setting Up Heat and Light

Even though there’s usually a light that comes with your aquarium lid, it’s still better to purchase your aquarium light separately. Options for your light include metal halide, LED, incandescent, fluorescent, mercury vapor, and halogen. For beginners, it’s best to use LED lights because they’re relatively inexpensive and will provide ample lighting for your aquarium.

Fishes also require a certain range of temperature to be in, around 74–77º Fahrenheit. To make sure that this temperature is achieved at all times, you’ll also need a heater and a thermometer for your aquarium. This heater usually comes as a submersible apparatus or a hang-on-the-tank device, which will have its own adjustable settings. The recommended one is a submersible heater so it provides equal distribution of heat in the aquarium. If the tank ever gets too warm, just supplement the tank with some cooler water. 

  1. Filling Up Your Aquarium

Now, when pouring water into your tank, be very careful not to disrupt the gravel bed of your aquarium. Pour it slowly or you can also place a dish on top of the gravel and pour the water on the dish instead of directly on the gravel. Make sure that you use water at room temperature to fill up the aquarium.

  1. Decorating Your Aquarium

The last thing to know about aquariums is what type of plants and decorations will go best with your tank. Aquarium decorations should also include the aquarium plants that the fish in the aquarium will need for feeding. It should be kept clean and in top condition, since this is what they need the most. If the aquarium is not clean, the fish in the aquarium will not feed properly. The fish could suffer from sicknesses and other diseases if they do not have enough of the things they need to survive.

Marimo Balls are actually a spherical algae form that grows into a round ball shape. Marimo moss balls and Bucephalandra are a great addition to your aquarium. These can be bought from


Taking care of fishes and setting up an aquarium requires a bit more attention and detail. With this guide, you’ll be able to set up your aquarium properly and care for your fishes. However, this is only a beginner’s guide, and you should still do your own research and groundwork on how to take care of your aquarium. 

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