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Getting Started

Maintaining an aquarium is a great hobby for enthusiasts of any age, and can also fill your life with vibrant colors, therapeutic subtle movements and a connection to the natural world. Caring for an aquarium, whether it is fresh or saltwater, can be challenging and rewarding. Like all projects, doing basic research and becoming familiar with the subject matter will greatly increase your chances of success. Before committing to any type of setup, some things should be taken into consideration.

One of the primary objectives of maintaining an aquarium is to showcase fish that you find appealing. So, you should first decide which types you like, then determine what type of water specifications are necessary, as well as if they can be housed compatibly with other types. Some fish need specifically sized environments, so the next step should be acquiring the recommended size aquarium. Other water parameters that need to be researched are the proper types of filtration, lighting, and necessary equipment that should be added to your aquarium. Each type of fish requires personalized diets and maintenance. And most importantly, are you willing to devote the time, effort and money necessary for this rewarding hobby.

Once you decided on committing to an environment, you should pay attention to these general rules that apply to a basic aquarium setup.

Generally, the larger the aquarium the better. A filled tank with gravel and water will weigh at least 10 lbs. per gallon. Be sure that you have a sturdy and accommodating stand that can support the weight and that it is in a location where it will not be jostled or improperly handled.

Proper equipment is absolutely necessary. Choose a filtration system that is appropriate to the type of fish and the water capacity. Purchase a heater and thermometer to reach and maintain the desirable water temperature; the heater should provide at least 3 to 5 watts per gallon. If a lighting apparatus is not included with the hood, one should be purchased separately.

The water should be conditioned and tested prior to the arrival of any types of organisms.

Decorations are pretty much at the limit of your imagination. Although, make sure that any live plants are compatible with the water conditions. Accessories include substrate, live or artificial plants, rocks, and structures in which they can hide. Before placing any items into the aquarium, make sure that they are sufficiently rinsed.

Finally, purchase the fish of your choice. Just remember, not to put too many in at one time and make sure to properly acclimate them prior to introducing them to the aquarium.

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