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Sunday, September 19, 2010

What You Need To Start Your Freshwater Aquarium

So now that you have decided to keep fish as your hobby it is important that you know what you need to start up the tank. Here are my recommendations for your starter kit:

-Your Aquarium:
Depending on what type of fish you want to have and how many will determine what size aquarium you will need. The general rule of thumb is one gallon per inch of adult fish. So for example, if you were to buy three tetras and they were an inch fully grown, then you would need a 3-gallon aquarium. My recommendation is to start off with a 10 Gallon Deluxe Aquarium Kit

This aquarium kit comes with the following: Size 10 Glass Aquarium 20"L x 10"W x 12"H, Power Filter 10, Medium Filter Cartridge, 20" Deluxe Fluorescent Hood, Fluorescent Bulb, Set-Up and Care Guide, A small pack of Water Conditioner, A small pack of Premium Fish Food, Fish Net, and Digital Thermometer.

*Note: this does NOT include a heater so unless you are getting goldfish then you need to buy a heater separately. If you don't need a heater then skip the next step"

-Heaters come in all different sizes for different aqauriums but the one that goes with this kit is the MINI HEATER Aquarium Heater 15W for Tanks 5-10 Gallons

-Chemicals to add to the water: Since the water that is used is tap water, you will want to remove the chlorine and chloramines from the water. I recommend Tetra 1-2/3-Ounce AquaSafe Water Conditioner with BioExtract

- As stated in my previous blog Thinking About Buying Fish As A Hobby?, it is VERY IMPORTANT to let your tank “cycle”. This is a very important step. All new aquariums goes through a phase where it needs to build up bacteria in the filter. All the levels of chemicals in the water will skyrocket, then suddenly drop after it has completed “cycling“. Unfortunately, while your aquarium goes through this phase, you may lose some fish. (You may e-mail me for more detail or help if you like)

- Now, the best for last: the decorations. You can set up the tank to look however you wish.

You can make the tank look like ancient ruins, you can build a "natural looking" habitat; you can build whatever your heart desires! 
I planted some Tetra Water Wonders Fresh Water Plant Red Ludwigia, 12-Inch and used PETCO Dark Blue Aquarium Gravel, 5 lbs. One bag of rocks is sufficient for a 10-gallon.

- If you need any further help, please feel free to e-mail me or to ask a question in the comments section. Lots of luck to you on your new hobby!