Caring for pet fish and setting up a new space for them always seems much easier said than done. Many new fish owners believe that there isn’t much to consider when buying an aquarium. However, most of the time, they end up having a horrible first experience and give up almost instantly. As any fish owner knows, planning is always important when it comes to making new additions. This is why there are several aspects you must take into account when purchasing a fish tank to avoid any stumbling blocks. Read this article for 4 things to keep in mind when choosing an aquarium for your home.
1. Final Cost
The size and final cost of the aquarium are two things that people usually underestimate. Most novel fish owners think they can set up their aquarium for just a few bucks. However, no one should ever be tricked into believing that they’ll get off on just the original price tag of the tank. Practically speaking, making sure that you have all the equipment will not cost less than $150 to $200. If you believe that this is way over your budget, you should wait until you have comfortably collected the needed funds. The best way to go about this is by making a checklist of everything you need.
You should make sure to include the hood and stand for your aquarium, heater, gravel, thermometer, water treatment, tank cleaning supplies, water test kit, and filter. You shouldn’t skimp out on the decorations, as they can make your fish feel at home. Make sure to factor in the costs for the actual fish and their food. After doing your research and creating a comprehensive list of everything you need, visit your local pet shop’s website and look at the cost of each piece of equipment. This will help you determine your final cost.
If necessary, you can search for used equipment. However, make sure that they’re in a good condition and that you won’t be charged over 50% of their original price. Avoid anything scratched or cracked, as the damage can’t be salvaged. Dirty glass and decorations, however, can be easily cleaned.
2. Tank Size
If you’re a new fish owner, you should try to avoid purchasing any tanks that accommodate less than 10 gallons of water. Many people don’t realize that caring for a small aquarium is a lot trickier than maintaining a larger one. Toxins can accumulate very quickly in a small tank, making them very hard to manage. Not to mention the rapid changes in the temperature and chemistry of the water when you have only a few gallons in your tank.
Smaller aquariums are a lot more budget-friendly. However, don’t forget that smaller tanks are not forgiving of any errors that you are likely to make. If possible, you should opt for a 20-gallon tank or even a larger one, as these offer an even better chance of tank maintenance and management success.
3. Number and Type of Fish
When choosing a tank, you should consider the number and size of fish you want to care for. This will dictate the size of your tank and the space you need to accommodate it. Keep in mind that some types of fish don’t adapt well together. That’s why you need to go now and find out the types of fish that can coexist without harming one another. Keep your expectations realistic and avoid purchasing a large number of fish, even if you have a large tank. Start small and avoid challenging species, at least until you get the hang of it.
4. Weight of the Tank
You should keep in mind that while a larger tank is easier to manage, one that accommodates above 15 gallons of water can weigh over 200 pounds once filled up. This means that you can’t use a regular table or shelf to carry the tank and will have to purchase a specialized stand instead. When positioning your tank, you should avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or any draft or extreme temperature sources, as this can harm your fish. Make sure that the area in which you place your aquarium can withstand occasional water leaks. You are likely to get the area wet while you perform maintenance-related tasks or add or remove equipment, decoration, food, or fish. Avoid installing your tank near a desktop computer or a bookshelf, for instance.
Having an aquarium and caring for pet fish can be very rewarding. Not only do they serve a decorative and aesthetic purpose, but they can also help reduce stress levels, boost creativity and focus, and reduce anxiety. However, there are several things you need to account for to make sure your fish are well taken care of.