Tips for Turning Your Aquarium Into an Underwater Paradise
Putting together a freshwater tank can be deceptively easy. Creating the right ecosystem for your freshwater fish friends requires work and attention to detail. Read on to discover a few tips for turning your aquarium into an underwater paradise!
Fish and Tank Size
The size and number of fish you intend to put in your aquarium will affect what tank size you need. Smaller freshwater fish species only grow to be around two to three inches, so a ten or twenty-gallon tank is suitable. However, some freshwater fish can grow over a foot in length and will require much more living space.
Remember, fish are happiest when they can roam and swim in bodies of water much larger than them. Always give them enough space to turn and explore.
Location and Equipment
Before setting up your tank, you need to choose the correct location to keep it. For freshwater fish, you should keep the tank away from windows, heaters, or vents, as you don’t want any outside temperature factors to affect the tank. Also, make sure that whatever stand or table you decide to put your aquarium on can hold the weight of the fully assembled, filled tank. Aquariums can get heavy!
For a freshwater aquarium, you’ll need a filter and a heater to regulate the tank’s temperature. Ensure the heater has a temperature gauge so you can monitor how hot the water gets. In addition, as a rule of thumb, you’ll need 1 to 1 ½ lb. of gravel for each gallon of water in the tank.
Once you’ve put together your tank supplies and have the tank in the right spot, you can now start the process by washing your gravel. You can easily accomplish this by holding a pasta strainer over a sink, running the gravel under water thoroughly, and dumping the washed, strained gravel into a clean bucket. Ensure your gravel, décor, and equipment are clean, as you don’t want to grow any harmful foreign bacteria in your aquarium.
Fake plants make great decorations, but you need to make sure they aren’t easy for your fish to chew apart. If you decide to use natural plants, remember to add substrate before the gravel and choose freshwater plants that are a good match for your fish.
You should also wash fake or natural plants before you add them to the tank.
Adding Your Fish
You’ll want to add your fish one at a time. Allow the bag your fish is in to float in the tank for about fifteen minutes to begin the acclimation process. Add a small amount of tank water into the floating bag every five minutes so they can adjust to the pH of the tank. This will reduce the stress put on the fish, as a stressed fish can quickly pass away.
Keeping these tips for turning your aquarium into an underwater paradise can help keep your freshwater fish happy and healthy. So, which freshwater friends will you choose?