There’s nothing quite relaxing and soothing as gazing into an aquarium full of fishes, swimming serenely at their own leisurely pace. If you want to keep fish as a hobby, let me caution you- looking after fish will require as much compassion, caring and effort as looking after a cat or a dog. If you are still interested, well you could start off by buying a fish tank. A 40 to 55 gallon aquarium is a perfect size for a beginner. So what else would you require to set up your fish tank?
Fish tank stand – You could opt for basic metal fish tank stands or for wooden cabinets that look more elegant and have storage space for all your essentials such as the fish food, fish net or aquarium glass scrubber.
Aquarium filter- Choose an appropriate fish tank filter, internal or external, taking into consideration factors such as the size of the tank, the number of plants and whether you want your fish to breed.
Fish tank heater- Ensure that you buy a new and good quality heater to prevent any mishaps from occurring.
Gravel-To be on the safe side, buy the gravel from a shop. A tank of 55 cm should have roughly 10 to 12 cm of gravel.
Lighting- Lighting facilitates in the growth of the fish and plants. Experienced hobbyists suggest that approximately 0.4 watt per litre of water would be appropriate.
Plants and decorative items- Do not add too many plants to your aquarium initially as these will reproduce and in time make your tank look crowded. Caves are decorative pieces that will be appreciated by your fish. They are great relaxation retreats.
Aquarium test kits – You would need to regularly check the pH levels of the water and monitor the nitrogen cycle in the fish tank with these kits to ensure that your fish have a conducive environment.
Fish food- You wouldn’t want starve your newfound friends, now would you!
Fish- Take care never to overcrowd your aquarium. For 1 litre of fish in your fish tank you should have roughly 1 cm of fish. When you buy your fish, remember that they will grow over a period of time. So first get an idea of the size of your fish and then buy your fish accordingly.