An aquarium can be a lovely addition to any home. Almost everyone wants to have an aquarium, but we are often put off by the seeming complexity of aquariums. What are the essential aquarium supplies?
Essential Aquarium Supplies
It may be stating the obvious, but your two most essential aquarium supplies are a fish tank and water. Choose these after you have chosen what types of fish you want to buy, because they will determine the size of tank and the kinds of equipment you need . Once you have purchased your fish tank and decided whether you want saltwater or freshwater fish, there will be some additional equipment you will need to buy:
- You will need a water filtration system to keep the water clean. Fish food, defecation, scaling and other pollutants quickly accumulate in standing water.
- You will need an air pump to keep the water in the tank aerated. Fish, like humans, breathe oxygen, which they absorb through their gills.
- Depending on the species of fish in your tank, you may need a water heating and/or cooling system.
- You may need to purchase lighting for your tank. This is not necessarily for aesthetic purposes only. If you add plants or coral to your tank, they will need the light in order to grow.
In addition to these, you will need to purchase some essential maintenance supplies. These will include a gravel cleaner or vacuum and pads, scrapers and brushes for cleaning the glass. You will also need to check and replace filter elements as necessary, so when you buy your filtration system, also buy extra filters.
Of course, your fish need to be fed, so you will need to buy food for them. Fish food comes in a variety of forms, the most common being flakes. Other formulations are available for those times when you may be unable to feed them daily, for exotic fish and other unusual circumstances.
Water Treatment Aquarium Supplies
The water in a fish tank has to maintain the proper pH balance and be free of potentially hazardous chemicals. Water testing and treatment products are essential for the welfare and survival of your fish. There are three types of water testing products you can buy:
- Dip test kits consist of a number of test strips or sticks.
- Liquid test kits come with an eye dropper for adding a precise amount of the liquid testing medium to the fish tank.
- Permanent test kits are left in the tank, allowing you to see the condition of the water at a glance whenever you want to.
Each of these tests the condition of the water by means of a chemical reaction that changes the colour of the liquid or paper testing medium. Depending on the condition of the water after testing, you will need to have a water conditioner on hand to correct any imbalances. As time goes on, you may need to purchase fertilizer, medicine and other supplements.
While not always an absolute necessity, reverse osmosis water filters purify tap water, removing chemicals and other contaminants that may harm your fish.
Ornaments and Other Aquarium Supplies
Now that you have created a clean, healthy environment for your fish, you can start adding gravel, ornaments, plants and other decorative items. These are not for your benefit only. Ornaments such as sunken ships and tall ornamental structures add variety to their environment and plants provide nutrients to the water.
When you break buying aquarium supplies down into separate components like this, you discover that having an aquarium in your home is not as daunting a proposition as it seems to be. Of course, regular maintenance is necessary, but if you start with all the right essential aquarium supplies, maintenance will be easy and your fish will thrive in a healthy environment.