Nov 25 2010

Small Fish Tank Bubbler

Small Fish Tank Bubbler

Freshwater aquariums are a fascinating relaxing hobby enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. It is an indoor hobby that is very rewarding. Furthermore, aquarium fish in the home are a work of art and have a comforting and relaxing effect. To make this hobby most enjoyable, proper selection of equipment for your aquarium setup must be implemented so that you can enjoy this fantastic stress relieving hobby even more.

Vital equipment to set up for your freshwater aquarium is a fish tank, aquarium gravel, filter, heater, aquarium decorations, fish food, aquarium vacuum or siphon, and most of all the appropriate type of fish.

Tank. Plan where you want to put your tank, this will determine what size you buy. Decide on a fish tank that fits the space you have planned. Also consider the type of fish you would like to keep that will fit in a tank big enough for their adult size. Get an aquarium stand that is designed for the dimensions and shape of your tank. Tank kits are a good option from pet stores with complete guidelines, manuals and safety precautions if you are a beginner and this is your first tank. Just make sure to check for leaks and clean it well with water before use. Use of detergents is not advised. Don’t underestimate the weight of a full fish tank! Make sure the stand is either rated for the size of your tank or that it has been custom built to be very sturdy.

Filter. Aquarium filters are also necessary equipment for your fish tank. Decide which filtration system you would like to use, the most common and easiest are either under gravel filters or power filters that hang on the back of the tank. If you choose an under gravel filter, make sure that the air pump or power head you buy is strong enough for the size of the tank. If you decide to go with a power filter, select one that will circulate enough water for the size of your tank. I prefer canister filter systems.

Heater. Make sure you get a heater if one doesn’t already come with your tank, the fully-submersible ones are the easiest to use. Look for one with an adjustable thermostat, since different fish prefer different temperatures.

Substrate. Choose gravel or sand for the bottom; this is essential to a healthy aquarium (approx. 2-3 inches). Cheap pea gravel and play sand can be purchased from home improvement stores. Sand is optimal for fish that like to burrow. I recommend getting aquarium gravel at a pet or fish store. Rinse the gravel with water a few times. A kitchen strainer will work for this.

Decorations. Place your decorations where you want them and fill the tank with water. You can fill the tank one bucket at a time or purchase a sink hose adapter fitting and fill the aquarium with a hose that you’ll use for your aquariums. Place a large bowl in the bottom of the tank to break the force of the water flow.

Light. Set the tank top on the aquarium and put the light hood in place. Plug in the power heads, the mechanical filter, the tank heater, and the light to your GFI strip. Next, let the water in the tank stabilize for a few days. Make sure the tank heater is keeping the tank at the proper temperature for the fish you intend to keep.

Add your fish. If everything is working properly your ready to put the most important little stress reliever inside, your type of fish that you want to keep will complete it all. Float your new fish while still in the bag they came in for about 15 minutes to reduce stress to your fish.

An imperative reminder during set up is to look for leaks. Fill the tank with about two inches of water, and then wait for a half an hour. If there are any leaks, it’s better they show up just before you have to pour out everything. Always research the needs of any living thing (fish, plant, or invertebrates) going into your tank. Make sure they are compatible with what you already have and that you can meet their maintenance needs. It is best to get your information from many sources, don’t automatically trust what the store employee tells you.

Chris Walker is a freshwater aquarium enthusiast and a biologist. For more information on setting up your freshwater aquarium, visit http://freshwateraquarium.org/.

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