So you’ve decided to keep tropical fish! Welcome to this unique and fascinating hobby. But before we get ahead of ourselves, we need to realize that aquariums can be a lot of work. You have to keep the water in your aquarium clean and aerated, the fish have to have enough food, if you use live plants they will need light and nutrients, and you have to keep the algae under control.
It may take a lot of work sometimes, but this hobby is very rewarding as you’ll soon see.
Okay…enough talk, let’s get to the point:
If you’re just starting out, you need to know what you need to buy to get started. Here’s a list of the essentials that you need, no matter if you keep saltwater or freshwater fish:
An aquarium – To keep you fish in.
An aquarium stand – To support your new aquarium.
Filtration equipment – Filters can be chemical, mechanical and biological.
Lights – To help live plants grow, and to enhance the colors of your fish.
A tank hood – To reduce evaporation, and stop anything (such as a cat’s paw) from getting in.
Decorations – These can be anything you decide. There are a wide range of decorations available nowadays, so you can decorate your tank however you like. You’ll also want a background to hide the wires.
Substrate – This is basically the sand or gravel you use for the bottom of your aquarium.
Plants – There’s a wide range of plants you can choose for your aquarium nowadays, including live and plastic plants.
Heater – Tropical fish require a water temperature that is slightly higher than most people’s room temperature.
Chemicals – By chemicals, I mean chemical filtration, which gets rid of harmful gases that the water picks up as it passes through a carbon filter. It’s not always needed, but it is very easy to use and it’s better for your fish.
Thermometer – the plastic strip one with liquid crystals are best.
A net – For scooping things out of your aquarium.
Cleaning supplies (such as a scrubby on a stick, a small round brush
and a bucket reserved solely for aquarium use)
Fish food – to feed your fish, obviously.
And last, but not least… you’ll need the fish!