You have made the decision to start a tropical fish tank! Congratulations! Many people opt for tropical freshwater fish as they are not as difficult to keep but still provide the diversity and colourfulness of marine fish that attracts budding fish keepers. There are more than 4,000 species of these types of fish from all over the world. There are many variants in size, colour and all require care, but that is part of the hobby.
Plus it can be quite fun along the way!
Your Tropical Fish Tank and Stand
There are various things to consider when choosing anything with this hobby and it’s usually best to get it as close to right the first time as possible to save expense further down the line. Some things to consider before choosing your tank:
If you have fish in mind, they may require a tank of a certain size
Again a few things to consider:
Larger tanks will cost more to set up and run
Once you have made a choice of what kind of tank you would like. The next decision is the material, glass or plastic. Both have their pros and cons. Acrylic weighs less and can be better for visibility at times. However it is prone to scratching easier than glass. Price wise there is little difference, acrylic is probably slightly more expensive for common sizes of tank.
The next step is to consider where the tank will be located. Do you have an existing cabinet where you wish to place the tank? Depending on the size of the tank you may be better served buying or building a purpose made cabinet that will support the tank adequately. Cabinets can be pricey to buy new with the tank, so building one yourself is always an option.
A layer of specialist matting or polystyrene is advised to be placed between tropical fish tank and stand to even out the surface.
Its always advisable to shop around, different places offer sometimes vastly different prices (especially for cabinets) and some bargains can be found on second hand tanks, buts there’s always a danger when doing that.
Hoods and Tank Tops
You are probably going to need something to go over the top of your tank. Hoods and cover glasses keep fish in, air bourne chemicals out, provide somewhere to put lights, stop water evaporation and heat loss, and improve the aesthetics of the tropical fish tank.
It is recommended to have a cover over the top of the tank itself (such as sliding cover glasses or a drip tray) and a hood. The first the tank should come with, the second it probably wont unless you buy a package. For hoods its worth considering looks, tank access, and the suitability for any special future lighting plans.
Locating the Tank
When you have purchased your tank, there are things to consider:
Once the tank is positioned leave it in position before filling up for a while to make sure you are happy with it’s location.
Next step! Is to set up your equipement. Your fish require more than just water. The three things you will require are heating, filtration and lighting. All are important though the filtration should be prioritised as it directly affects your water conditions and the quality of life your fish will enjoy.
I will explain the Nitrogen cycle in another article, however the basics are:
Fish produce waste. The waste releases ammonia into the aquarium water which is toxic. Good bacteria turn the ammonia into non toxic chemicals (at normal levels).
These bacteria exist in the filter, gravel and ornaments in your tank. Make sure your filter has a sufficient flow rate and size to cope with the size of your tank and the number of fish you intend on keeping. If you have a 60L tank it’s best to get one that can cope up to 100L, this way if you overstock with fish you will be covered to some extent.
Different fish prefer varying aquarium temperatures though most will cope fine between 23-28 degree’s Celsius. I have heard of people keeping guppies at room temps without the use of a heater. Though this those slow down their metabolism so that they live longer but grow at a decreased rate.
If you are interested in purchasing a Fluval Edge 23L yourself, check out the links below, Amazon usually great competitive prices.