The wide variety of aquariums available at your local pet store can seem overwhelming, however, choosing your first aquarium is much easier than you might think and all it requires is a little research.
It’s a good idea to place your new aquarium in a high traffic area so you can keep an eye on your fish. More importantly, you should place your aquarium where it is easily accessible for regular and convenient maintenance and enjoyment.
Generally, the larger the aquarium is, the better it is for your fish. First, you’ll have more space for a wider variety of fish, plants and décor but, more importantly, a larger water volume will help keep water parameters, such as temperature, more stable and also dilute toxic waste (ammonia and nitrite) that can build up over time.
Again, do some research on some of the key fish species you would like to keep in your new aquarium. Learn how large they can grow and if they are compatible with one another. Remember, a cute 3” goldfish won’t stay 3” for long.
Most aquariums are made of glass, which is generally durable and scratch resistant. When selecting which glass tank to buy, inspect the tank carefully for any glass or frame damage.
Selecting the type of filter you’ll use on your new aquarium is often considered the most confusing part of buying a new tank, but it shouldn’t be as you really have only 3 main choices….Clip-On, Canister or Internal.
Clip-On-Filters are the most popular in aquariums up to 50-60 gallons. They easily attach on the back of the aquarium and draw water from the tank and up into a series of filter media. They are simple to maintain, relatively low in cost to maintain, and are extremely reliable.
Canister Filters are often used in aquariums over 60 gallons. The canister units are generally placed in a cabinet under the aquarium, out of sight.
Internal Underwater filters are submerged in the aquarium. They can be used as a primary filter in smaller aquariums, or as a supplementary filter for aquariums over 50-60 gallons.
When selecting your aquarium lighting, the two main options are LED and Fluorescent, however, LED lighting is the most commonly purchased lighting type for most modern aquariums due to their low electrical consumption, long life and pleasing shimmering effect. LED lights come in a range of styles and should be selected based on the type of aquarium you plan on keeping.
Purchasing a complete aquarium kit takes any of the potential guess work out of the process. Generally, all you have to do is select the size and colour of the tank and cabinet. Most kits include all of the necessary accessories that are needed for success. All that is missing is the water, décor and fish.
Visit Fluval on stand A120 at the National Pet Show for expert advice on getting started with your first aquarium!
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