A Brief History
Most people do not know it, but aquariums have been around for centuries. It is believed that they were first introduced by a Chinese emperor all the way back in 1369. They have obviously significantly evolved over the years, but the fish have been one of man’s best friends for quite some time now. They are great companions to have around the place, and they are as beautiful as they are entertaining. Contrary to popular belief, though, they do need to look after. You need to feed them and clean their tank, so it is just like having any other pet –– only less demanding, but before you can do any of those things, you will need to learn how to set up an aquarium at home. Here is how.
Select the fish
Yes, you actually have to select the fish before you get the aquarium because the kind you are getting will depend on the fish living there. There are a variety of available tanks, and not all would be suited for every species. For instance, some fish need saltwater aquariums, while others can only live in freshwater ones. You also cannot just put any two species together, because some might display hostile behavior. So, it is important that you understand the fish you are getting and its optimal habitat before purchasing an aquarium.
Get the tank and equipment
Now that you know what kind of fish will be living in your aquarium, you need to go get yourself one. But there are some other equipment and accessories that you will need to get for your fish tank. As you can see if you visit this website, for starters, you will need to get aquarium filters. These are responsible for removing any excess food or organic materials that might be harmful to fish from the water. You might also want to get some LED lights so your fish does not wander around in the dark at night. There are a lot of other things that you can purchase to compliment your aquarium and provide a better habitat for your fish, like plants and air pumps.
Cleaning the tank
Before adding water to a new aquarium, you first need to make sure that it is clean. For starters, wipe off any dust residues on the fish tank, but use a damp cloth and avoid using any detergents or soap of any kind because they might leave chemical residues that might be harmful to the fish. It is important to always use newly purchased tools while cleaning and preparing the tank so you could avoid leaving any chemical residue behind.
Select a place
It might seem like a no brainer, but where you put the aquarium is not as easy as it may seem, and it is a critical step in setting it up properly. You have to choose the right place in your home, and you need to get it right from the first time because those things weigh a ton, so moving them is not exactly easy. The aquarium needs to be away from direct sunlight, so it would not hurt the fish, and you have to place it near a power supply. While positioning the aquarium, make sure it is properly leveled. Wherever you are putting it on a stand or table, it needs to be firm and strong so it could hold this immense weight.
The substrate is the gravel or sand you add to the aquarium, and you always see it at the bottom of each tank. It basically filters out any fish waste or food leftovers and keeps them from floating around and bothering your fish, which provides them with a better environment to live in. Sand also holds any plants you want to add to the aquarium, so it is definitely something you need to get. Make sure that you are getting the right sand/gravel that is designed to be used in fish aquariums.
You need to start adding water then, and you need to be really careful while doing it so you do not disturb the sand. It is crucial that you add a water conditioner or de-chlorinator to remove any chlorine from the water, as it is poisonous to fish.
You will next add the fish to the water, but you just never throw them into the aquarium. They need to get used to their new home first. You take them in a plastic bag full of water from the store, and they need to acclimatize. So, let the bag float over the aquarium for 15-20 minutes. And then, add some of the aquarium water to the plastic bag gradually so the fish could get used to the temperature and chemical levels. After that, you can release them into the tank.
Question for students (and subscribers): Do you own an aquarium? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Brunner, Bernd. The Ocean at Home: An Illustrated History of the Aquarium. Princeton Architectural Press, 2005.