To begin setting up aquariums, the only thing you really need are tanks. With that in mind, filtration will reduce the amount of work you do maintaining your tank. The smaller the tank, the more work you will have to do. Small tanks need more frequent water changes and can be more easily diluted from the toxins in the air.

The aquarium needs to be water-tight, non-toxic, and sturdy. The materials are usually glass or acrylic. Which material you choose depends on your needs. Large tanks (five hundred gallons or more) are usually going to be acrylic. Acrylic is stronger but it also scratches easily. Those scratches can be repaired, however, with a simple kit. Glass scratches less but is more breakable. Glass tanks should be placed in an area where it won’t receive any damage. Glass is sturdier but only comes in rectangular shapes. Acrylic needs more support but can very in shape.

Distortion is also a factor in considering a tank. You want to be able to view your fish as true as possible. Acrylic tanks are truer when it comes to color and size, but because they can scratch easily, sometimes clarity is lost. Glass is less likely to scratch which keeps the view clear.

Aquariums can vary in cost but you will generally spend less on glass. Glass is easier to ship than acrylic because it maintains its shape and is harder to scratch. Understand the cost of the aquarium will also include how much you will end up putting into maintenance of your aquariums.

Before purchasing your tank there are things to keep in mind. Some questions to answer for a healthy set up:
• What kind of fish do you want? It’s important to have adequate space for your fish.
• Are the fish compatible? If not you may need two aquariums to keep peace. Some fish must be protected from predatory fish.
• Where will you put your aquariums? You need to have room for the tank and storage for the equipment. Also it’s important that the room is climate controlled.
• What is your budget? Some setups will be more costly than others. The initial investment in a large tank is bigger but the upkeep is reduced. You must always have a supply of food and the proper cleaning equipment.
• What equipment will you buy? Be prepared to take care of your fish and maintain health through out the tank. Proper filtration will make life easier. Lights and décor make the tank yours.
• Ready to setup? Make sure you have all the equipment before you bring the fish in. Don’t forget food and water de-chlorinator.
• What fish will you use as your start-up fish? Start up fish should be small and hearty. You need strong fish to make it while your aquarium builds up its natural biological filter.
• Have you cycled the aquariums? Your tanks should have a four to six week period with just your starter fish before you add the fish you want to collect. Cycling builds up the natural bacteria which feed off of waste to help purify the water.

Being prepared and having some basic knowledge will guarantee you a fun and relaxing experience with your new aquariums. Keep your tank clean and do a couple of minutes of daily maintenance to keep your upkeep simple. Always research before your purchase to avoid hassles in the long run. And most importantly, be creative!

For Fish & Pet Lovers!