Aquarium brings the colorful underwater world into your own home: lively fish and plants that sway in the water ensure relaxed variety in the living room. Another advantage of a freshwater aquarium: once it is properly set up, it does relatively little work. So before going ahead and setting up an aquarium, you may want to read aquarium and fish tanks reviews. This would give you a great idea on the kind of aquarium and fish tanks to get for the whole family to enjoy.
Planning the aquarium
You should clarify the following in advance in the family:
- Do we have enough time to take care of the aquarium? (about two hours a week)
- Is there a suitable place in the house without direct sunlight and stable enough for a full aquarium?
- Which animals and plants do we like and do they go together? Because a functioning aquarium is a closed ecosystem. The best way to plan is to use a natural model such as a river or lake.
- A visit to the specialist trade gives you a first overview.
The right tank for beginners
The aquarium should hold 100 to 200 liters because in a small space it is more difficult to maintain the ecological balance. A larger pool is more forgiving of “beginner mistakes”. A foam mat or styrofoam plate belongs under the basin so that the base plate does not break in the event of unevenness. From 400 liters, you should check the load-bearing capacity of the floor.
It is easiest for beginners to start with a complete set that offers coordinated elements: ideally pools, lighting, filters and heating, although heating is not always necessary. Get detailed advice from specialist dealers. The cost of an aquarium set with 100 liters starts at around 100 euros.
For lighting, filter, and heating management, you may want to instruct your children about electrical safety to avoid any kind of accidents related to electric wiring.
Fish need a day and night rhythm. We have to take this into account in the lighting and offer them a dark phase every twelve hours – preferably automatically via a timer.
The pump distributes important nutrients and CO2 in the aquarium. In addition, the filter bacteria break down pollutants.
You can find out what temperatures your fish need from books or from specialist shops. With a temperature controller you keep the heat constant.
Design and plants for the aquarium
Stones, woods and roots are important design elements of the pool and offer the residents hiding places. It is important to only use specially treated decorative material from specialist dealers, so that the water does not get out of balance. By the way, aquarium plants not only serve as decoration, they are also important for oxygen production, as a hiding place and spawning ground. The specialist in the pet trade explains which plants belong in which position, which light and which care they need.
Basically the following applies: the low-growing plants come forward, the taller plants are placed in the rear area. Get inspiration for the design on the Internet from aquascaping artists, for example from world champion Oliver Knott. Gravel with a grain size of between two and three millimeters, sand or soil is suitable for the bottom of a freshwater aquarium. It should lie on a layer of depot fertilizer or nutrient mixture.
Design elements such as wood and stones are important for the inhabitants of the aquarium. The fish use these places to hide.
Water values in the aquarium
Once the technology has been installed, the pool set up and the green planted, the so-called run-in time begins. It takes a few weeks to get the correct water values in the aquarium. These include nitrogen concentration, total hardness (GH), carbonate hardness (KH), pH value, carbon dioxide concentration (CO2) and oxygen content (O2). The so-called filter bacteria, which settle on the filter and convert pollutants into plant nutrients, must first form. Find out about the ideal values for the respective residents. Fish, snails etc. can only move in if they are permanently correct – usually after about two weeks. Then check the values once a week. There are special measuring devices and test strips for this.
Attention: If, for example, the pH value is too low, the water is too acidic and there is a danger to the fish – an immediate change of partial water is then necessary.