Setting up an aquarium is no easy task, especially when it is to hold tropical or marine fish. For keeping just goldfish, it is relatively easier, not to mention cheaper. Most people choose to keep more exotic species, with the most expensive and hardest to keep being the marine varieties, as the salt water needs to be constantly managed. Fish keeping is not just a hobby, an aquarium is something which can add a main feature to a room. A tank full of brightly colored fish will stand out in any room in the home.
When setting up a fish tank for the first time it is essential to have all the correct equipment. Obviously the most essential item is the tank, and this should be glass, not plastic. The plastic ones can deteriorate quickly, are easy to damage, and harder to keep clean. There are standard tank sizes, but the best one that gives plenty of room for top, middle and bottom fish is 12″ x 24″ x 24″. It is advisable to use an under gravel filter as it filters the water better. Then the aquarium substrate needs to be put in.
There are many kinds of aquarium substrate that can be used, and the type will depend on what fish are going to be kept, and the size of the tank. If the tank is small and only for cold water goldfish, then any size or color can be used. Most people will use the small stone type for this kind of setup. For larger tanks, what is used will depend on the type of speciesthat will be kept. Sand makes a good substrate, especially with an under gravel filter, but it is no good if you will be homepage keeping large bottom feeders, such as Plecs, as they will eat it.Although not that dangerous to them, it is best avoided.
However, if the tank is only going to be housing small to medium sized fish, then using sand is not a problem. There are many sizes of aquarium substrate and it should first be selected on fish type and size before deciding on a color. One other important thing to pay attention to is that the smaller substrates tend to be natural whatever color they are, but when it comes to the larger stone sized ones, they may be colored with paint or some other substance. This can wear off over time and can cloud the water.
The next thing to do is install the aerator and the filter system. If the tank is for marinespecies, then a water management system is required. If it is just for goldfish and the tank is small, then the filter is not needed, but the water needs to be changed manually on a frequent basis. Goldfish also do not require a heating element, whereas marine and tropical fish do. Once the tank is up and running, it is just a question of replacing some of the water on a weekly basis, and giving it an overall clean.