The Complete Aquarium Checklist for Beginners

Congratulations – you’re ready to become a fish parent as many other fish enthusiasts call themselves. There are a numerous styles for setting up your aquarium, with many different sizes and pieces of equipment available. An ideal beginner aquarium is one of the new ‘all-in-one’ aquariums made by a number of manufacturers. But aside from the said all-in-one aquariums, make sure to include the essential components listed below.

 

Essential Pieces:

Aquarium

In order to enjoy your new aquarium for a long time, you should be sure about the appropriate size. Avoid tall thin tanks and stick with shorter longer tank, as they provide more swimming space and surface area for air exchange.

 

Stand

Aquariums are heavy, figure 10 pounds per gallon of water, so plan accordingly. A particle board bookcase is usually not sturdy enough to hold anything more than a very small aquarium. Stands can be pricey, but if you are handy with a hammer and saw you can make your own for a fraction of the store price.

 

Lid/Hood

Tanks are sold with lid separate from the light, or the lid and light may be joined into one unit referred to as the "hood." The lid portion covers the tank and serves to prevent fish from jumping out of the tank.

 

Light

Light options include incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, mercury vapor, and metal halide. The best option for a beginner is the fluorescent light, as it costs less to run and is much cooler.

 

Filtration System

The filtration system is a critical piece of equipment. The size of the filter must match the size of the tank. Choose a filter with a flow rate that filters all the water in your tank at least four times each hour.