Starting an aquarium is challenging. The most common problems are: too many fish, overfeeding, and tap water--I recommend you use reverse osmosis water from your fish supplier store or you can buy reverse osmosis systems. Choose the right size aquarium. With a 55 gallon or larger you can have a greater number of fish and more variety. The larger volume of water keeps the water chemistry stable and less likely to have sudden changes. What you are going to need for your tank: heater, filter, air pump, hood, cover, light fixture. If you are going to use live plants you need a CO2 planted aquarium substrate--put this in first and then add the gravel if you are not going to use live plants--all you need is gravel. Your heater--be sure you buy a high quality heater and select the correct size for your aquarium. If you have tropical fish they require a steady water temperature of 76 to 78 F. Fluctuating water temperatures will stress your fish and make them more vulnerable to disease. Be sure you buy a good filter with a good flow rate for your aquarium. The filter removes debris and harmful pollution--it adds oxygen to the water.
Air pump is good for bubbling ornaments, and the bubbles agitate the surface of the water and it adds oxygen to your water. It is also good for adequate water movement.
Buy a hood to keep your fish from jumping out plus it helps reduce water evaporation. Light fixtures are used to illuminate the inside of the aquarium so that you can view your fish.
Do not use tap water--it is not safe for your fish. It could be full of dangerous chemicals that could harm your fish.
Let your aquarium develop the natural balance and then add a few fish. Add the new fish and let the unopened bag float in the aquarium for 10 minutes to allow the fish to adjust to the water temperature. Net the fish out of the bag and do not add the bag of water into your aquarium. The bag of water may contain fish waste and ammonia. If too many fish are added all at once or too much food is added, ammonia and nitrite levels will reach poisonous levels.
Be sure to add water conditioner to help relieve stress.
Test each week for pH, ammonia and nitrite levels.
Clean your filter once month.
Change water once a week--be sure you use a gravel siphon to remove debris from gravel.
The aquarium light should be on no longer than 6 hours each day.
Keep your aquarium clean for healthy fish.
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