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Setting Up A Fish Tank for Beginners

Have you ever dreamt of owning an aquarium but were always worried that it was too difficult to maintain? It’s a lot easier than it sounds. All it takes is a little know how, some patience and of course, water.

Aquariums are often divided into two types – freshwater and salt water. Each has its own setup steps, maintenance rules and fish varieties. You’ll find that some aquarium owners prefer one style to the other but the one thing they share is their love of marine life.

There are some differences in the two types of ecosystems. Each will have its own set of rules to set up the aquarium and how to properly maintain it. Here is a breakdown of both freshwater aquariums and saltwater aquariums:

Freshwater

·        Fish are cold blooded and don’t produce their own body heat like you or I. They depend on you to help them maintain their body heat. Choose an efficient and reliable aquarium heater. You want to heat the water so it is imperative that the heating element is completely below the water level.

·        When filling up your tank, you can choose either filtered water or tap water. Either choice is suitable. When filling the tank, never use a bucket that has ever been exposed to soap. Once the tank is full, add some water conditioner to remove chlorine and heavy metals from the water and to help stabilize the pH.

·        What type of filter do you want to use? Aquarium filters come in two basic styles under-gravel filters or power filters that hang on the side of the fish tank. Try to get an under-gravel filter with enough power to filter the amount of water in your aquarium. Under gravel filters can get clogged over time so you'll need to regularly vacuum the bottom. Power filters are less maintenance than under-gravel filters but aren't as efficient. Choose a power filter strong enough to circulate the water in the fish tank. Filter power is rated gallons of water per hour; use this to calculate the filter power you'll need for your aquarium's water capacity.

Saltwater

·        Keep the pH steady. Saltwater fish are sensitive to the pH of the water, more so than freshwater fish. Extreme changes to the water pH are dangerous to the health of your aquarium. The PH range should be between 8.0 and 8.4 at all times.

·        Water temperature in a marine aquarium should always be between 75F and 80F. For saltwater fish, their natural environment is warm water so it is your job to mimic those conditions. The water temperature has to remain at a steady setting.

·        Water salinity can be a little intimidating at first but with experience, it isn’t a concern at all. So what is water salinity? It’s the amount of dissolved salt in water. It is essential the salinity of your tropical aquarium is around 1.022. The salinity should be checked every so often because water naturally evaporates from your tank and in doing so causes the remaining water to become more saline.

·        Marine fish are sensitive to changes in water quality. The bigger the fish tank the better as it allows more room for error in managing water quality since there is more water for leeway and room for error.

Keep these rules in mind and your aquarium should be beautiful and full of life with healthy fish for a long time.



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