The aquarium hobby is an interesting hobby people of all ages can enjoy. Many people give up the hobby before they have a chance to enjoy it due to failed attempts of setting up an aquarium. Setting up an aquarium takes research, patience, and a fully developed plan. Taking the time to properly design your aquarium set-up will save you from the premature end of an incredible hobby.
There are several decisions you have to make prior to being able to bring fish home. You must decide your budget, what type of aquarium you are going to set-up, what type of components you are going to use and what you would like the final aquarium to look like. The internet is packed with information on a variety of options. The employees at your local fish store are another reliable source of information. They are able to take your personal situation and budget into account to create a set-up that is right for you.
The first step is creating a budget for the project. Determining how much money you can afford to spend will limit your options to a more reasonable number. Budgets are generally the limiting factor in aquarium set-up. After determining how much money you are going to spend, you can begin to formulate a plan for your aquarium. You should purchase the largest aquarium you can accommodate, as the larger the system, the more stable the water quality. You need to determine if this will be a salt or freshwater set-up. Then you can explore options for mechanical components such as lights, heaters, aeration, and filtration.
After deciding on the mechanical components of your aquarium, you can begin to research inhabitants for your aquarium. Although it will be several weeks before you are able to purchase and acclimate fish to your aquarium, it is important to determine what fish you would like to house and the housing requirements for each species. Certain fish are not compatible, due to either personality or habitat requirements, and one must make decisions on which fish to purchase. There are three classifications of fish. These are community, or peaceful fish, semi-aggressive and aggressive fish. Each class of fish will create a different dynamic due to their habits and interactions with the other aquarium inhabitants and their environment. Choose a compilation of fish to fill the top, bottom and middle swimming to provide the most viewing pleasure. There are also invertebrates to consider.
Once you have determined a compatible stocking list, you can then begin making decisions on what the aquarium will look like. It is best for the fish to provide them with an environment closely resembling their natural environment to allow them to interact as they would in the wild. Colors and shapes are not nearly as important in decorating as positioning hiding places well and filling the appropriate levels of the aquarium for your fish. Providing a proper substrate and hardscape will allow the fish a place to hid and create a safe environment for them. You can then add either live or artificial plants to finish the aquarium design.
After you have made all the decisions, it is time to purchase the necessary items, leaving fish and invertebrates for a later shopping trip. You can then assemble the aquarium and begin the cycling process. By creating a sound plan for your aquarium, you increase your chance of success and ease the process of aquarium set-up.
Local Fish Stores
LC’s Reef Stop