There are many benefits of having an aquarium at home — not only can a fish tank serve as a beautiful liquid display, but it also has many proven emotional and health benefits.
In 2015, researchers from Plymouth University, the University of Exeter, and the National Marine Aquarium came together to study physical and mental responses to fish tanks.
“The team found that viewing aquarium displays led to noticeable reductions in blood pressure and heart rate, and that higher numbers of fish helped to hold people’s attention for longer and improve their moods,” according to University of Exeter’s website.
If you’re in need of a pick-me-up or simply another pet to call your own, consider creating a home aquarium. There are many tanks and décor available at your local pet store that are chic, mature, and perfect for your next fluid work of art.
Haven’t the slightest idea where to start? Read below for some tips.
If you have decided to start an aquarium, you must first choose if you want to make it a freshwater or saltwater tank. In general, freshwater aquariums are better for beginners, as maintenance can be less demanding and cheaper than saltwater. In addition, fish can be cheaper and a bit hardier than their saltwater counterparts.
If you’re diligent and have already kept thriving freshwater tanks, you may consider a saltwater environment. The vibrant fish and corals can be your own re-creation of the ocean.
Below are some popular fish options for beginners in each water environment.
Once you have an idea as to what type of aquatic community you want, you can now choose your tank. The size of the tank depends on the number of fish you want to have together. Be sure not to overcrowd the aquarium, and select your fish wisely.
Number of Fish
It’s hard to keep a healthy aquarium if there are too many fish — ammonia levels can rise to a toxic level and kill your aquatic friends. As a general rule of thumb, try to have a gallon of water for each inch of fish, if not more space.
Type of Fish
It’s important to do ample research before deciding which fish to add to your community. Some species do not get along, and furthermore, some are carnivorous and can eat tank mates. Be sure to check the water requirements for each fish and make sure they align.
Below are common mistakes many people run into when creating a home aquarium:
*Wrong size aquarium
It’s easy to be drawn into purchasing one of the smaller aquarium starter packs available at your local pet store. Depending on the type and number of fish, you may want to opt for a bigger tank. In addition, it’s easier to keep a bigger tank balanced.
*Adding fish too soon
Be patient when setting up your aquarium, and don’t add fish too soon. Doing so will change the balance of the tank and it will need time to readjust before more fish are added.
*Overfeeding the fish
It’s easy to think that fish appear hungry as they swim around, but this is often not the case. Despite what the food packaging says, feeding fish once a day should be enough.
*Not establishing balanced water (or understanding the nitrogen cycle)
Be sure that your water is balanced and de-chlorinated before you add your fish. It’s also important to test your water often and make sure the pH, ammonia, and nitrogen levels are all stable for a few days before making any changes.
*Not changing the water
Changing about 10 to 20 percent of the water each week should be sufficient assuming that your aquarium is fine otherwise. Regular maintenance maintains a healthy, balanced aquarium.
And there you have our tips on how to get your home aquarium started. If you’re excited to begin, check out these chic home aquariums begging to be filled with your favorite fish.
1. Marina 360 Aquarium Kit, 2.65 Gallons – $28.79
2. Aquarium Coffee Table, 25 Gallons – $699.95
3. Fluval Edge Aquarium White 42 LED, 12 Gallons – $194.69
4. Fluval Reef F60 Aquarium Set, 24 Gallons – $613.29
5. Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit, 5 Gallons – $94.99
6. Fluval Edge Aquarium Black 42 LED, 12 Gallons – $194.69
7. Aquatic Fundamentals Upright Gallon Aquarium Stand – $127.49
8. SeaClear Bowfront Aquarium Combo, 46 Gallons – $379.99
9. Coralife LED Biocube Aquarium LED, 16 Gallons – $224.99