==== ==== Visit this site to learn more on how to set up and maintain your freshwater aquarium: http://www.freshwateraquariumcareguide.com/ ==== ====
Whatever you do, don't let me put you off the freshwater aquarium keeping hobby. There is so much freshwater aquarium information available it can be baffling and confusing. The huge range of tanks, fish, plants etc can make you want to give up before you've even started. Everything sounds so complicated and confusing and there is so much to learn. Don't panic. With a few simple questions and a few easy decisions you can soon find your way through the labyrinth and end up with a successful freshwater aquarium that is exactly what you want. Aquarium keeping, whether freshwater or saltwater, has a long history. The Chinese Song Dynasty were thought to have kept fish for ornamental purposes and even before that a number of civilisations were keeping live fish in containers for food purposes - not that I would advocate eating the contents of your aquarium- far too expensive. So lets talk through the basics of setting up a freshwater aquarium. Learning how to set up the tank is not difficult but don't go thinking that you will set it up and then walk away from it. Looking after your fish will be the same as any other pet. They will need daily attention and there will be a weekly routine to follow to keep your aquarium in top condition. There will be expenses involved like fish food, replacement filters and light. Research the fish first so that you have some idea of the size of tank that you will need. Are you looking to recreate the natural conditions that they came from exactly. Some aquarium keepers will only have the plants, fish and even the sand and rocks that come from one particular geographical location, recreating in miniature an Amazon tributary for example. You don't have to be this exact and can simply set up an aquarium for aesthetic appeal but you do need to research your fish thoroughly as not all fish will mix and you'll be surprised at who will eat who in the fish world. So you know which fish you want - Don't get them yet, we're a long way off. You can now decide on the size of tank and whether to go for glass or acrylic. For me it's glass every time. Decide on the location in the room - not in direct sunlight as this will cause its own problems. Buy a stand that fits and ideally has storage space for all the accessories and food. Wash out your tank, probably better to say rinse out your tank as you do not want to use soap or detergent as even the smallest amount of residue will distress or even kill your fish. Having decided on the type of environment you want to create, buy the sand or gravel (substrate) and plants and decorations. Plants come in a huge variety and you want a good balance of small and large fast and slow growing so always get advice on this. Wash everything before it goes into the tank, including the gravel. The kitchen strainer comes in
useful but be prepared to buy a new one if anyone finds out. Now it is time to fill the aquarium with water. Do this carefully; you do not want to have a tidal wave sweeping down the length of the tank when you have just finished artistically laying out everything. Put a bowl or a plate on top of the gravel and direct your water flow at this so as to disturb as little as possible. Next is setting up the heater and the filter but make sure that you give the heater thermostat time to adjust to the water temperature before you turn it on.. Once all the equipment is set up, top up the tank, turn everything on and wait. This is the bit where patience will really pay off. You need your aquarium to have gone through its nitrogen cycle and settled down before you introduce any fish. Once it has, start to introduce the fish a couple at a time leaving the tank to adjust to the new inhabitants before adding any more. The difficulty with any aquarium is that the fish are effectively living in their own toilet. Their waste needs to either be filtered out or converted into something that the plants can use. The whole process of naturally converting waste is called the nitrogen cycle. Take things slowly, let environment adjust, avoid overstocking your tank and you will end up with a system that can virtually look after itself with only occasional intervention. Rush it or overstock the fish and you make the whole experience of freshwater aquarium keeping hard work. This is only meant as an introduction to the freshwater aquarium hobby. I find that one of the greatest things about freshwater aquarium keeping is how everyone is so willing to take the time to give advice to people, especially the newcomers. Ask lots of questions.
Nick North is a keen freshwater aquarium enthusiast and spends a great deal of his time writing articles to promote the hobby to anyone interested in taking it up as a pastime. He has now got his own website aimed at the new aquarium enthusiast which gives lots of useful information on starting your first freshwater aquarium. If you found this article useful check out the site at: http://www.aquariumhintsandtips.com
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==== ==== Visit this site to learn more on how to set up and maintain your freshwater aquarium:
http://www.freshwateraquariumcareguide.com/ ==== ====