Before buying your freshwater aquarium tank, one of the first considerations is how much available space you have. The size of your tank will also determine the number and size of fish you can keep. It is my experience that larger aquarium tanks are easier to maintain once they are up and running for a few months. Now that you have considered how much space you have, it is now time to secure your freshwater aquarium.
Buying the Tank
When you go to a pet store, or a preferably a retailer that specializes in fish tanks, choose among the available tanks that will fit in the space you allocated in your home. Another decision is whether you want a fish tank made of glass or acrylic material for your home freshwater aquarium tank.
If you have children at home, the best choice might be an acrylic fish tank because they are more durable and much more difficult to break. However, this material is also prone to scratches, and is more expensive. Nonetheless, it is a good material for a fish tank. A fish tank that is made from glass is less prone to scratches, although it does scratch, costs less, but the event of a breakage cannot be dismissed. I usually keep aquariums made of glass and just exercise caution so that breakage does not occur.
One more thing that you have to consider is the number of fish that you will be placing inside the tank. A general rule is to load the tank at 1 inch of fish per gallon. It is my experience that this can be somewhat excessive. I am usually more conservative loading my tank as low as 1 inch of fish per 2 gallons of water. This combined with an aquarium filter that is more than adequate for a fish tank can reduce the frequency of tank cleaning and aquarium maintenance activities.
Preparing the Aquarium Tank
The freshwater aquarium tank must be prepared before fish can be placed inside. First, fill the tank with freshwater. Setup all accessories that you would like to see in your aquarium such as aquarium gravel or sand, background paper on the back of the fish tank, set up the filter system and aquarium heater, and place any other habitat you provide such as rocks or plants. Get everything up and running and let every run for 3 days to a week. This allows the water chemistry to stabilize and give time for important micro-organisms to grow in your tank.
Stabilizing the aquarium before placing the fish inside it is a must. The pH level should come to an acceptable level, the temperature should be normal for all the fish in the tank. Everything inside the tank contributes to the general well-being of the fish, and therefore, everything must be in place when the tank would be set to run for stabilization.
Time to Buy the Fish
Now that your tank has stabilized since it has been running for a couple of days, you now can go back to the pet store and buy your fish.
Once you have purchased all the fish that you will be placing inside the aquarium, let them acclimatize first to their new home. Float your fish, which should be in plastic bags, in the water so that the water temperatures normalize, so they won’t get shocked by being submerged immediately into water that they are not used to.
The freshwater aquarium tank is the home for your fish and must be maintained with care. With the appropriate care, freshwater aquarium keeping can be fun, easy, and be a low maintenance hobby. If done wrong, you could have a lot of maintenance on your hands by learning the hard way, as I have many times in the past.