Preparing the Aquarium Correctly: Tips for Beginners and Advanced Users

Watching the fish in the aquarium in the evening can be very relaxing. No wonder that more and more people are deciding to buy an aquarium. But there are a number of things that you should pay attention to so that you can enjoy your aquarium for a long time. Here you will find an overview of the most important points.

Beginners in the field of aquarists, in particular, should look for like-minded people with whom they can exchange ideas, for example in an aquarium forum. There you can usually find the answers to your questions within a few minutes. And this is really very helpful, especially at the beginning, because very often there are problems that you want to solve quickly and easily, without searching for answers online or going to a specialist retailer. An aquarium forum can be just the thing for that.

Pay Attention to the Position of the Aquarium

The location of the aquarium is more important than some beginners think. You could get the idea that a small aquarium looks wonderful on the windowsill. It is a great sight and the fish and plants also have a lot of light. So they feel good and can thrive. That’s true, too, but more for plants than for fish, and so much more so that it can become a real problem.

Algae in particular need a lot of light in order to grow well – and they get that in abundance on the windowsill. In addition, it is warmer there than in the rest of the room – because of the sunshine, but also because of the radiators, which are usually located under the window.

All these factors taken together mean that algae can grow very well. Not only does it look very ugly in the aquarium, but it is also very harmful to the fish. You should therefore choose a place for your aquarium that is still bright enough but does not provide the algae with such optimal growth conditions. Most fish are usually quite comfortable in the middle of the room.

The Establishment of the Aquarium

There are many ways to set up an aquarium. Most of the time, the interior depends on the occupation. In other words: It depends on the needs of the fish, for which they decide how the aquarium should be designed. Most of the time the fish like it when there are a good number of plants in the aquarium because this way they can hide and “escape” other fish. Because, like us humans, fish also need a break from their conspecifics every now and then.

But even with fish, this does not apply equally to everyone. Catfish, for example, feel particularly comfortable in an aquarium without large decorations and plants. As long as it’s dark, they don’t need much more. This is also due to the fact that catfish live on the bottom of ponds and rivers and are therefore used to the darkness.

The Choice of Species

In short, the setup of the aquarium depends very much on which fish species should live in the aquarium. Because the demands of the different species can be very different. For example, beginners in the field of aquarists can orientate themselves on the water type and the water values when they make their selection.

Because so that the animals can feel comfortable and grow optimally, the values in the water have to be right – and they can be very different depending on the region. Since you often do not know exactly as a beginner, you should do a water test beforehand. For this purpose, the water quality is usually measured using a test strip and determined using a comparison strip. Based on the result, it is very easy to determine which fish get along particularly well with which water quality. Beginners can get detailed advice on this subject from specialist retailers.

In large specialist shops, you have the opportunity to look at the different species in very large aquariums and thus get a first impression of which species you particularly like. The big advantage: On the aquarium itself, information is usually attached to the aquarium itself about the water hardness and pH value of the fish species. If you compare that with the values that you found out in your home test, you will already get an initial idea of what your aquarium could look like.

Adapt the Water to the Type of Fish

But there is also another possibility: Perhaps you really want to have a species of fish that cannot get by with the water in your region? Even then there are options. To do this, however, you have to resort to aids. The two critical factors affecting water type are water hardness and pH.

You can adjust the pH value to the needs of the respective fish species by lowering it. A pH value that is too low is usually not a problem and therefore does not need to be changed. The pH value can be lowered with

  • alder suppositories
  • active substrate
  • acid

However, these are measures that usually require some experience with aquarists. Beginners should therefore concentrate on fish species that can cope very well with the local conditions. This is less difficult at the beginning and you have time to slowly grow into your new hobby.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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