Having a fish tank at home will beautifully decorate your living space. As soon as your guests arrive, their eyes will be attracted to the colours that radiate from it, discovering healthy fish swimming freely through the waters. You have to know that you need to pay attention to fish if you get a tank. While you may have thought otherwise, fish should be cared for every day.
Here is our ultimate guide on fish tanks: the best models on the market, the answers to the most frequently asked questions about these accessories, and the criteria to pay attention to when buying your very own. You'll learn everything there is to know to make the right purchase. Whether you're getting your first fish or already have these wonderful creatures in your home, this guide is ideal for you.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Key Facts
- 3 Our selection: The best fish tanks
- 4 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about fish tanks
- 4.1 What is a fish tank and what are its advantages?
- 4.2 How should I clean my fish tank?
- 4.3 Can fish tanks self-clean?
- 4.4 How can I remove the lime from my fish tank?
- 4.5 How should I decorate my fish tank?
- 4.6 What types of fish tanks are available out there?
- 4.7 What are the basic accessories my fish tank needs?
- 4.8 What is a filter for fish tanks?
- 4.9 How does the filtration mechanism work?
- 4.10 What are the different types of filters available?
- 4.11 How do I properly clean my fish tank filter?
- 5 Shopping Criteria
- 6 Summary
- A fish tank is the most important accessory you'll need for your fish. You need to buy the best possible model If you want your pets to live happily in your home.
- Many different types of fish tanks are available on the market: for salt water, fresh water, and warm or cold water. Experts encourage fishkeeping newbies to start with cold water fish, such as goldfish. This is because it is easier to maintain water cold than warm.
- Purchasing your fish tank is the first step in having these animals at home. You'll also need filters, decorations and anti-chlorine treatment, amongst others. Our article will focus on the different types of fish tanks at your disposal.
Our selection: The best fish tanks
It is important that you provide your fish with a comfortable home and lifestyle if you want them in good health. This is why buying the right fish tank is fundamental. In the following section, we've listed the best models available on the market right now. That way, you can choose the most suitable fish tank for your home.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about fish tanks
The section below will answer most of the questions you may be asking yourself regarding fish tanks. You'll learn everything you need to know to make an informed decision when the time comes to buy your own. As you probably know, each fish has specific needs, although several species can also cohabit in the same tank.
What is a fish tank and what are its advantages?
Nowadays, you can find fish tanks in millions of homes around the world. Many people love to have fish and take care of them. However, it is essential to keep them in the best conditions possible. This means that you need as much information as possible regarding cleaning, maintenance and solving various problems that may arise.
Good news: fish tanks aren't just for your house. They can also be found in offices, residences or any other place where someone can take care of their maintenance. Here is a useful list of the advantages of having a fish tank in these different places:
Advantages of fish tanks: It is a small natural space in your home or office. Observing a fish tank and being aware of the peace in which fish live is almost a form of meditation. This will calm you down and reduce the levels of stress to which you are subjected every day.
Fishkeeping is a very healthy pastime where you are not alone. While fish cannot be compared to dogs or cats in many ways, they are with you and you can create a very strong bond. Remember that the bigger your fish community is, the more entertaining your fish tank will be.
How should I clean my fish tank?
- Remove the excess dirt from the fish tank once a week. To do this, you have to change 25% of the water using a siphon. That way, you can suck up the gravel waste while preventing the filter from getting clogged. You should naturally use water that doesn't contain any detergent or other product that can be toxic for your fish.
- Algae tend to proliferate when powerful lighting and poor water quality are combined. That viscous green material will adhere to the glass, to the decorative objects and at the bottom of the tank. The most appropriate way to remove this dirt from the panes is using a scraper.
- As for the decorations, you can put them in water with bleach. Avoid using soap or detergents. Rinse them thoroughly before putting them back in your fish tank.
- The next step is cleaning the filter, which we'll look into more details in the following part.
Can fish tanks self-clean?
The process is quite simple: the system is built in such a way that the fish excrements can be used as fertiliser for the plants. At the same time, those plants also take care of filtering the impurities from the water. This solution is incredible, but unfortunately these products tend to be very expensive.
How can I remove the lime from my fish tank?
This substance is made up of the remains of minerals and alkaline substances in the water. In order to find a solution to this problem, you should start by removing your fish and placing them in another space. Once you've done this, you can rub the glass of the fish tank with a double-sided sponge (like the ones used in the kitchen) with hydrochloric acid or vinegar. Throw the sponge out after use.
How should I decorate my fish tank?
In addition, many manufacturers of fish tank decorations sell adhesive images to stick on the glass of the tank, statuettes and accessories that imitate sunken ships. You have access to a wide array of items and products to create the atmosphere you want, and you can play around with these options so that your fish have a wonderful tank to live in. Play with light and dark areas to give a feeling of depth to your tank.
What types of fish tanks are available out there?
In the following table, we've listed the main types of fish tanks available on the market to help you choose the most suitable model. You should evaluate the water composition, the origin of your fish, the temperature to which it is accustomed to live and the plants that make up its habitat to determine which of the fish tanks below is most appropriate.
|Types of fish tanks||Characteristics|
|Tropical freshwater||They reproduce the habitat of tropical river fish from around the world.|
|Cold water||They are the simplest and ideal for fishkeeping beginners. They need a good filtration system and should be big enough, because goldfish — the cold water fish par excellence — tend to grow a lot.|
|Tropical saltwater||More beautiful, they tend to boast more colour but are harder to upkeep. These fish tanks generally host fish that aren't used to living in captivity, so recreating their habitat is more complex.|
|Dutch style||Tropical freshwater fish tanks where flora (plants) is given more importance than fauna (aquatic animals).|
|Paludarium||Also called aqua-terrarium, they reproduce humid habitats and tropical and swamp regions ideal for reptiles, amphibians and certain types of fish.|
What are the basic accessories my fish tank needs?
- Water filters. As the name suggests, they filter and purify the water. They have one other very important function: achieving balance in the fish tank ecosystem, due to the bacteria generated by the residues accumulated by the filter.
- Aerators. Providing the right quantity of oxygen to the fish tank is fundamental, because it allows your fish to live peacefully in their habitat. Since this water system is closed, the ideal solution is to eradicate oxygen particles so that your pets can breathe.
- Lights. In reality, they are more important for your plants than for your fish. Plants will broaden if you have a lot of light, and they'll stretch to look for it in case there is little. In any case, you should always prevent direct sunlight from hitting your fish tank.
- Water testing. You should regularly test the fish tank water to make sure that it is in perfect condition. This will also increase the life expectancy of your fish.
What is a filter for fish tanks?
Filters are designed to simulate the natural conditions of the aquatic environment. This is why you need to set one up in your fish tank, as it will help find the right water composition balance. Many fish owners ask themselves one question: Can the filter ever be unplugged? The answer is no, in particular when it needs to be cleaned.
How does the filtration mechanism work?
- The tank's dirty water enters with its dirt particles (waste, flakes and many chemical compounds).
- It passes through the head of the filter, where the pump gives force to the flow.
- Here are the three parts of the chamber from top to bottom: mechanical filter, biological filter and chemical filter. All the dirt is caught in this chamber, which you will need to clean at least every two weeks.
- The clean water exists the filter.
What are the different types of filters available?
|Type of filter||Model||Characteristics|
|Internal||Sponge (small fish tanks, or bigger ones with few fish)||A foam filtering load working as a mechanical and biological filter. Limited filtering capacity. It needs to be cleaned frequently. Ideal for small fish tanks.|
|Internal||Box or corner (small fish tanks, or bigger ones with few fish)||It attaches to the corner of your fish tank via suction cups. It tends to be very affordable. Best for small fish tanks.|
|Internal||Under gravel (small, or larger fish tanks with few fish)||It is placed under the substrate of the tank (under the sand or gravel). Weekly gravel cleanings are very important. They are not recommended for freshwater planted tanks.|
|External (most popular)||Canister (medium or large fish tanks)||Large flow, due to their storage capacity of filter material. They are easy to manipulate since they are placed outside the aquarium fish tank. These filters are significantly more expensive than internal ones.|
|External (most popular)||Hang on back (HOB) (medium or large fish tanks)||For freshwater fish tanks. As the name indicates, it hangs outside the aquarium. The water inlet and outlet tubes are inserted into the water. Full efficiency up to 200 litres. They correctly oxygenate the fish tank. There must always be water for the device to function or it will break.|
How do I properly clean my fish tank filter?
However, you are advised to throw the sponge away if you notice that it is very worn out. If your device has activated carbon, remember that it should be replaced rather than cleaned. You should also remove it when you put medicines in the fish tanks for your pets, as it won't allow the remedy to reach the water.
So many fish tanks are available out there that buying the right one for your home can be a real challenge. However, having the information required will make this task much easier for you. In the following section, we'll discuss some of the key criteria that you should know in order to purchase the aquarium you need for your fish.
- Capacity and shape
- Easy-to-clean models
- Type of fish
- Additional accessories
- Customer reviews
Capacity and shape
You should base the size of your fish tank depending on the type of fish you have, as some models can have a maximum capacity of 1,500 litres. However, oxygenation is even more important than size. The shape is also fundamental: rectangular fish tanks are ideal because their shape makes them easy to place in your home.
Another reason why you should opt for a rectangular model is that the surface area in contact with air is larger than other types. This facilitates the exchange of gases — expelling carbon dioxide and absorbing oxygen. The structure of the tank will also influence the amount of light that enters, and this is essential for the plants you have in your aquarium.
This is another key aspect to keep in mind when buying your own fish tank. The goal of having a pet is that you can enjoy its company and provide it with a good life. You can't just sit back thinking that your fish will take care of itself, but it shouldn't be a nightmare for you either. Check how long you'll need to clean both the tank and the filter.
As you might know, cleaning an aquarium is a task that requires resources as well as energy. This is why we encourage you to invest in a fish tank that is easy to clean. You can also opt for a large model that will allow you to place the most suitable filter. That way, you won't have to clean it as often.
Type of fish
This is naturally the most important decision you have to make, as it will determine the type of fish tank you need, as well as all the additional accessories and other decorations you want. In case you didn't know, cold water fish tend to be bigger than tropical fish. The good news is that you can have several species cohabit in the same aquarium.
You can opt for having a communal fish tank. This will cost you more, but it will also be more attractive, in particular if you choose to buy a tropical or Dutch style fish tank. If you're a fishkeeping newbie, you are advised to start off slow to have time to learn as you go. In that regard, we encourage you to pick a cold water fish tank with a couple of fish.
You can purchase some aquariums directly as a pack or set — including filters, heaters and other required accessories, or as standalone fish tanks. Your level of skill should help you determine which option is better for you. If you're a novice in the field, for instance, your best choice will probably be to opt for a complete kit that will include everything you need to get started.
On the other hand, if you've already been in the fishkeeping game for some time now, you can easily opt for a fish tank without any additional accessories. You should already have the necessary knowledge to manage all the on your own.
The best thing you can do is to avoid buying a fish tank blindly. That means that you shouldn't let yourself get carried away by attractive prices and pretty images. We encourage you to seek the opinions of other users and even of professionals. Who can know a product better than someone who already has it at home? This may seem obvious, but many people still overlook this useful tool.
One of the best things about online shopping is precisely that you can research, ask and give opinions. You need to use this democratisation of information to your advantage. This is why you should always check the reviews and ratings of past customers whenever you decide to purchase your very own fish tank over the Internet.
Maintaining a fish tank is particularly easy or hard; it simply requires perseverance and dedication. You may have originally thought that having your own fish meant that you didn't have to take care of them. By now, you should know that this isn't true at all: you have to feed them, buy filters, decorations and other products that a fish tank needs to operate properly. You want your fish to live in a clean aquatic space, free of dirt and other debris.
Having a pet at home will bring you great joy, but also a good deal of responsibilities. If you have a fish tank and live alone, it is yours to take care of. On the other hand, if you share your home with other people, we encourage you to divide those responsibilities in order to establish a stronger bond between everyone, including your fish.
This is the end of our guide on fish tanks, and we hope that you found it useful. If that's the case, feel free to leave us a comment in the section below, and share the article on your social media!
(Source of featured image: Bloodua: 25972748/ 123rf.com)