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How to Build the Ultimate Home Aquarium

Jun 13, 2008
Aquariums provide a number of great benefits. They are beautiful additions to the home, for example. Watching the gentle movements of the fish can also help reduce stress levels in humans.

Before you begin putting together your own dream aquarium, there are a few points you should consider first.

Freshwater or Tropical?

The biggest decision you need to make is whether your aquarium will contain fresh water or tropical fish. Obviously, the two can't be blended together. If you're not sure which you prefer, here are some factors to help you make that decision:

* Experience - If you are new to aquariums, then go with a fresh water tank. Tropical fish are more difficult to maintain, even for people with lots of experience.

* Budget - If money is tight, then go with a fresh water aquarium. These are usually much cheaper to set up.

* Appearance - If you have your heart set on a gorgeous aquarium full of colour, then you should go for a tropical aquarium. You'll have more options and the colours are often more vibrant.

* Room - Space is an important factor. Fresh water aquariums can be very small so if you have a small apartment then this might be the right choice for you. If you're trying to fill up a blank wall in your living room, then a tropical aquarium might be a wiser pick.

* Fish- Go to your local aquarium store before you make this decision and look at the selection of fish. Do you see some varieties you'd want to include in your own aquarium? Find out what type of environment they need and let that be a factor in your decision.

If you're still unsure about which to choose, do some research on the Internet or read a few library books on the topic to help cement your decision.

Preliminary Steps

After deciding on a type of aquarium, you'll need to begin purchasing supplies. Always purchase the supplies prior to buying the fish. You need the aquarium to be up and running for a few days before you introduce any living creatures.

Obviously, your supplies will include the tank itself, a cover, a net, coverscape (the material that goes on the bottom of the tank), plants (either real or artificial) and some hiding areas (castles, rocks, caves, etc.). Depending on the tank and the fish you choose, you may also need to purchase a heater, a filter, salt water mixture and other items.

Do your homework before you get to the store so you'll know what is necessary. Don't let a pushy sales clerk convince you to buy things you don't need.

Follow the directions on your supplies and set up the aquarium. You want to watch the whole thing for 24 to 72 hours to make sure the water is staying at the correct temperature, the filter is working, and that the environment will be healthy for your new fish.

Finally, you'll want to select your fish. Choose fish that will live well together. Also pick fish that eat at various levels in the aquarium: some eat at the top, others from the middle and others from the bottom. Having some at each level means you'll have less food left over in your coverscape.

Make sure to purchase the right type of food for your fish as well.

By following these basic steps, you can be on your way to creating your own amazing aquarium in your home or office.
About the Author
Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who represents a number of UK businesses. For information on aquariums, he recommends Seapets, one of the UK's leading suppliers of home aquarium.
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