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  1. Setting up your First Fish Tank

    Setting up a fish tank, its aquarium supplies, types of aquariums and domestication of the world's most lovable pet will be elaborated in the current piece. When it comes to taking care of fish living in their small ecosystem, a home based aquarium can be a relaxing, inviting, and valuable addition to your home. Also known as an aquarium, a fish tank is an enclosed vivarium with at least one transparent side through which lights, plants, water, and aquatic animals are visible for display, observation, or study.

    4 Types of Popular Fish Tanks

    Freshwater tropical Found in most homes globally and easy to maintain. Coldwater Ideal for keeping Goldfish, the temperatures here are adjusted to less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Marine High maintenance fish tank that proves ideal for salt water marine life. Brackish Ideal for fish that are adaptive to survive in both salt and fresh water.

    How to Set up a Fish Tank in 10 Steps ?

    Setting up a fish tank in the correct manner is essential for the longevity of the fish kept therein. Here is the step wise procedure for setting it up -

    Step 1 Clean and wash the fish tank thoroughly. Sanitize any rocks, gravel or decorative pieces that you intend to put inside the aquarium.
    Step 2 Add clean water to the fish tank. Make sure it is about one third of the level of the tank.
    Step 3 De-chlorinate the water by adding an authentic water conditioner.
    Step 4 Connect the airline tubing from the air pump to any air outlets inside the tank. The outlets can include stones or decoration.
    Step 5 Add plastic as well as actual plants to the aquarium.
    Step 6 Add more water now till its level touches the rim of the frame at top.
    Step 7 Now set up the filter in order to cycle your new tank. Cycling is the process of growing healthy bacteria to remove toxins.
    Step 8 The submersible heater needs to be secure. So fix it and place the the thermometer at a good distance from the heater.
    Step 9 Plug the heater, power filter and the air pump. Make sure to check for optimum temperature in a few hours.
    Step 10 You fish tank is now set up.

    Aquarium Supplies for the Fish Tank

    Setting up a fish tank can be hell lot of work. A methodical approach to set it up and provide supplies can prove useful. The supplies should not only include productive items to be kept inside but also on the outside and for maintenance purposes. There should be a few supplies that should be on your checklist -

    • Stand
    • Substrate
    • Gravel/Stones
    • Heater
    • Light
    • Pump
    • Test Kit - Ammonia/Nitrate/pH
    • Fish food
    • Decorative Plants
    • Scrubber
    • Cover

    Testing Water in a Fish Tank

    Testing water in a fish tank is extremely essential. It will help you curtail the overall fish loss due to rapidly rising ammonia and nitrates reserves. A few aquarium water testing kits need to be used weekly. This will help keep your tank water healthy. The factors that need to be checked are -
    • ammonia
    • nitrite
    • nitrate
    • pH
    It doesn’t matter if your fish tank is just being set or you’re in the fifth year of running. If ammonia and nitrite reserves stack in your aquarium, it could spell disaster for your fish. Investing on a good test kit is totally worth it.

    Having a fish tank at home can be joyous. Fish are one of least fuss creating pets. All one needs to do is maintain the aquariums well and take care of those little beats.    

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  2. Fish as Pets

    Fish are cold blooded animals that live and survive in water, have gills are found throughout the world. After dogs and cats, fish make for third most popular pets world wide. Understanding what variety of fish is to be kept in what place globally, can go a long way in helping them stay healthy as pets.

    Types of Fish Suited as Pets

    The main varieties of fish suited for an aquarium fall into 7 categories -

    CatfishThere are over 2,000 species of catfish each with their own unique characteristics but, as a group, none of these fish have scales. They are covered with skin or an armor-like plating. Many catfish are used as scavengers in aquariums and while many species are well adapted to this, some have very different eating habits. There is probably a species of catfish that would work well in just about any type of aquarium setup.

    Characiforms

    This category includes a very large number of fish that are commonly found in Africa and the Americas. Some of the smaller species are very popular in community aquariums. Some of the larger ones (piranhas) are more difficult and better suited to experts. Many of these species are wild caught.

    Cichlids

    This category consists of a large very diverse number of fish that are commonly found in Africa, thetropical Americas and Asia. The bright colors and diversity of habitat common to these species make them popular in many aquariums. The Cichlids all practice parental care which makes them more territorial. When they are guarding their young or eggs, they can be very aggressive towards any other fish in the area and may even guard their nest areas when they aren't actively hatching young. This aggression makes most of them better suited to living in aquariums where other species of fish aren't present. However, some species (dwarf cichlids and angelfish) will live together well in a community aquarium if the right conditions are provided.

    Cypriniforms

    These fish are found in many locations throughout the world and the species include both tropical varieties and coldwater species such as the goldfish. Many of these species are popular in the aquarium because of their hardiness, ease of care and willingness to breed. Many species are sociable and do well in a community aquarium.

    Cyprinodonts

    These fish are usually small and live and feed near the surface. The toothcarps consist of the egg layers that can be rare and difficult for beginners and the live bearers that are popular aquarium species such as guppies, mollies, swordtails, and platys.

    Labyrinth Fish

    This group of fish is very popular with the aquarist. They are generally small, hardy, peaceful fish that are well suited to community aquariums with the exception of some of the aggressive males of the paradise fish.

    Rainbowfish

    The fish from this family come from a variety of different habitats and the individual needs of each species should be researched. These fish tend to have an iridescent quality to their skin that makes them change colors as they move through the light. Most species are small, peaceful, and colorful, and make good additions to a community aquarium.

    Top 10 Reasons Why Fish Make for Excellent Pets

    1 Fish are known to have a tranquil effect on anyone who watches them glide through the water.
    2 They are easier and less expensive to feed and care for than other pets
    3 They lack any kind of destructive behaviour.
    4 They are silent pets and will never disturb you.
    5 There is an array of variety of fish in the market.
    6 Compared to other animals, fish make for cleaner pets.
    7 They will never attract dirt or infection from outside and hence you'll stay safe of disease.
    8 They don't require you to modify your routine for them.
    9 They are extremely playful and it'll be a pleasure to have them around.
    10 A fish aquarium can comfortably be placed anywhere in the house.

    Having fish as pets is fun. Understand them better and they'll be around for long.  

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  3. Tropical Fish: The Best Beginners

    Tropical fish are species of fish that are found in warmer environments around the world. They can be both freshwater as well as saline in nature. In an aquarium, a tropical fish pertains to the variety that resides in heated tanks. Usually, freshwater tropical fish are more commonly kept than saltwater tropical fish due to the common availability of fresh water sources.

    Tropical Fish Make for Best Beginners in Aquariums

    As a beginner, you should go for varieties of tropical fish that give you the best chance of success with your home aquarium. Here are the top Five species -

    1. Neon Tetra
    2. Swordtail
    3. Corydoras
    4. Zebra Danio
    5. Otocinclus

    Neon Tetra

    Neons are among the most popular of freshwater tropical fish due to their tiny size and vibrant colors. They only grow about an inch or so long, so any aquarium 10 gallons or bigger makes for a suitable home. These little guys are schooling fish, which means you want to have at least six of them, preferably more. When their school is too small, or when the water is poor, they can get nippy at each other. Otherwise, they are an extremely docile and easy-to-care-for fish species, well suited to beginning and advanced fish keepers alike. Beware not to stock them with larger fish, because they make a tempting snack. One rule to remember when stock fish: Big fish eat little fish!

    Swordtail

    Swords are another pretty species that will grow to about two inches in length. They’re very peaceful, though fairly active. You can tell the males apart from the females by the elongated “swords” on their tails, hence their name. While these guys aren’t aggressive, you may notice the male relentlessly harassing the female. It’s just his way of showing swordtail love, but it can be fairly stressful for her. One solution is to have at least two female swordtails for every male. The male will still be pesky and bothersome, but at least the same female won’t be getting the brunt of his attention all the time.

    Corydoras

    Cories, or cory catfish, are small, ancient-looking armored catfish. There are a few different popular species, such pepper cories and albino cories. The emerald catfish is a closely related species often labeled as a cory, though it's not technically in the same sub-family. They all do the same job, which is to scavenge the bottom of the tank for leftover food, plant matter and other debris. Many fish keepers choose to feed sinking pellets to make sure their cories get enough to eat. Most cories grow to only two or three inches in length, but with age some can get a bit larger, particularly the emerald cory. They are schooling fish and need at least six in their shoal, though like all schooling fish more is generally better.

    Zebra Danio

    The zebra danio is a great tropical fish for beginners, and very popular. They’re hardy, active and cute, and you’ll probably want a small group of them in your tank. These little guys have black and white stripes down the length of their bodies, which is how they got their name, but other danio strains may have spots. The standard zebra is short-finned, and only a couple of inches long, but there are also long-finned and lyre–tail varieties. You should be able to choose from a bunch of different kinds at most live-fish stores. Note also that the popular (but expensive) GloFish is actually a specialized zebra danio, bred to bring out bright red, yellow and green pigments.

    Otocinclus

    Some aquarium owners want a fish that will eat algae, and so they go out and get a plecostomus. The problem is most plecos grow up to two feet in length, and are not a good choice for the home aquarium. But the Otto catfish will happily much on the algae on tank glass and decorations, and they only grow to about two inches long. They like to school so have six or more, and make sure to supplement their diet with algae wafers. Unlike with a pleco, you don’t have to worry so much about your live plants with these little fish either. And they tend to blend into the background. Moving a piece of wood or a plant can dislodge half a dozen Ottos you didn't even know were there. Tropical fish make for great pets. With a little care from fish owners, they can live for longer durations.
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  4. Aquarium Fish: Types, Selection and Maintenance

    Choosing proper Aquarium Fish can be an irksome task for a first timer. There are plenty of fish available in the market but one needs to know exactly the type that would be suited for a particular environment. Fish are extremely sensitive to the environment conditions inside the aquarium and hence every care should be taken to help them survive well. It is extremely important for fish owners to understand what kind of aquarium fish should be kept inside a fish tank or a fish bowl. Many times, fish die during the first few days of their arrival. This happens due to wrong selection of aquarium fish. The end result is a disappointed fish owner who gives up. Try not falling in this category.

    Essential Factors for Choosing Aquarium Fish

    The two factors that should be definitely kept in mind while dealing with fish for the first time are -

    1. Number of Aquarium Fish Moderation is the key here. Add 3-4 aquarium fish when you first set up the tank. Cluttering the inside with too many fish will lead to their early death. More fish can be added once the nitrogen cycle is fully established and the conditions inside the tank are stable.
    2. Type of Aquarium Fish Usually people tend to go for fishes that appeal them physically. Now that is not a good criteria for selection. The qualities that one should look while choosing a beginner fish are health, compatibility with other fish, adaptability, size and behavior.

    Ideal Beginner Aquarium Fish

    Barbs - Fit well even if the school of fish is large and are well suited for community aquariums.
    Tetras - Their super peaceful nature makes them one of the best community fish and they will do well combined with most species that require similar water values.
    Rasboras - Prove extremely good as beginner aquarium fish due to the toughness of their body and the composure in their behaviour.

    Popular Aquarium Fish that don't Prove as Good Beginners

    Gold Fish - Even though they are immensely appealing, they tend to produce a lot of waste. This implies that they need a bigger tank for themselves alone. The fact that gold fish are usually kept in a bowl is a factually incorrect choice.
    Cat Fish - Either, they are extremely sensitive to the toxins around or grow quite large in size fast. Both these conditions are unfavorable for beginner aquarium fish.
    Angel Fish - With other varieties of fish around, they tend to be infected with growth deformities and don't reach their true potential.

    Tank Selection for Aquarium Fish

    Just as selecting aquarium fish out of impulse is not recommended, similarly fish tank should be chosen after careful consideration of a number of factors. The market has an array of beautiful tanks but physicality is not the key to selection here. A fish tank should be bought keeping in mind the varieties of fish kept therein and their adaptability towards certain sizes.

    Ideal Feed for your Aquarium Fish

    Feeding your fish with the right nutrients is as important as the environment you're providing your pets. The quantity of fish feed matters as much as the quality. Overfeeding your fish will prove disastrous. Also, identify your fish depending on the type, feeding habits and the growth cycle. The market is full of abundant fish food. Some of the useful choices are - Betta foods, Blood worms, Algae Waffers, Cyclops, Daphnia, Crab nuggets, Lobster nuggets, Flake foods, Koi food, Pellet food, Sinking food, and Krill.

    Ways to Keep Aquarium Fish Safe

    Never over feed fish. In fact not feeding them for a few days is good for their metabolism.
    During water exchange, try not removing more than 25% of water.
    Always use water conditioner when adding new water, else chlorine will kill fish.
    Never disturb the PH level of the water tank.
    Remove uneaten food regularly from the aquarium.

    Fish are considered as one of the most fuss free pets in the world. Handle them with care and it'll be fascinating to have them around.

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