Freshwater Fish Aquariums
Keeping freshwater fish aquariums is a favorite hobby of millions of people. Freshwater fish can make a great pet for people who don't have the time to care for a dog or cat, and can also be a substitute pet for children who may have allergies to furrier pets. This doesn't mean, however, that freshwater fish aquariums don't need any care. Depending on the type and size of the tank, caring for freshwater fish can be expensive and can take a lot of your time. So let's look at what the different types of freshwater fish aquariums are, and what is involved with each.
- Cold Freshwater Fish Aquariums - The first type of freshwater fish aquarium can be the easiest to care for and that is the cold water tank. Cold water fish tanks are used mostly for goldfish, but there are quite a few other fish that do well in cold water, including tetras and guppies. Koi are a type of carp that also does well in cold water; coupled with their large size, this makes them the perfect choice for an outdoor fish pond. Most cold water tanks for freshwater fish are kept around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. A single goldfish can be kept in a simple bowl, but with a larger tank using proper filtration, small schools of guppies or tetras can be kept, adding a pleasing and colorful ambiance to any room.
- Tropical Freshwater Fish Aquariums - This is what most people think of when they consider a freshwater fish tank. Tropical fish require a bit more care than their cold water brethren, as the water temperature must be carefully managed. Tropical fish are well liked for their often bright colors. Before stocking an aquarium, it helps to research fish that get along well and have the same temperature needs.
- For either type of tank, there are a few things that should be kept in mind - First of all, it makes sense that a larger tank can hold more fish. An easy way to know how many fish can go in a tank is to measure the fish and add up the number of inches. The standard ten-gallon starter tank should only hold about ten inches of tropical fish and five inches of cold water fish. On the other extreme a 55-gallon tank can hold up to 72 inches of tropical fish and 30 inches of cold water fish.
- When buying your fish, look for those that are alert and active in the tank - Eyes should be clear and the fish should look well fed but not bloated. Scales should be clean and shiny without any unusual blotches or discolorations. Before adding new fish to your freshwater fish aquarium, they should be kept in quarantine for a day or two to make sure they are healthy. A quarantine tank can also be helpful if one of your fish becomes ill. By moving it to a separate smaller tank quickly, you can protect the rest of your freshwater fish from possibly dangerous pathogens.
- Set up your tank by first cleaning it our thoroughly, then letting it dry in the sun - Install the filter and air pump system. The most common types of filtration systems are undergravel filters, box filters, and "hang on back" filters. All three function in the same basic manner and are strictly a matter of preference and cost. If you use an undergravel filter, place it in the bottom and set it up before adding the gravel, otherwise put your gravel in first. Make sure the gravel has been rinsed well before use. Fill the tank with water and allow it to sit with the filter running for 48 hours before you add the fish. This gives the chlorine time to evaporate out, and also lets the tank settle while the filter removes any particulates that may have been floating around.