Setting Up A Fish Tank

Setting Up A Fish Tank

They’re easy to keep and an attractive tank full of colourful fish doubles as an eye-catching design feature in a room.

According to Anthony Ramsey, manager of Auburn Aquarium and Pet Centre, looking after fish is relatively straightforward, even for beginners.

‘It’s important to know the requirements of your fish. Also don’t add too many at once and don’t overfeed them,’ says Anthony.

To make things even easier, all-in-one tank systems are now available that combine filtration, temperature and lighting requirements.

TIP Change a quarter of the tank’s water once a fortnight to keep it fresh.

Getting started
Words: Carmel Roma Image: Thinkstock

Create a safe and comfortable environment for fish to live in and they’ll stay happy and healthy.

Position the tank on an aquarium stand with polystyrene under it to absorb unevenness and vibrations. Find a spot away from direct sunlight to prevent excessive algae growth.

THE QUANTITY OF FISH should be based on the size of each specimen as well as the size of the tank. The total length of all the fish shouldn’t exceed the tank’s length. For a 1000mm aquarium, eight 125mm fish are ideal.

Anthony advises filling the tank with different types of fish at various layers, with a combination of bottom dwellers and surface fish. Use plants and rocks to create a natural setting.

TANK LIGHTING is not essential, but a well-lit aquarium can make brightly coloured fish look their best. Special lights are required if plants or corals are growing in the tank.

THE WATER TEMPERATURE depends on the type of fish. Cold water species, such as goldfish, flourish in 12-20°C water.

Tropical freshwater species thrive in water from 23-28°C, while tropical marine fish prefer water from 24-29°C. The temperature should not exceed 30°C.

WATER ADDITIVES may be required, and can include water agers, chlorine neutralisers and other conditioners to make tap water safe for your fish. Controlling the pH level is also important for the health of fish.

AQUARIUM FILTERS remove solid visible matter such as leftover food and waste, absorb toxins and encourage good bacteria.

The type of filter depends on the tank size, with basic sponge filters suitable for small tanks and external filters offering useful flexibility for larger tanks.

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