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Owning Aquarium - Qualities of a Good Aquarium

For owning an aquarium there is no such thing as a "perfect" aquarium for your fish. Different pets have different needs, and even for animals of the same species, different breeds within the species have various physiological requirements that you'll need to cater to. Often though, adapting an aquarium to the specific needs of a type of fish is simply a matter of accessorizing once you're got the basic equipment down.

One of the first things you have to consider is the type of fish you'll be raising in the aquarium. There are subtle differences to a salt water and fresh water aquarium, so you have to buy one that's right for your fish. While fresh water aquariums are much more common and traditional, salt water aquariums are gaining in popularity due to people's wanting to raise unique brands of fish, and even go so far as to include live coral in their aquarium's decoration.

In either case, the first thing you need to do is to get an aquarium that's the right size for your fish. Ask at your local pet store when you purchase a fish what size of tank you'll need for it; take into account the number of fish you'll be placing in it, as well.

While some pet stores tend towards cramming large numbers of fish into a relatively tiny tank, keep in mind that this is because they are there for display purposes, and that those fish are meant to be sold off quickly so comfort isn't too much of a priority. For the long run however, you want enough space for your fish to swim around in without getting cramped. Also remember that some breeds of fish are aggressively territorial, so you'll either want to place these fish in their own separate tanks or buy larger tanks that will keep them from fighting.

On the average, tanks should have water capacities of 20 gallons or more. Along with water capacity, you should also keep tank shape in mind... some breeds of fish prefer wide and long but relatively shallow tanks, while others prefer deeper ones.

Aside from tank size and water capacity, another important consideration for an aquarium is the filter. The filter is the heart of the tank, keeping the water clean and filled with oxygen. Wet/dry filters with pumps are the most commonly used for aquariums, and these keep the water circulating constantly. They are also very easy to maintain, and relatively cheap.

Another type of filter is the gravel filter. These are more expensive, and are harder to maintain than regular wet/dry ones, but they provide a form of biological filtration which can be quite benificient for your fish, removing harmful bacteria and even, to an extent, cleaning out small particles of algae from the water.

Third, there are fully biological filters which are composed of living and highly decorative corals and fronds grown in trays; while these are commonly used on full fish ponds, miniaturized versions are available for some larger aquariums. These biological filters are the most natural and efficient way to keep your aquarium clean and air circulating, and they do the best job on cleaning out algae.

This third type of filter system is probably the most appropriate for a salt water aquariums, as the differences between salt and fresh water isn't merely the addition of "salt" per se, but various minerals. There is also an entire ecological system involving ammonia and nitrogen that keeps salt water fish alive, and that requires biological components like marine plants to keep the cycle going. A biological filter will be able to keep the cycle within a salt water aquarium going, and will keep the fish in it alive.

Lastly, aside from the tank size and filter/pump system, a good aquarium will also sport a heater system to keep the water warm and comfortable for the fish. While this may not seem important, remember that some breeds of fish are sensitive to colder temperatures. Tropical fish, in particular, will need to have an aquarium with a heater, especially when taken to a colder climate. But even with non tropical fish, keeping the water in an aquarium warm prevents the fish from getting sick - yes, fish get colds too, which is why you'll actually see fish "sunning" themselves sometimes near the water's surface in ponds.


Aquarium Ebook