On my 10th birthday, my dad gave me a beautiful pair of gold fish. They were so beautiful that if I had a choice, I would have carried it to wherever I went. But obviously that is not practical. So I got a fish bowl for them and decorated it beautifully. They lived for a year or so.

And when they were gone, I was so heartbroken that I almost got into depression. So off we went to the market, and daddy got me a bunch of beautiful colored fishes. They would obviously not fit into a tiny bowl. So my next task was to set up an aquarium. And trust me, it is no easy job to set up and maintain an aquarium. It takes quite a lot of time and effort.

Here are a few guidelines that first timers may find helpful.

Setting Up Your Aquarium

You will need to decide on the size of the aquarium first up. That would in turn depend on how much space you have for spare. Once that is decided, you can buy your fishes.

Please make sure you don’t cramp those poor things in the tank. If you do not have space for a large one, please be happy with a few fishes. Just keep in mind, how would you feel in a crammed lift?

The aquarium needs to have a sturdy stand to be able to hold the weight. When that is done, you will need to invest in a good cover and a water filter. The fishes will need unpolluted water to survive. This can be ensured only with a good filtration system.

You will also need a water conditioner in case the water has chlorine and heavy metals in it.

Large aquariums are available in glass and you need to be very careful about it. Smaller ones are usually made of plastic and are unbreakable.

Decorating Your Aquarium

Now that you have set up the aquarium, it’s time to pep it up. The fishes also like to stay happy in pretty surroundings isn’t it? The bigger your aquarium, the more space you have for decoration.

You can buy small bags of colorful rocks that can be even color coordinated with your room.

Next you can add a background to your aquarium. They are easily removable. Your fishes will love it.

The next thing is to buy pretty plants. They come in all shapes and sizes. You may opt for artificial ones or natural ones. Either way, they brighten the surroundings. The artificial plants are more durable than their natural counterparts though.

Cleaning Your Aquarium

It is not enough just to set up and decorate an aquarium. You will need to clean and maintain it too. Your fishes deserve clean and healthy surroundings.

A good filtration and water purifying system will ensure that your fish tank does not get murky too soon.

Even then, you will need to clean your tank at least once a month. You will need to change the water completely.

This is how to do it:

  • First you need to transfer your fishes to a clean bucket filled with fresh water.
  • Then take out all decorations one by one.
  • Wash the rock and other artificial decorations with soapy water.
  • If you have natural plants, then throw them away and get new ones.
  • If you have artificial ones, then clean them and pat dry for reuse.
  • If you notice that algae have grown inside your aquarium, then you can use a magnetic algae scraper to remove it.
  • After you have cleaned and redecorated your tank, take your fishes out of the bucket with a small net and put them immediately in the tank.
  • Remember, fishes can’t breathe without water.

Now that you are well versed with the basics of keeping an aquarium, go ahead and enjoy.