Tropical custom fish tanks can be some beautiful additions to anyone’s life, your home or office and is a fascinating hobby.
Before you buy anything you need to consider the kind of tropical fish you want to keep before considering your preferred tropical fish aquarium. After that, you can think about the type of aquarium you intend to maintain. Several factors enter into its selection: the cost, the types of fish you are interested in, as already mentioned, the number and size of fish for the space available, and the reason for keeping fish (commercial, decorative, or as a hobby).
The question of how large a tank to get is easily answered: Get the largest size practical. The larger the tank, the safer it is for the fish, because there will be less variation of temperature in a larger body of water. Large fluctuations in temperature over a short period of time are dangerous to fish; in their native habitat, which you should try to imitate as closely as possible, there is relatively little temperature change. The easiest method to maintain the correct temperature is with a thermostatically controlled heater. Another reason a large tank is best is that there is less chance of the fish suffocating. Most people believe that the term “balanced aquarium” refers to a balance between the plants and the fish in regard to the production of respiratory gases. They are incorrect. The essential exchange of gases occurs with the atmosphere through the surface of the water, even when aquatic vegetation is present. Therefore, the size of the tank, and consequently the amount of water surface, is of vital importance.
There are many types of aquaria on the market. Only buy an aquarium where tropical fish are sold since “cellar manufacturers” use thin window glass and bathtub variety silicone cement. Aquarium shops won’t sell these tanks because they know their business depends upon your success…and a tank that ruptures because the glass is too thin is hardly a successful experience for anyone.
Pet shops have standard size aquaria. The sizes of these aquaria have evolved so that one tank could nest inside another tank. This makes shipping less costly than shipping “air” when tanks are sent without another tank inside them. Reflectors and stands were made for these standardized aquaria, and basically the sizes haven’t changed over the years.
After you have decided upon the location of the tank and how much space you have available, visit your pet shop dealer and see what standard sizes he has that will fit the space. Of course custom sizes are available to fit exactly into almost any corner (a triangular tank) or any other type of niche.
A good size aquarium to start with is a 10-gallon. This offers plenty of room for a dozen or more small tropical fish and gives the novice a chance to learn all the intricacies of fish care without going into the hobby too expensively. The tank should be equipped with a thermostatically controlled heater, a reflector, scavengers, and some sort of vegetation. These are the basic essentials for an aquarium. Remember that you are trying to imitate the native surroundings of the fish. The more successfully you do this, the more successful you will be with your aquarium.
A cover should always be provided for your aquarium. This should be a piece of plastic or glass—ordinary windowpane will do—cut to fit the tank. This will keep the fish from jumping out, will help control evaporation, and will protect the water from soot, dust, and other kinds of dirt. Moreover, it will serve to discourage prying creatures, be they cats or people! Do not worry about suffocating your fish; even the tightest fit of glass laid on the tank will still admit sufficient air. It is permissible to cut off one small corner of the glass for convenience in feeding.
The next consideration is light. As plants must have strong light in order to remain healthy and to grow, the aquarium should be placed near a window, if possible, so that it can get a minimum of two hours’ direct sunlight daily. However, light from an ordinary light bulb serves as well as sunlight, and reflectors for this purpose are made to fit all standard aquaria. Fluorescent lights are equally effective.
Scavengers are a necessity with every tank for they eat the food that is left uneaten by the other fish and thus prevent it from decaying and contaminating the water. Since the starting aquarist may overfeed his stock, a few scavengers will give him some leeway on overfeeding. Scavengers also help keep down unwanted algae that may grow on the sides of the tank. Some of the best types of scavengers are snails and catfish, although there are many other types.
Tropical fish aquarium useful tips
- Do your homework first. Before you buy any tropical animals consider the lights, aquarium plants, stonework, heaters, filtration, the gravel at the bottom and lighting.
- Look for easy fish to take care of. After all you don’t want to buy something and find out the type of fish you want to keep demand a different style of aquatic environment.
- think about the ph balance, temperature and water condition that can be altered by your feeding regime etc.
- Pay proper attention to lighting. You may want to set it up your tropical tank as an African reef, fresh or salt water, which will need some natural light to bring out the color and for the evening you will want lights to highlight your plants as the tropical fish are hiding in them. You need to be aware that lighting bulbs will affect the temperature.
- Start with some resistant fish. To stock your tropical tank you will be spoiled for choice as there are more than 20,000 aquarium fishy friends to choose from. These are roughly divided into these groups:
- Polypteridae, Osteoglossidae, Doradidae, Pantodontidae, Notopteridae,
- Rhamphichthyidae, Mormyridae, Gymnotidae, Umbridae, Cyprinidae, Characidae,
- Anostomidae, Bagridae, Cichlids, Siluridae, Gouramis, Squeakers and so on.
- Some freshwater species are easier to keep than other species and for the beginner Angelfish, Killifish, Clown Loach, catfish, Tiger and Hatchet fish are few that you may want to consider for your aquarium tank. These also look good under lights.