What you need to know about owning an aquarium

aquarium

Owning an aquarium

Owning an aquarium is a fascinating hobby. If your parents or grandparents ever had an aquarium or you had a small aquarium as a child, you are very likely to own one as an adult.

The design and stocking of an aquarium varies with tons of details and almost limitless possibilities. An aquarist has the challenge is discovering what works well for them.

Below you get basic information which can also help you to maintain an safe, sanitary and habitable aquarium.

We will cover important topics such as

Plants in the aquarium

Plants do two things to an aquarium:

  1. They visually enhance the aquarium
  2. If an aquarium is lavishly planted, this usually also has a positive effect on the water quality.

It is therefore very important to focus on the selection of different aquarium plants. We have divided the desired plants for the aquarium into the categories:

  1. Foreground plants
  2. Background plants
  3. Floating plants and mosses

We will go into details each category below to ensure that the aquarist can quickly find new plants for the aquarium that meet certain requirements.

1. Background Aquarium Plants

Background plants usually have a lush growth and can therefore be used to effectively green the back of the pool.

Read more on the Background Aquarium Plants here

2. Foreground Aquarium Plants

Foreground plants stay rather small and are suitable as a visual highlight in an aquarium without restricting the view into the same too much.

The aquarist can use floating plants to give his tank a very natural look – in combination with other plants, however, the risk of shading must always be taken into account.

Read more on the Foreground Aquarium Plants here

3. Floating Plants and mosses

Mosses, on the other hand, are usually very fine-leaved plants that have been enjoying increasing popularity recently – mainly due to the trend towards keeping shrimp in aquariums.

However, we would also like to devote ourselves to the plants that are not welcome in the aquarium hobby: Of course, we are talking about algae.

Their frequent occurrence is an alarm signal for every aquarist that should encourage them to look for weak points in the artificial biological system.

Once the causes of increased algae growth in the aquarium have been identified, the aquarist can act and help his animals and plants to find a home worth living in again.

Read more on the Floating Plants and Mosses here

Technology in the aquarium hobby

A little interest in technology is an advantage if you want to deal with aquaristics.

It’s a good idea to have basic knowledge. Ideally you won’t have to deal with the installation, use and maintain the technical equipment for an aquarium. 

There are specialists that now offer everything that you need from a technical point of view to install, set up and maintain an aquarium.

Aquarium Filter Technology

The filter technology used plays a very important role in every aquarium to make sure that fish such as Honey Gourami are always healthy:

Biological filtration

Bacteria are the most important part of an aquarium filtration system. Various species feed on ammonia, a highly toxic substance produced both by fish metabolism and by decomposition, which they convert to nitrite (still quite toxic).

Then other bacteria feed on the nitrite, converting it to nitrate, which is relatively harmless at low concentrations.

These bacteria need a well-oxygenated place to grow; they will colonize any suitable surface in the system. Biofilters are typically highly porous media through which water is pumped.

Because air contains 20,000 times more oxygen than water, massive bacterial colonies can be maintained by wet-dry technology, in which water is sprayed or dribbled over a medium; since it is merely kept moist, the thin film of water is constantly bathed in oxygen-rich air.

Mechanical filtration

Mechanical filtration traps suspended particulates. The water is clearer, but the wastes continue to add to the bioload of the aquarium until the medium is cleaned or replaced.

Water polishing is accomplished by forcing the water under pressure through either diatomaceous earth or micron media.

This removes the smallest suspended matter — even microscopic organisms.

Chemical filtration

Chemical filtration media take up impurities from the water. Carbon’s effect is quite broad, adsorbing a wide variety of dissolved chemicals, while resins are usually very specific, targeted to remove a single impurity, like phosphate.

These media remove the substances immediately from the water, but they are quickly saturated and must be replaced regularly.

Long after they cease to adsorb, however, they often provide significant biofiltration by providing substrate for bacterial colonies.

Aquarium Filter Guide

Maintenance of the aquarium

Owning an aquarium always means having to put up with a certain amount of work in maintaining it.

The main goal of routine maintenance is a stable and balanced aquarium.

The following important tasks must there be incorporated into your aquarium maintenance routine:

  1. Testing the water
  2. Changing the water
  3. Cleaning the filter.
  4. Regular vacuuming of sludge that collects on the substrate in the aquarium may also be advisable, depending on the aquarium.

There is no question that an aquarium basically requires a certain amount of maintenance, but how it should be designed in detail is a subject that aquarists are controversial about.

FACT: Absolute cleanliness and an accurate design may look pretty, but if this visual appearance is at the expense of the important bacteria that maintain the biological system, it can quickly become dangerous for fish and plants.

If you are a beginner, please make sure that you do not do too much so that the aquarium looks like it is still new. That might affect the bacteria ecosystem.  

Deciding on the fish species for your aquarium

aquarium

Let’s be honest. Keeping fish in an aquarium is such a cool thing! They are the life of the party and are always a conversation starter when you have guest at the house.

Who doesn’t know them – guppies, platys, catfish, neon fish, discus fish and Co.? Very colorful or large aquarium fish in particular quickly attract attention.

3 Basic rules to selecting a fish species for your aquarium

1. Each fish species has its own needs and demands

When selecting the fish species for their aquarium, however, the aquarist must always keep in mind that each species of fish has its own needs and demands.

These fish should only find their way into the aquarium if the individual requirements of a species can really be met.

2. Not all fish species can socialize in an aquarium

A second important basic rule when choosing fish is that different species cannot be socialized in an aquarium at will.

Before such socialization, it is always necessary to check in each individual case whether the different fish species are compatible with one another – experience reports on the Internet and advice from specialist retailers can help at this point.

3. Stocking must be adapted to the size of the tank

Another important basic rule when planning the stocking for an aquarium is that the stocking must always be adapted to the size of the tank.

If too many animals are kept in an aquarium, too many pollutants arise, which can impair the water quality. The latter can quickly become a threat to all animals and plants in the aquarium.

In principle, aspiring aquarists should also know that fish are not the only possible inhabitants of an aquarium: Shrimps, crabs, snails etc. are also interesting aquarium inhabitants that can be easily observed.