Things To Have To Start A Freshwater Aquarium

If you thought that your fish isn’t a demanding fish, then you have to think twice about it. Fish are like any other domesticated pets. They also have needs, especially on their end, they have to have an adaptable home and quite similar to their ecosystem.

Setting up a freshwater aquarium can be a challenging project, but who wouldn’t want their pets to stay in an ill-kept aquarium? Our pets, just like we do, need a comfortable environment to stay so that they can live longer.

A Must-Read: Fish Tank Accessories

Types Of Equipment In Setting An Aquarium

Here are the essentials that you needed to have to set up a freshwater aquarium.

Glass Aquarium

For starters, a 10-gallon aquarium is already a perfect place for your pets, but the larger the aquarium is, the better your pets can live comfortably.

You have to avoid buying tall, thin tanks so that they are well-provided with space for their swimming and surface area for breathing and air exchange.

Glass aquariums are more popular, but acrylic tanks are preferable because they don’t easily break, especially when you have children running around your house.

Aqueon Led Aquarium Kit 20h Black

A vibrant 20-gallon aquarium with a cool, white LED lighting will give life to your pet’s home. It also has a preset heater to monitor the water temperature. The kit’s components are the LED Pro power filter, water conditioner, thermometer, and 100W preset heater.

Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit

For a more complex and larger environment that needed an extensive aquarium, you may want to consider Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit.

The kit is equipped with LED Lighting to add a daylight effect, digital thermometer and preset heater to monitor the water temperature and WPF Filter and some natural-looking boxwood plans.

To complete the set, it has a bonus Perfecto Majesty Stand to support and balance the weight of the tank.

Hygger Horizon Aquarium Kit

Highly designed with a dreamy, underwater background, this aquarium can never go wrong. It is an 8-gallon glass tank that comes with some natural grasses.

The power filter is only for 7W and can be used for low water. What makes it different from the other fish tank is the exterior convex arc design. The kit includes Florescent colored lighting, GloFish Aquarium Gravel, and a Penn Plax Fish Net.


Aquariums are filled with heavy water and pieces of equipment so it needs to be balanced. If you are to put in the board bookshelves, then it will not be strong enough to hold the pressure.

A stand is designed to hold and balance the aquarium regardless of its weight. Most aquarium kits are providing their stand. But if you are creative enough, then you can maximize your creativity to create on your own.

Led Light

Fish is always delighted with lights and aquarium kits are already with LED Lights that could give them a solid environment. Light options should have incandescent, fluorescent, mercury vapor and metal halide.

LED lights are cost-friendly in running electricity than the incandescent light and it doesn’t heat the water as well.

Filtration System

The filtration system is an equipment used to filter specks of dirt in the water and is responsible for keeping the aquarium sanitized.

A filtration system with bio-wheel is the most trusted and highly recommended by aquarists because it can filter up the tank at least three times per hour.

Marineland Penguin Filter

When it comes to versatility, MarineLand Penguin can deliver easy filtration in mechanical, chemical and biological means. It can hold up to 70-Gallon freshwater and saltwater aquariums.

MarineLand has been a trusted supplier for more than 40 years in fishkeeping. They have added sensible and innovative ideas to continue its legacy of creating well-engineered products that lead to fishkeeping success.

MarineLand brought BIO-Wheel Filters for easy filtration and packed with Filter Cartridges to be connected to each filter. The Bio-wheel filter can also remove strong substances such as ammonia and nitrite.

The additional features include a two-piece vented cover and adjustable mid-level intake.

Aqueon Replacement Filter

Things To Have To Start A Freshwater Aquarium

A 12-pack filter featuring a ready-to-go cartridge. This filter can be used every 6 weeks maximum. It has a patented dense-floss cartridge with more than 25% carbon than other cartridge brands that were made to ensure equal distribution carbon in the air and to filter meticulously unnecessary air and water content that could intoxicate the aquarium, thus creating a more durable cartridge life.

Heater And Thermometer

Fish is very sensitive to temperature so it has to be controlled under 74 to 77 degrees F only. When choosing a heater, you have to go for a submersible type with a numerable setting.

Even though it costs more than the price with an up-and-down setting, at least the usage of it is worth it. When equal heat is distributed inside the aquarium, it will make the fish more comfortable.

To monitor the water temperature, buying a stick-on thermometer is necessary. Other needed equipment are fishnets, substrate and lid, and hood.

How To Set Up The Freshwater Aquarium

The accessories used in setting up an aquarium might be pricey, yet you also cannot compromise the expense when your pet dies due to an uncomfortable nature.

With a freshwater aquarium, you’ll be able to appreciate the beauty that your pet fish is contributing to the ecosystem.

Set Up The Tank And Stand

You have to set a perfect tank depending on the number of your pet fish and its variety. For example, for betta fish, they are mostly territorial so they needed an aquarium good only for themselves.

Koi, on the other hand, is bigger than a normal goldfish. Koi Fish can’t live in a compressed aquarium because they might easily get suffocated with their environment, so it’s better to get them a 208.L tank to allow them to swim gracefully across the aquarium.

Even the furniture in your house needed extra support to hold on to them. Since aquariums are holding more than 20 gallons of water, the sturdier the stand that you might need. You have to consider the one that matched the shape and dimension of your tank.

Choosing where to place your aquarium and stand is vital because your pet’s health primarily depends on it.

Select a place where the room temperature could be consistent, probably about 5 to 7 inches away from the wall, and should be nearer to the outlet so you can plug in the LED Lights easily and monitor the water temperature regularly.

Never put them where they are too exposed in the broad daylight because sunlight might cause algae around the aquarium.

Stay away from putting it in a darker room as well because it will affect the temperature and attract dust too. Consider the weight of the aquarium so you’ll know how adequate the support is to their weight. Lastly, never set up your aquarium on a rug or carpet.

Installation Of The Filtration System

The most recommended type of filtration system is the under-gravel and power filters that are positioned on the back of the tank because they are easy to install and use.

In choosing the right filter for your aquarium, consider the air pump you bought is strong enough for the tank’s size. Bigger tanks will work well with an under-gravel filter while the power filter can hold up to the maximum of 10-gallon tank that circulates at 50 gph.

If you have chosen under-gravels with a submersible powerhead, you need to fit the lift tube. Fill the tank with water before you attach the powerhead into the lift tube.

On the other hand, if you are using a power filter, then simply set it at the back part of the tank where the water outflow can be equally distributed.

Next, fill in the sand and gravel of about 3 inches. Some fish enjoy playing in gravel so you can purchase gravel in various colors online. After that, rinse the substrate before you install it and make sure that the substrate has less dust.

Lastly, choose the best decoration for your aquarium to make fish think that they are in their habitat. Make it a habit to have your research because the plants that you are about to put inside are the kind of plants that the fish can also eat.

Adding Heat And Water

Fill in the tank first with about two to three inches of water, then wait for a couple of minutes for you to determine if there are any leaks. If there is, then be ready with a sealant so you can dry up the tank and fix it.

Once you have filled the aquarium with water, you can start the filter. Right then, you can install the heater with a temperature of 70 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit and put in the thermometer to monitor temperature changes.

Next, you have to add water dechlorinator for water neutralization to avoid killing fishes.

The last step is to do the fishless cycle by cycling your tank for at least 2 weeks. This is done before you add the fish in the tank to ensure your pet safety.

Best Fish To Pet In A Freshwater Aquarium

Though you cannot cuddle with your pet fish, something is calming and peaceful when you see a fish gliding across the aquarium. According to surveys in the US, keeping a freshwater aquarium fish is the most popular pet keeping activity.

Before you can consider one, you have to know the characteristics of the fish you are about to nurture.


Betta fish, or fighting fish, are easily maintained when they are alone in the aquarium. As mentioned above, a betta fish is very territorial and would risk their lives to other fish fighting for what’s supposed to be theirs.

It’s not a shock why they are preferably kept in small bottles because they usually end up dead due to their stubbornness.

Betta fish are common in Asia and they can be found in shallow water or low-pressure streams and ponds. What’s interesting in learning Betta Psychology is that they can experience depression too, not because of loneliness in the aquarium but because of the environment. That’s why when keeping a Betta fish, you have to add a lot of caves and plants that look almost natural to them.


Goldfish represent prosperity and luck to some countries like China, Japan, and the Philippines and they can be very attractive to the eyes because of their vibrant color.

Goldfish enjoy luring themselves in the cool water. They needed to be placed in an aquarium because they can grow larger and putting them in a bowl will limit their space. If kept carefully, goldfish can extend for more than 10 years.


Angelfish are an extreme sight to see because of their interesting, skin pattern usually in the stripes of blue and yellow. They are community and unselfish fish that can live with other fish when they’re young, however, once they reach maturity, that’s where they start becoming territorial.

They can rarely grow at a maximum of 10 inches so, a 55-gallon aquarium would be the best idea to put them.

Different Types Of Fish Diet

Fish has no universal food for they tend to swim up to the surface to reach out for the foods you’re feeding them, however, they are classified into 3 subgroups because their diet is not mostly similar, except for the pattern of their diet because they are only fed for only 2 times daily.

Fish are opportunists when it comes to food because even when they’re not hungry anymore, they will still ask for more food. For you to familiarize their special needs, you have to know what kind of fish they are: omnivores, herbivores or carnivores.

Omnivorous fish are not picky eaters for they can eat either plants or flesh, and they are the ones who are well-adjusted with commercial products.

When feeding them, you need to look at the nutritional value at the back of the product and ensure that it has Vitamins C, B1, B2, and B6 and more percentage of crude protein and fiber.

For many fish breeders, Flake fish foods are the most popular feed in the market which can be sprinkled on the surface of the water. Betta, goldfish, and angelfish can be easily lured with these foods because of their natural flavor.

Good quality flakes can be bought online at an affordable price.

TetraMin Tropical Flakes

Primarily consisted of 47% crude protein, Tetramin Tropical Flakes is one of the most trusted products in the fish-feeding market.

One advantage of Tetramin is that it can easily be dissolved in the water so it won’t form any cloud in it, thus keeping the water sanitized even after feeding.

Other nutrients that are present in Tetramin Tropical Flakes are 6% moisture with Omega 3 acids and 1% phosphate to eventually stabilize your pet’s digestion and to improve their growth.

Hikari Gold Goldfish Food

For scale coloration booster, Hikari Gold is a perfect match to your betta, goldfish, koi fish and all other fish that have vibrant colors. Although this feed is good only for babies, yet the protein that’s present in this product is more than enough for the adult to intake too.

There is 32% protein and 3% fiber to help maintain their growth and support their weight gain to avoid fat deposit build-up. Patented with Phaffia Dried Yeast as the main ingredient, it can develop their natural beauty which makes them more visually vibrant.

Tetra 16162

Most notable as the best tropical foods amongst the fish breeders, Tetra 16162 has high-end nutrients at an inexpensive cost. Tetramin 16162 is almost the same with Tetramin Tropical Flakes, only that it has a ProCare formula to improve your pet’s immune system and to prevent them from the unwanted disease.

The protein content is 49% whereas the fiber is 6%, enough to keep your pet healthy and alive.

Pond Vs Aquarium Fishkeeping

The thought is it’s always better to keep the fish in the most comfortable state by swimming around freely, still in fishkeeping, you must have a practical, economical approach towards it.

Potential owners would think to invest in buying a pond instead of putting it in a fish tank. You can do it if you have the means to buy a pond for your fish, but you’ll still have to ask yourself: Is it worth it?

For pond fish keeping, it will bring out a different experience for you. One advantage of it is you’ll never know how much growth your fish can get, so you’re already prepared a place for them to continually live even when they get bigger.

Ponds are not a suffocating place for fish as it has a natural distribution of air exchange in the water and of course, a wider place to swim to. However, pond fish keeping can be very costly and it will take a significant amount of energy to build one.

Another advantage of pond fish keeping is the longevity and durability of the sanctuary because they don’t easily break. If you have a long-term plan in fishkeeping, then this might be a good idea for you.

The disadvantage of pond fish keeping is the exposure of the water to sunlight because it produces algae all around the water, so it can be a very high-maintenance job.

This would be a complete experience for the regular aquarium fishkeeping because it is cheaper and easy-to-build. The problem is the growth rate of the fish because they can’t be kept in the aquarium forever once they start growing.

Taking care of your fish is a difficult task but the keyword for all fishkeepers is maintenance. Whether they have to live in a large pond or an aquarium, if you have no desire to maintain its beauty and cleanliness, then fishkeeping is not for you.

Always make sure that both ponds and aquariums have an adequate filtration system to keep it clean every day. However, pond fishkeeping would require you to drain the pond and do a lot of scrubbing once algae start to grow in the water.

Fish For Pond Fishkeeping

Pond fish are usually vegetarian and have a similar characteristic when it comes to their growth rate. For example, the easiest fish to raise in a pond is the tilapia wherein they can be well-adjusted for an average to warm weather of about 77 to 86’F.

They are omnivorous, so they are not picky with the foods they eat. Another fish that can be raised in a pond is the koi fish. Many fishkeepers would think that Koi fish are only for aquariums but apparently, they’re meant to stay in the pond because they can grow for more than afoot.

They can survive the heat of the summer and they are highly resilient too. Koi fish is used as an ornamental fish in some countries in Asia because of the popular belief that it brings good luck to the homeowners.


As mentioned above, the only word that can summarize this all is “maintenance”. Your fish, just like you are, has their needs for shelter too and once their ecosystem changed, they would most likely not survive to their new environment.

Fishkeeping is not just a hobby to nurture, but also an investment where you can get profits out of it in the future once you learned how to take care of them.

May the fish be raised in a compressed, limited aquarium but understand the beauty it gives to our home. In exchange, it will require some energy for us to maintain its beauty by making sure they are well-fed, the water is clean every day, dirt is filtered meticulously and the temperature is bearable for them to handle.

In choosing your fish home, always think of the size of the fish and the aquarium so that you won’t waste another set of money to buy another one when they go overcrowded.

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