Beginners Guide to Fish Keeping and Building your first Aquarium (Part 1)

5. Air Stone or Bubble wand for the tank

Although not mandatory for just starting out on your aquarium project, I highly recommend adding an Air Bubbler system.  Air bubbles helps with circulation and oxygenation of the water. Oxygenation  is important for fish and making sure that “dead spot” areas do not form in your tank. Oxygenation also helps with keeping algae and other bad stuff at bay. Plus it also adds a nice look to your tank. The other reason is that it helps with Gas Exchange from the water to the air and vice versa. Also the top of the tank water remains clear.

6. Air Pump – to power your air stone or bubbler

Needless to say if your going with an airstone or bubbler then you’ll need an Air pump and Air lines. I use Tetra’s Whisper 40 Air pump. this thing is  quiet and just keeps on working !

Tetra - Air whisper 40

7. Essential Fish Keeping Tools

Essential tools are:

  1. A Net – kind of important because when you buy fish you will need to scoop them into your tank
  2. Water Buckets – lots of buckets big and small and preferably with water volume printed on them. Small buckets for top-ups and Big Buckets for larger water changes or holding water soaked equipment or rocks while cleaning the tank.
  3. An SoS pad or Fish Scrubby – this will clean all those areas that you can’t seem to scrap off.
  4. A Fish Window Squeegee – This helps keeping the windows clean so you can see your fish ! (could use the SOS pad instead as well)
  5. In tank Thermometer – need to tell how cold or hot the tank is !
  6. Turkey baster (Optional) –  If you have dwarf frogs get a turkey baster to feed all your bottom feeders  a tasty blood worm meal. (Dwarf frogs need to be hand fed every so often because the fish eat the food so fast above them).
  7. Pipe Cleaner (Optional) – If using a canister filter its recommended that you get a long Water line cleaner to keep your lines clear of algae buildup.

 8. Essential Chemicals

Essential Chemicals are:

  1. A Fresh water Test kit – For testing your levels (very needed during tank cycling, afterwards not so much if you’ve done everything correctly.API Master Fresh Water Test Kit
  2. Water Conditioner / De-Chlorinator  – Such as API brand or SeaChem’s PRIME  – This gets rid of any chlorine or bromine products in your tap water. Mix this in before hand, I typically let this sit for 15 minutes or so before adding the water to the tank to let the chemicals do their work. Add this to every water change bucket and let rest for a bit. Sometimes filling the bucket ahead of time and setting aside (as long as there are no pets around to drink the water) over night can also help as chlorine evaporates within 24 hours.API Tap Water Conditioner
  3. Stress Coat plusSeachem Prime
  4. Aquarium Salt – Salt for a fresh water tank you ask ? Actually a tiny bit of salt helps every so often for Fish processes. Too much and your fish suffer but a little bit should be put into your water every so often.
    Aquarium Salt

As a rule of thumb,  the less Chemicals you have to add the better and healthier your fish will be.
If you have problems with ammonia or nitrites, then ask yourself what natural things are not occurring or are you Over feeding, overstocked or  still in your  initial cycling phase.

Problem free Freshwater tanks do not require many chemicals to maintain (just de-chlorinator).

 – This is the End of Part 1 (Check Back soon for Part 2) –



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