A big part of keeping aquarium fish healthy is understanding what supplies you need and how to effectively use them. During this whole process we are trying to replicate a fish’s natural habitat within a small aquarium. This list is for freshwater aquarium setups.
1. Heater – Tropical Temps
Almost all freshwater aquarium fish are tropical. That means you need a heater for your aquarium. Figure on needing 5 watts per 1 gallon of water. I advise buying a good brand because I hear stories of heaters breaking apart and killing all the fish. If you don’t wanna do any research.. here is the number one sold heater in the world right now.
2. Gravel Vacuum or Water Changer
Two things are mandatory when it comes to cleaning your tank. First, you need to clean the gravel and tank bottom. Second, you need to change a percentage of the water. Using a water changer can do both of those actions at the same time. It’s somewhat new technology in the industry. It hooks up to your sink and you can pull water out of your aquarium and then hit a switch and push water back into the tank. Absolutely brilliant! No more buckets!
3. Quality Filter – Bacteria
There are too quality filter designs that work WAY BETTER than others. With a little research you will find that a person can buy a filter that works 10 times better than others at the same cost. The aquarium industry is full of “gimmick” sale items that are pointless! Beware.
I highly advise buying Marineland bio-wheels filters. They’re super cheap and the bio-wheel is SUPER EFFECTIVE. Do not change the wheel! Let the wheel grow lots of bacteria and get dirty. That’s when they work the best. Here is a link to read more reviews:
If you want to argue with me on what filter is the best.. contact me here. I love talking about filters! I have a YouTube channel devoted to filter reviews.
4. Light and Timer
The type of light you choose is entirely up to you. It doesn’t really matter just as long as you have an actual light. LED lights are popular right now because they are super bright and use very little power. I use them on all my tanks to save money on my electricity bill. Here is a picture of one of the top sold lights on the market right now. Some switch colors too!
Another important aspect to lighting your fish tank is scheduling. You have to remember the light on the fish tank replicates the sun for the fish. The sun rises and sets around the same time parameters every day. It’s healthy for fish to that same routine. That’s where a timer comes into play. Buy one! Trust me it will save you a lot of headache of shutting on and off the lights.
5. Gravel vs. Sand
I hate sand with a passion! It gets sucked into your filter intakes, wrecks the propellers, spreads everywhere when fish dig into it, and it’s harder to clean than gravel. I can’t understand why so many people like it… other than the fact that it looks cool! Beneficial bacteria even grows better in gravel…… So… the choice is yours. Choose wisely (Star Wars voice impression).
6. Nets, Decor, Plants, Etc.
All the other supplies aren’t a huge deal on what you choose. You can use any kind of plant you want or use a pink glow light.. the choice is yours! You can even bring spongebob to your tank! Haha (image below).