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Aquarium Buying Advice

All too often new aquarium owners have a bad first experience with their first aquarium and end up giving up almost before they get started. Considering these basic factors and planning will help potential new owners avoid common pitfalls. Even for the experienced aquarium owner, planning is a good idea.

1. Cost

Expenses include the aquarium and stand, hood and light, heater, filter, gravel, decorations, water treatment, net, and cleaning supplies. All that in addition to the fish, as well as their food. Make a thorough checklist and go online or to a pet store, then write down the costs for all the items you are interested in. Sit down and determine what your bottom-line cost is before you make your decision. You may be surprised to see what the actual total cost is.

2. Size

Avoid tanks under 40L if you are a first-time aquarium owner. Small aquariums are far more difficult to manage than larger ones, as toxins can build up very quickly in the small volume of water. Temperature changes and water chemistry changes can also occur very quickly when there are only a few gallons of water.

It’s best to avoid cute mini-aquariums that range from 10-20L. Although some of the package deals in tiny aquariums may seem reasonably priced, they are not good for the first-time aquarium owner. If at all possible, go with a 75L or larger tank. You’ll have a much better chance of making it work, as a larger tank is more forgiving of errors you might make.

3. Cleanliness

UV sterilizers can be used in the prevention of free-floating algae, bacteria, viruses, fungus, and even some parasites. UV sterilizers incorporate a germicidal or UV lamp in which the ultraviolet rays emitted will kill certain organisms based on the number of ultraviolet rays they are exposed to. If a larger UV sterilizer is used to control parasites as well as bacteria be aware that they can generate a lot of heat and may increase the need of a chiller in large reef aquariums.

It’s clear that buying an aquarium isn’t an investment to be taken lightly. So, when first starting out, think big when it comes to tank size and small for numbers of fish. If you plan before making your purchase, you’ll definitely be successful.

4. Number of Fish

Lastly, be realistic about the size and number of fish you wish to keep. They will determine the size of the aquarium needed, which ultimately impacts the space you’ll need to accommodate it. Even if you choose a larger tank, start with a few small easy to care for fish. As you gain experience, you can add more challenging fish.

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