What aquarium supplies do I need?

What aquarium supplies do you need? Well if this question has been playing in your mind, then you have come to the right place.

On one level,its really a chicken and egg question. I mean literally.

Of all the fish tank accessories that you would need most, its not the fish tank itself, or the stand or those nice little pebbles. No, none of that. The most important, is the fish itself. I mean depending on what fish you are planning to keep, it will largely influence what aquarium supplies you may need. Makes sense right?

Having said the above, I still need to choose whether it is the chicken or the egg. (Is it possible?!). I think the way that makes most sense is to go from the ground up in terms of the most basic aquarium supplies to the most elaborate.

Oh one more thing, this is talking only about freshwater fish tanks. Maybe I will get to marine ones later on.

101 - The Most Basic Aquarium Supplies

The most basic aquarium supplies you would need is basically some water, some anti-chlorine/chloramine medication, a fish bowl, some fish flakes for food and 1 Gold Fish. Thats it. Ok instead of 1 Gold fish maybe you can have 2 or 3 Guppies. Another idea is maybe 1 Betta Fish but really thats about it.

Thats right, totally basic, just a fish bowl, water, necessary food and medication and 1 or 2 fish.

I think you guys probably have seen this in a movie somewhere or even at the local County Fair. The idea is having fish in fish bowls and really thats about it. Of course there are small bowls and big bowls, if you can, go for the bigger one.

Personally, I have tried this style maybe loooong ago. Not too satisfying for me because I prefer fast river fish but it works as a start. You dont have to do too much upkeep, other than feed the fish and change the water regularly. (dont forget to put anti-chlorine medication!)

202 - Basic Aquarium Supplies

For a slightly higher challenge, you would want to start with an actual small sized, usually rectangular aquarium. These tend to be maybe 2 feet long, 1 foot wide and 1 foot high. These days, there are smaller aquariums than this, but I dont quite recommend those unless you want to treat it like the fish bowl I just wrote about up there. Still possible,I guess.

So you have a small fish tank with you. Great. Now whats next is either choose one of the aquarium stands available i.e.if it did not come with one or you actually need one (since you could put it on a table for e.g.). After that, you would need one of the aquarium hoods available out there. For a smaller fish tank, perhaps one of those hoods that basically is a light housing is sufficient. (Does not close up the top of the fish tank). You could also get one that covers the whole tank and has an opening for you to feed the fish. The next thing is you need one aquarium air pump, some plastic tubing and an internal filter of some sort. For a functioning basic aquarium, those are the only aquarium accessories you need.

Optionally you could also have aquarium sand or fish tank gravel, aquarium lighting would be nice and maybe some fish tank decorations like aquarium wallpaper and some of those nifty looking aquarium ornaments like bridges, the opening clam shells, the gaping crocodile, etc. Live aquarium plants are also popular but you need to be careful with these as it depends on what fish you will have, some fish will just tear the plants apart!

This kind of fish tank, you can have more varied fish, perhaps 2-finger sized fish, maybe half a dozen of them or so or perhaps a school of smaller fish such as guppies and neon tetras. Depending again on the fish, you can start having small fish pellets along with fish flakes for fish food.

Of utmost importance though is situating this aquarium near to an electrical socket as your aquarium air pump will need electricity.

In summary you would need:
1) Small fish tank
2) Aquarium Stand
3) Aquarium Hood
4) Aquarium air pump
5) Internal filter

303 - Average Aquarium Supplies

As you can see, this level is fairly high level of fish keeping already since it has the almost graduate level of '303' :)

For this level, you would need a standard sized large aquarium. These tend to be rectangular as well but can be squarish and if it was one of the acrylic fish tanks, can even be slightly curved. They tend to be about 4 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet or about 250 Liters of water (66 Gallons-US). Depending where you are, sometimes a 55 gallon fish tank is typical as well.

This type of tank is quite large and you can easily fit a number of 3-finger sized fish, or 2 or 3 large fish or even 1 very large fish for e.g. a predatory fish.

Optionally you could have aquarium driftwood as decoration or as important hiding areas for certain kinds of fish. This can help make your fish community more varied and cheerful!

Otherwise, the aquarium supplies required would be (above and beyond whats been mentioned above):
1) standard sized large fish tank
2) Aquarium Stand (usually included)
3) Aquarium Hood (Usually included and covers the whole top of the fish tank)
4) Aquarium air pump (with plastic tubing)
5) Aquarium air stones
6) Aquarium background / wallpaper
7) Fish tank gravel
8) Fish tank lights
9) Aquarium decorations
10)External Filter (On the side or above)

310 - Above Average Aquarium Supplies (external filter down below)

This is of a slightly higher level but can be considered similar since I gave this '310' while the previous one was '303'.Essentially all the items are the same except that the external filter is either built in below the fish tank OR is one of the commercially available R2-D2 type External Filters. In either case, the aquarium stands tend to be actual cabinets and literally look like part of the furniture. Also, this level of fish tank can be bigger than the above. Double the size even i.e. 500 liters or about 132 US Gallons. Again, a 100 gallon fish tank could be popular in your country.

Optionally, this level should also have nifty things like a water testing kit, perhaps thermometer and/or fish tank heater where needed and required.

These fish tanks are essentially a level apart but are more of having a slightly higher cost perspective and yes maybe its a bit more elegant too.

404 - Advanced Aquarium Supplies

This level of aquarium supplies is truly advanced. Its basically souped up 310, in every way.

These are the types that would have all the above stuff, perhaps are built into walls and even have piping that are built in so that water can be removed and added easily from just turning a tap. They would also be very aesthetic such as having nice forest of aquarium plants with corresponding creatures and fishes that are used to such environments. Often times, you find these at the local pet store or serious enthusiasts who either do it themselves or have some professional come in to tend the aquarium ever so often. These are the work of art type of aquariums.

Electives - Optional Aquarium Supplies

So under the elective choice, you could have separate fish tanks that serve as fish nurseries. Especially so for the brooder types, the ones that bear live young. You can also have a separate 'hospital' fish tank, where you can keep some of the ill fish apart from the others, not only as quarantine but also as a place where you can control medication. These will tend to be small and have 'basic aquarium supplies' characteristics.

Of course as well for every level you would need these items:
1) Anti-chlorine/anti chloramine medication for water changes
2) Fish net (from the smallest size - good for removing small detritus to one as large as your largest fish)
3) Prevention medication especially anti-bacteria and anti-parasite
4) Plastic Hoses to help in water changes

5) A supply of filter media

6) A supply of fish food


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