7 Products Every New Aquarium Owner Should Have
So, you've bought your new aquarium, set it up and maybe you've even got your fish. But, is there anything you should still be getting? was there anything you missed? This list has been compiled to include items that we believe every fish owner should have.
A Gravel Cleaner
Gravel cleaners are the ultimate tool for good aquarium maintenance. Maintaining your tank isn't just about changing the water, fish waste and excess food will accumulate at the bottom of your new aquarium. Water quality will quickly deteriorate when this builds up. Using a gravel cleaner like this for your maintenance will ensure that your aquarium stays healthy.
Water changes can quickly become a mess of long pipes leading to a sink or window with spillages all over. Getting a jerry can be a life saver when your nearest window or sink is too far. Filling the aquarium from a jerry can will save you time too. No more running back and forwards with small buckets of water splashing all over the place.
(When carrying water be aware that each liter is a kilo in weight, know your limits.)
When filling your aquarium with water, it can be tempting to do so without treating it first, if it's safe for us it's safe for them, no? No! Tap water is treated with chlorine and chloramine plus it contains metals and other contaminants, all of which are fine for human consumption.
So before adding water to your aquarium, treat it with a de-chlorinator.
From our experience the best nets are green with holes that are not too fine. This may not be an issue with dead fish, however when you need to remove a fish that looks ill, or if you want to re-home or trade in a fish, you will want one which doesn't create to much drag and isn't as obtrusive.
(Don't ask me why green, but it works.)
While all good aquarium heaters now come with built in thermostats, a thermometer will tell you that the heater is working. Get into the habit of checking your thermometer every time you feed the fish. (At this time you should also be checking the fish too. Odd behavior is one of the first indicators that something may be off.)
A floating thermometer which is stuck to the inside of the aquarium with a suction cup is usually recommended.
Personally I love these little things. Magnetic cleaners are great for cleaning the glass (or acrylic) walls of your aquarium. Algae cleaning has never been easier. With this piece of kit, there is no need to get your hands wet every time you see some algae on your aquarium wall. Just stick one part in the aquarium while the handle stays on the outside, and leave it there for when it's needed.
Word of warning. Care should be taken with sand or fine substrate as grains can get stuck between the magnet and the glass and cause your new aquarium to be scratched.
Water Test Kit
While chemistry may not have been your favorite subject at school, a basic understanding of the nitrogen cycle in your aquarium is necessary. Many problems in an aquarium can be traced back to poor water quality. Getting a test kit will help you understand and give you the needed facts of the chemical makeup of the water in your aquarium. A basic kit should include tests for ammonia nitrate and nitrite as well as PH. Test strips are also available and while many find them unreliable they are good as a general indication.
(If you find this daunting your local fish shop will usually be willing to test a sample of water you bring in. However, some may charge for this service.)