Aquascaping for Beginners
Author: Chris Read Date Posted: 13 December 2017
Aquariums are a popular way to keep and observe water life in your own home, and there's a limitless amount of ways to decorate, improve, and maintain your fish's home.
A usual home aquarium might include some form of filtering system, an aeration system, a lighting system, and a way to maintain temperature based upon what sort of fish you are keeping. Aeration can be an important part of keeping an aquarium, using electric pumps attached to airstones (which are porous rocks that allow air to escape) to generate a supply of oxygenated water for the inhabitants of the aquarium.
Beyond the purely practical parts of an aquarium, the design of the interior plays a large part of the aesthetics. Often, hobbyists buy driftwood, rocks, live plants, and other items in order to create an environment that is as close to a real-world ecosystem as possible, which improves the quality of life and survival rates for the fish inside.
Aquariums must be regularly maintained and cleaned to ensure that they are kept healthy and sustainable for the inhabitants. Many items help keep this manageable, like the appropriate amount of oxygen in the water, nutrient cycles, and making sure that the temperature in the aquarium is also appropriate. Since many aquarium residents excrete waste in the form of ammonia, a filtration system can help scrub these toxins from the water. Live plants also help to organically clean the environment. Generally, the smaller the aquarium the more sensitive it is to major changes in the ecosystem, since there is a lesser amount of water to absorb the changes in the tank.
Another way to differentiate aquariums is by salinity: whether the aquarium is for freshwater fish, which is most common, or whether it's for saltwater fish. Both require extensive knowledge on the subject and a balance of the appropriate elements within the aquarium.
The art of aquascaping is arranging different elements, both living and non-living, to create an aquarium that reflects a real-world environment. You can purchase items such as driftwood, coral reefs, gravel, lava caves, and sand in order to outfit the space just the way you like it. You can purchase plants that either live underwater or float on top. Often, you can use these elements to hide the filtration and aeration units so that they are not distracting from the overall aquarium.
Fish For Aquariums
The fish themselves are wide-ranging, from fighter fish which must generally be kept seperate, or goldfish, cichlids, loaches, or minnows that can stay in the same tank with others.
You can also purchase things as exotic as miniature sharks, or the albino bristlenose catfish!
Catfish are popular with aquarists for their cleaning abilities. As a bottom feeder, catfish will keep algae to a minimum as they eat things like extra food that you'd otherwise have to clean.
Betta fish, the famous Siamese fighting fish, are popular to keep because they have minimal caretaking requirements. They are able to breath in small containers without artificial aeration, since they have a special organ that allows them to breathe from the surface of the water. They are aggressive towards other fish that resemble themselves, but can be kept in a tank with other species of fish.
There are a wide range of things to keep in mind when you're looking for accessories for your aquarium. The benefit and joy of keeping an aquarium is the almost limitless amount of ways you can build it just the way you want it, being able to scale up or down and keep the exact fish you enjoy!