Pet fish owners usually have a bad first experience buying their first aquarium and give up too easily. Certainly, there’s a way to avoid such a scenario, and that is by planning your purchase ahead. Even if you have experience, you still need a plan.
Below are some handy tips for choosing and buying your first fish tank:
People usually think they just need a few dollars in order to get started – which is wrong. At least, if you want to begin with something of decent quality, you need around $150 to $200. And you need not force yourself into buying anything with less than decent quality. If you think that’s too much for your budget, it’s smart to save until you have enough funds.
Making a Checklist
A good way to begin is by listing down the things you need. This list should include the tank and stand, heater, hood and light, gravel, filter, net, water treatment/cleaning supplies, and some decor probably. All of those plus the fish and enough fish food until your next pet shop visit. Speaking of fish, there are less challenging ones that you should get as a beginner, like Bloodfin Tetras or White Cloud.
If you’ve got a rather tight budget, try asking for help. You might have a friend or family member take a look at your checklist, hoping they’d give you an advanced holiday or birthday present. Of course, you have another option – buying secondhand equipment, but be sure it’s free of cracks, scratches, etc. And for anything, don’t pay in excess of 50% of the original price.
As a beginner, avoid fish tanks that hold below 10 gallons of water. Many people don’t know this, but the smaller a fish tank, the harder it is to manage – less water means a faster buildup of toxins. In addition, water temperature and chemistry changes occur more quickly in such environments. When buying your first fish tank, go for 20 gallons or bigger. The chance of it working is so much bigger as it provides a much larger room for errors you might make as a beginner.
How Many Fish?
Finally, be realistic about the number of fish you want to keep. This determines how big an aquarium you need, which in turn affects how much space you’ll need for it. Even if you buy a larger tank, start with a few types of fish that aren’t so difficult to manage. As you become more experienced with aquariums, you can get more challenging types.