Aquarium Basics

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 35,185
    Marine Biologist Jim Karanikas discusses the basics of owning an aquarium including where to put it, what kind of equipment you are going to need to be successful.

    Hi, I am Jim Karanikas from Tropical Fish World and today, I want to teach you about aquarium success. I firstly want to talk a little bit about basics of an aquarium, where to put it, what kind of equipment you are going to need to be successful in your aquarium. First thing obviously, is we are going to need an aquarium. It can be made out of glass or it can be made out of plastic. We are going to need some type of cover for it, so the fish don't jump out. We want to have some type of lights, so you can see the fish especially if they get sick and we are going to need a filter, we are going to need some type of heater and we are going to have substrate on the bottom of the tank. Now, most municipalities have water that can be used for an aquarium. Tap water is usually pretty good, but it does need to be treated with some type of dechlorinating agent or a water conditioner. It usually takes a few drops in the water to dechlorinate it and make it safe for fish. Now, we can also use purified water. Purified water is by itself it is not good for fish because it doesn't have any minerals in it. A fish can't live in water that doesn't have any minerals in it. So, you could mix a little bit of tap water with purified water if you like to. Another important thing about the water is that the temperature is right. We want to keep fish at about 75 to 80 degrees and you can use your thermometer in your new water before you put it in your aquarium to make sure that the temperature is correct. There are several types of thermometers. There is an alcohol based one and then there is also liquid crystal one that can sit on the outside. I like using both of these because the alcohol based one you can actually use to test the water before it goes in the tank. This one is permanently set on the aquarium. Now, the filter in aquarium, this is just a basic hang-on filter, it is just going to sit on the back of the aquarium. I have it on the side here, so we could see a little bit better. It is going to have a tube, it is going to suck water into it and then the water is going to flow back into the aquarium after it has been passed through some filter material. The first thing that goes through is a sponge. The sponge pulls out particles in the water and actually keeps the tank clean looking for us, not really for the fish. The fish don't really care if there are particles moving around the tank. They just want to be in healthy water. The next thing that goes through will be some carbon or charcoal, carbon or charcoal will pull out impurities out of the water and these needs to be changed about once a month. The filter sponge, you just want to rinse it out and then probably replace it every two to three months. There is a -- and these filters will have a little, like ceramic needle or a place for good bacteria to grow. Good bacteria are essential in aquarium because they break down all the fish waste and keep the water clean for the fish. So, this is probably the most important thing in your filter and we want to make sure that we don't do anything that will cause the bacteria in here to die, like rinse it out and straight tap water or use any soap.

    Well, next, I am going to talk about some basic facts of an aquarium, so let us go.