Pet fish owners often have a negative experience with their first aquarium purchase and give up just like that. Of course, there’s a way to avoid this scenario, and that’s by planning your fish tank purchase in advance. Even experienced fish owners need to have a plan.
Below are some handy tips for choosing and buying your first fish tank:
A lot of people think they can start the hobby with no more than a few dollars, which is not very accurate. If you’d like to start with decent quality equipment, you should set aside some $150 – $200. And there’s absolutely no reason to settle for 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 List
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 that and the fish and enough fish food until your next trip to the pet shop. Speaking of fish, you can start with more manageable types as a newbie, like White Cloud or Bloodfin Texas.
If you have a small budget, ask 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 don’t pay more than half the original price for whatever.
You’ll want to avoid less than 10-gallon aquariums as a newbie. Not many people realize that smaller tanks are more difficult to handle for the simple fact toxins pile up faster in limited volumes of water. Not to mention temperature and water chemistry changes set in much faster in cramped spaces. When purchasing your first fish tank, get at least 20 gallons. 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 will obviously have a big impact on how big a tank you need, as well as the amount of space you should make available for it. Even if you buy a larger tank, start with a few types of fish that aren’t so difficult to manage. You can add more challenging kinds as you gain experience in aquarium maintenance.