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Upgrading Your Starter Aquarium


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Upgrade your child's starter aquarium.

Aquarium keeping is a rewarding and popular hobby that's growing by leaps and bounds among many different age groups, particularly among younger children. If your child currently has just a basic desktop aquarium, it may be the perfect time to challenge and excite her by upgrading to a larger freshwater community aquarium. But before you start, consider the following to ensure an enjoyable and successful aquarium.

What types of fish are best for a beginning aquarist? When selecting fish, remember to check compatibility and behavior since different species have different requirements. Mixing fish that require different water conditions can be stressful for you and your aquarium inhabitants. Select fish that share similar requirements to simplify care and ensure a successful and harmonious environment. Also, when stocking your new aquarium, think "groups" rather than individual fish. A community made up of compatible schools of hardy and colorful tropical fish is more interesting to look at than a hodge-podge of different fish.

What size aquarium is appropriate? As you learn more about the fish you can house together, you will need to make certain aquarium decisions, such as size. Make sure the minimum aquarium size is larger than the minimum size requirement of the fish you intend to house. In general, the bigger the aquarium, the better it is for the fish. Water conditions in larger aquariums are more stable and the concentration of harmful chemicals are diluted. Larger aquariums are capable of safely housing a larger number of fish, and they allow ample room for growth.

ESSENTIALS: make it simple

  • Dip Test Strips provide accurate, easy-to-read water testing with the simple dip of a strip.
  • Coralife Digital Thermometer: Economically priced and digitally accurate, this thermometer is completely transportable.

BUILDING BLOCKS to a flourishing underwater environment

What equipment does my child need for an aquarium? After your research on fish is complete and aquarium size is settled upon, make an equipment checklist. There is a wide variety of different aquarium equipment but selection is relatively straightforward. Aquarium equipment is rated for a particular aquarium size.

Consider the following list for basic aquarium necessities: Upgrade your child's starter aquarium.

  • filter
  • heater
  • filter media
  • scraper
  • siphon
  • light fixture
  • thermometer
  • water test kit
  • air pump
  • net
  • substrate
  • fish food
  • water conditioner
  • extra light bulb
  • bucket for cleaning
  • decorations

Offer your children the opportunity to set up and maintain a home aquarium for an enjoyable and lasting hobby. However, the decision to set up an aquarium should not be done on a whim. Carefully evaluate the amount of time, effort, and finance you will be able to commit to the aquarium and its inhabitants, and have fun!

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