Fish Tanks – A Beginner’s Guide to Fish Tank Care

**This post may contain Affiliate links, please see my Disclosure for more information**

Fish tanks can be a beautiful accent to add to your home! The options are unlimited, you can go subtle with a five-gallon tank, a fish or two and some basic colorful decor. You could even go with a monstrous one-hundred-gallon tank filled with the oceans most beautiful creatures! The choice is yours and the best part, regardless of how you decide to set it up, the end result will be a well-crafted rendition of your talents!

So, what happens when everything is all set up, beautifully and skillfully put on display just how you intended it to be? You picked the most colorful fish you could find, you even went as far as getting a few accessories that matched your fishes natural color scheme. Unfortunately, your lovely new addition will never look as lustrous and pristine as it did the day you set it up. Eventually, it gets lived in. Just like our homes, your fish tank needs to be tidied up a bit too at times.

I'll never forget my very first fish. He was a Betta. I took such good care of him! I scooped him out of his tank once per week, drained his water, rinsed his rocks and cleaned his decor. Afterall, I wanted his environment to be perfect! Unfortunately, he didn't live very long at all. I attributed this to Betta's being “hard to care for”. Little did I know, it was everything that I was doing that caused his demise. I have a new Betta now and I'm happy to report he's still around and doing great! Thankfully for him, I went into my second attempt at “fishtankery” armed with more knowledge than the first!

Here are some tips that will help keep your fish tank a sparkling, clear depiction of your artful talents.

Fish need a biologically balanced environment to thrive in

From the moment you introduce them to their new home, fish immediately start working on establishing a biologically balanced environment that only they could love! Periodic and slight water changes (in small amounts) is recommended.

In the beginning, you should only change one-quarter of your tanks water at a time. Once your fish has had time to balance their biological filter, you can change as much as half of your tanks water at a time. Always be careful introducing new water to your tank. The ocean or lake water they are born in is never changed. This isn't realistic for our attempts to mimic their natural environment, of course. Just remember this when you're doing water changes. Less is more.

Overfeeding doesn't just harm your fish, it affects your tank too. Most fish don't even need to eat every day. So when feeding your fish, remember that every fleck they miss is only going to end up on the bottom of their tank. Overfeeding can make the water cloudy and unpleasant to look at too.

You should only need a few basics items to take care of your fish tank

Water should not be taken directly from a tap. You can use tap water, sure. The best way to prepare your new water is to use an old (well rinsed) milk jug to fill with water. Let it sit in the jug (at room temperature) for at least one day before adding it to your tank. You can add any conditioners or treatments to this water as well. Because I have a Betta, I use Betta conditioner. You can inquire at your local pet store which conditioning options are best for the type of fish you have.

A simple Bucket and siphon are the easiest way to remove water from your tank. If you have a smaller tank (one to five gallon) you could even use a turkey baster! Just buy a new one, and be sure it's designated the “fish tank cleaning” baster. I'd hate to see you use the same turkey baster on Thanksgiving, Ewwe! You can find siphons specifically made for fish tanks by clicking this link: http://amzn.to/2vp8wfY

A fish net isn't really necessary because you shouldn't be emptying your tank to clean it. You will only need a fish net when you're moving your fish from one tank to the next. Always check at your local pet store before pairing fish together. Some types of fish won't get along with others. So although nets are handy to have just in case, it's necessarily a requirement to have right off. You can find them here by clicking this link though: http://amzn.to/2t2wP2v

Beyond fish food, the only other item I would recommend getting would be snails! All tanks end up with algae at some point. No matter how diligent you are, eventually it starts to accumulate. Snails are a great way to keep the algae under control because they eat it! Two of the most common and easiest to take care of snails are Trumpet snails and Apple snails. They both survive on the algae, which keeps your tank cleaner! But be careful, trumpet snails can reproduce all by themselves! So if you start with two, and see ten tiny babies cruising along the rocks, yes they made a snail family! There are tons of reputable sellers on eBay that sell both types of snails. If you Click Here you will be redirected to eBay, where you can search for either snail type.

Lastly, if you want to get started but don't have a tank, I'd recommend getting a starter kit. It has everything you will need to get your tank started (except the fish, the water, and decor). Here is a link for some great kits that will get you started: http://amzn.to/2uvgRlV