Fish in an aquarium or a pond are incredibly numerous in France: they were 34.2 million fish in 2014! Of course, apart from the goldfish won at the fair, it is rare to have only one animal in his jar!
They will not bother you by their noise, you will not urge them, but you will be able to admire them if you chose to fish with shapes and colors of all sorts. Their maintenance is not binding, which is an asset.
On the other hand, whether it is fish intended to live in an aquarium or a garden pond, it is necessary to know that the species of fish considered as domestic are exact: the koi carp (Cyprinus carpio), the goldfishes and Japanese (Carassius auratus), domestic breeds and varieties of the Guppy (Poecilia reticulata), the Danio (Brachydanio rerio or Danio rerio) and the fighter (Betta splendens).
How to install your first aquarium? Which fish?
Many individuals enjoy setting up an aquarium at home, both for its decorative aspect and the calming it provides. However, taking care of an aquarium cannot be improvised, and it is essential to respect the balance. Find out how to set up your first aquarium and our advice on fish that you can put there to start.
Choose your tray
An aquarium is not chosen lightly. It is important to adapt it to the fish that you intend to install there and that it is of sufficient size and equipped with facilities that are suitable for the well-being of its small occupants. If you already know which fish you decide to put in, find out in specialized stores to understand their needs in space to make the best choice.
We advise you to opt at least for a tank with a capacity of 100 liters, ideally even 150 liters, because it is the minimum capacity to ensure proper comfort for your fish and to maintain a better natural balance, unlike small volumes. Of course, the larger the aquarium, the better, but it also requires more maintenance! Count 30 to 60 liters of water per fish, depending on the species. Do not forget that they grow and they will not always keep the size they had when you bought.
Choose preferably a tray that is long and wide, rather than height, to allow light to spread thoroughly in the dish.
If you decide to invest in a used tank, check its condition carefully for cracks, dirt and check the status of the joints. Some aquariums empty for a moment no longer ensure a good seal. It would be unfortunate that your new purchase is running away.
Opt for the right location
An aquarium cannot be placed anywhere. Here are our tips for an optimal location:
Once full, your aquarium will be massive, which is why it should be placed on a stable, straight, and flat surface. Be careful if you put it on a piece of furniture because it can give way under the weight of the tray! There are aquarium furniture; if you can, buy one to be sure you have the right support.
Keep it away from the direct sun, so windows. The heat and the rays of the sun unbalance the basin — the algae increase, which will be difficult to recover.
Choose a location near electrical outlets for direct and more comfortable feeding.
Avoid placing the aquarium in room separation, as a passage on both sides of the tank can significantly stress the fish and promote the development of diseases. Also, avoid noisy places.
Think about the maintenance of your aquarium. So go for a location easy to access, not too high and not cluttered.
The pump in your aquarium can make a noise when it works. Avoid placing the aquarium near a room.
It is essential to think about your location before setting up your bin because once full, it will be too heavy to be moved.
Choose your decoration
The decoration brings a certain aesthetic to your tray, but choose it carefully and preferably easy to clean.
The soil must be composed of potting soil, which serves as fertilizer for the plants, spread in a layer of about 2 cm on the bottom of the tank.
Above, put decorative sand, preferably non-abrasive so as not to hurt the fish who enjoy searching. Sprinkle a layer enough to cover the potting soil and prevent it from being diluted in the water. Feel free to create relief to bring a beautiful decorative effect.
The plants are aesthetic, but they also contribute to the natural balance of the tank and the well-being of the fish, because they appreciate hiding there. Plants help eliminate phosphates and nitrates, and they produce oxygen for fish.
On the other hand, plants need proper maintenance, fertilizer, and good lighting to promote their growth. Choose several plants, high and low, bushy and beautiful, to decorate your tray.
We advise you to opt for natural decoration, preferable to plastic objects that can hurt the fish. Prefer branches, pebbles, and pebbles.
You need primary material to ensure the equilibrium of your aquarium:
Lighting: lighting recreates natural light to allow aquatic plants to develop through photosynthesis. Good lighting lasts an average of 10 hours a day, never more than 12 hours.
Heating: it allows to heat the water to the desired temperature. Most fish species enjoy a temperature of 25 to 26 ° C.
Aeration: the aeration brings oxygen to the fish, but only if you opt for artificial plants. Indeed, natural plants are enough to bring enough.
Filtration: it is essential for the proper balance of the aquarium by retaining waste and impurities. Good bacteria then degrade them.
The nitrogen cycle
Nitrogen is the basic principle for fish survival. It helps purify the water and maintain the right balance.
- Step 1: Fish and plant wastes are transformed into ammonia.
- Step 2: Ammonia turns into nitrites with the help of good bacteria.
- Step 3: The nitrites are then converted to nitrates by other good bacteria.
- step 4: the plants absorb some of the nitrates, and the other part remains in the water of the tank.
These four stages constitute the nitrogen cycle, which takes an average period of 3 weeks. For a long time, your aquarium must work, without fish inside, to allow the good bacteria to settle in the tank before the fish are placed there.
How to properly maintain your tray?
The aquarium requires proper maintenance for the survival and comfort of your fish. Here are the tasks you will need to perform:
Every year: replace the neon lights of your lighting.
Every month: clean your windows and clean the filters by rinsing them in clear water.
Every week: replace between 10 and 20% of the water in your tank. Cut the end of the plants that must be.
Every day: feed your fish in a reasonable amount; the food should be eaten without leftovers and in minutes. Check that your fish are doing well and that the equipment is working well.
Which first fish to install in your new aquarium?
Your aquarium has been running for several weeks and has achieved an excellent natural balance. It’s time to put your first fish there.
Your choice should not be random, because for the well-being of your small borders and to preserve the balance of the tank, it is advisable to mix species that have similar needs. Do not choose necessarily the most beautiful, but those who can get along and cohabit without risk.
Here are three species of fish ideal for a first aquarium:
The fighter: this fish native to Southeast Asia is a magnificent specimen that enjoys water between 24 and 30 ° C and a pH of 6 to 8. However, it only takes one by ferry because two people are at risk of fighting.
The Guppy: this little fish with a pretty fan tail comes from South America. He lives on a bench and likes water between 20 and 25 ° C for a pH of 6 to 8. Sweet, it should not be placed with aggressive fish.
Cardinals or Neon: this tiny fish moves on a bench and is very pleasant to watch. Native to South America, he enjoys the water of 20 to 25 ° C and a pH of 6 to 8.