A fish tank is only one part of a more complex system known as an aquarium.
Aquariums consists of many accessories.
- Power heads
- Algae scrubbers
Fish tank accessories are required to maintain a healthy environment for your fish.
The size of your fish tank and the type of fish you intend to keep will determine which equipment you will need for your aquarium.
Obviously large fish tanks need larger components to run the whole system efficiently and will cost more for the initial setup, however a larger tank will enable you to keep more fish and a variety of corals and invertebrates.
An aquarium must be set up as a complete system with all the necessary parts combining to achieve a clean and trouble free home for your fish.
The following are some of the essentials required for most aquariums.
The most obvious part of any aquarium is the actual fish tank, however the decision of choosing which type of tank you want may “make or break” your aquarium setup.
Its advisable to steer away from tall thin tanks because light will not penetrate to the bottom of the tank, they provide less horizontal swimming space, less surface area for air exchange and they are more difficult to clean.
Ideally a flat square shape tank would be better but the most popular shapes are rectangular with a reasonably good depth from front to back.
Most people choose a particular tank style because of the way it looks and not the way it will works but lets face it, your tank has to look cool so a little compromising may be in order.
There are many different types of aquarium lights to suite the species of fish you are keeping, including metal halide, mercury vapor, incandescent, halogen and fluorescent.
They are also available in many shapes and sizes to suite most common types of tanks to provide optimum lighting for your aquarium.
Fluorescent lights are the most popular choice because they are cheaper to run and are much cooler.
In many tanks on the market today the decision is made for you by including a light within an all in one hood that encloses the top of the tank. For a more detailed insight into lights visit our aquarium light page.
Consistent temperature is a vital aspect of all aquariums and for that reason it must not be underestimated as a key part of keeping healthy fish.
It is nearly impossible for a room to maintain a constant temperature, therefore a heater will compensate for fluctuations throughout the day to sustain a perfect climate.
An important feature is auto on and off that automatically activates the heater when required.
If a malfunction goes undetected with this component it can prove detrimental to your fish and consequently its recommended that you purchase a quality heater. For more information about heaters visit our aquarium heater page.
The filter is one of the most important parts of any aquarium and is usually included in most all in one setups.
The filter must be able to circulate the total capacity of the tank every 15 to 20 minutes to maintain pristine water quality.
A filtration system can be broken down into two main sections, mechanical filters such as various filter materials and a biological filter in the way of bacterial colonies, which are essential in the nitrogen cycle.
In addition to the preinstalled filters many external filters are available on the market that can offer an easily maintained alternative to the all in one configuration. Visit our aquarium filter page for more information.