Everything you need to know about setting up, maintaining,or even updating your (or your soon- to-be) freshwater aquarium!!
Step 1: Buying
you'll need at least 5-10 gallons to house your fish ( if considering buying a goldfish, or Betta fish, 4- 20 gallons, depending on the max. size, some get dang big, like 2', so ask the nice employees at petco!:) and they dont need heaters.). i have a ten gallon aquarium and it's just great, and only around $60 So go on petsmart.com or petco.com and find which size, shape and color is right for you. Once your at the store and have decided which tank you get, you need a heater and filter, and possibly a light, but most aquariums come with it, and don't forget the most important thing. Fish! I can't stress enough how important it is to do research on the fish you want to get.You do not want to sit at the pet store, to find out that " That one gets two feet long, or "That one is a saltwater fish" or "that's a cold water fish" and blah, blah blah. so research! (refer to step 2 for advice on fish)
Step 2: Tools
Once you Get your aquarium, make sure to get a filter, heater, hood/and light, after all that's set up, with the ornaments and gravel, let it cycle for two days (wait),and stock you tank 2-3 fish at a time.Get a gravel siphon and algae scraper, unless you have an algae eater, then no scraper. you'll also want filter packages, the appropriate size of course.You may also want a thermometer, it's cheep and helpful, your tank needs to be 72-82 degrees. I would also recomend a test kit, for Ph at the bare minimum, but a big pack is good.(check one out here http://www.petco.com/fish.
Step 3: Fish Recomendations
I would recommend platy's mollies,and black skirt tetra's for a normal,colorful aquarium., or, you can get some exotic fish ,colorful fish are neon tetras, danios, , guppies, platies, and if given enough space, barbs. They are all hardy and usually only need a minimum of 10-20 gallons. None get above 4 inches usually, and live in fairly similar ph and temperature. x-ray tetra's, glass fish, and cichlids (can only be kept with other cichlids) [sih-klids] are really cool.
here is a cool fish tank, it may inspire you, or it may anger you, but if it angers you, you may have problems...www.youtube.com/watch
you can go with aggressive fish, like tiger barbs,bala sharks,or pink kissing gouramis. Your probably thinking that because there called aggressive, they'll fight, but when kept with other aggressive fish, they don't. Also, there's algae eaters,and invertebrates, like plecostomus's, otocinclus's( these are so small, they barely do anything, but look kind of cute!), and golden algae eaters(algae eaters) BE CAREFUL WITH ALGAE EATERS,THEY CAN BE AGGRESSIVE AND OUTGROW YOUR TANK, OK? and crayfish, lobsters,and snails (inverts) you'll want a bigger tank for these, I had a blue lobster, and, well, things didn't go so well, I'd go for a 20 gallon tall for these, as lobsters can jump!
TO GET PICTURES FOR THESE FISH http://www.liveaquaria.com
Step 4: Maintenance
you'll need to take out 10 percent of the water with a gravel vacume every week, or so(you can do it less if you have an algae eater and or invertebrate. please feel free to ask any questions about fish with the comments ! :)