There are many reasons people want an aquarium in their home or office, apartment living, your children wanting pets, you saw a beautiful aquarium and became fascinated with it. For whatever your reason you have to start somewhere, so start small so you can understand the work and cost behind it. Having an aquarium is a fun hobby and you should include the whole family, it can be a very rewarding experience.

Choosing your aquarium


  • You have to look at your home or office and make a decision on what size aquarium you want based on the space that is available. Have a good look at your home design and furnishing and make sure that an aquarium would fit in with your lifestyle and home environment.
    • Ask around and find a reputable dealer that knows their stuff…. You will and may need future advice on fish, equipment and any future problems.
    • Purchase the largest tank possible that will fit in your space because the larger the fish tank the easier it is to clean, remove pollution and control the temperature.
    • Make sure that your aquarium has a hood or a canopy as this keeps the tank cleaner, houses the light, keeps the fish from jumping out and prevents evaporation.
    • Find a dealer that has kits available as they tend to be far cheaper than buying all the pieces separately.

Getting started with your aquarium

Bottom Gravel: Never use bottom gravel straight from the bag, give it a good rinse with clean water first. Lay your gravel at the bottom of the tank and shape it so it slopes from the back to the front. Add a few inches of water and allow the gravel to settle.
Add plastic or living plants and ornaments: Your pet shop should have a wide variety of plants and ornaments available. Keep your design in mind when purchasing as you don’t want your tank to be too crowded and high maintenance with living plants. The choice is yours.

Pumps and filters: Remember one fish per approximately 3.5 litres of water, so adding a pump can sustain a higher amount of fish. A pump aerates the water by adding oxygen and removing the carbon dioxide. The filter is activated by the pump which will remove chemical, debris and potential toxic gases. Some filters also contain a heating element which may be appropriate for your particular climate.

Nets: Nets are useful when cleaning or removing dead fish, yes it does happen. They should be made of a soft and porous nylon and the pores large enough to allow water through without creating pressure. Make sure your net is long enough to reach the bottom of the aquarium, as they come in various lengths and mesh pockets.

Once your aquarium has been set up and you happy with everything, it’s time to select your fish. There are many fish available to add to your aquarium so ask and research which fish are the hardiest and are not carnivores. A good mix of fish will keep it cleaner and healthier for years to come. Your pet shop can advise you on types of suitable fish and what food is best for them. Not all fish are created equal so take your time in your selection and enjoy the rewards that come with owning a fish tank.