This one is for Ting and my buddy, Dong!
Both want something fishy in their lives!
You guys should be ready to answer the following questions if you wish to have a nice, cozy looking aquarium: What kind of fish would you like to put in your tank? How many fish would you have? What is the ideal tank size? What basic equipment do you need? How about the water? The finishing touches?
Get the biggest tank you can afford and have room for. For a stable environment, a 20-30 gallon tank provides good viewing, offers flexibility in fish selection. A long, low tank provides fish with more oxygen than a short, high one.
A combination under-gravel and outside power filter helps maintain a clean tank environment. Spread two to three inches of gravel on the bottom. To complete your accessories, you will also need a heater, a thermometer, an air pump, and tubing. Tanks over 20 gallons need a dual valve pump. A fluorescent tank lights provide better quality light. A hood reduces water evaporation while keeping the fish in the tank. If you have a cat, it keeps it out of it.
Live or plastic plants add touchy colors. Real plants require more maintenance but they retard algae growth. Fish need something to swim around and for hiding.
The rule of thumb is “no more than one inch of fish per gallon of water.” Tropical fish range from one-half to two inches long, so a 20-gallon tank holds up to 20 fish. It’s better to have fewer fish than to overcrowd—and kill—them. Good starter fish include platys, swordtails, tiger barbs, zebra, goldfish, and tetras. Aggressive fish shouldn’t be mixed up with gentle ones.
The water environment for your tank can come straight from the tap. If your water is chlorinated, remove the chemical with dechlorination tablets. To avoid the stress on your fish caused by toxic buildup, change 25 percent of the water every two weeks.
After first setting up your tank and stocking it, wait at least three weeks before adding other fish. This will give helpful bacteria time to become established. Before adding new fish to your aquarium, keep them isolated in a five- or 1—gallon quarantine tank for at least two weeks, watching for white spots (ich), or other signs of disease. Place the open, water-filled bag in which you bought fish in the tank for 15-30 minutes until the two water temperatures have equalized. Then transfer fish to the new water with a net. To avoid polluting your tank, stick to items purchased from a store, such as treasure chess, sunken ships, and mermaids. Choose toys, which will be safe for your fish.
New Tank Syndrome takes two forms, gray cloudiness caused by bacteria or green cloudiness caused by algae. For a bacterial problem, change half of the water daily until the syndrome dissipates. With an algae bloom, check to see if your water is too high in nitrates, which algae feed off. If so, reduce the concentration by cycling the fresh water. Also, reduce the amount of light.
Reference: Pets by Bradford Swift