Goniopora in a 29 gallon tank surround by Red mushrooms.

Photo Courtesy MelvsReef.com

Easy Aquariums

by Keisha Gray

Some people think starting a tank for fish or a turtle will be an easy aquarium task. And why not? Buy a 5 gallon tank, fill it with water or dirt, then plop in your animals. You’ll soon find out that if you don’t know how to take care of your tank or animals, it won’t last long. Even the simplest setup of a goldfish in a bowl needs cleaning. As much as we all wish there was a set and forget system, there isn’t.

Tank Specialists

Although, there is a product called “No Clean Aquariums” that says if you add water to the tank, the cleaning system starts. Water is flushed through the rocks on the bottom while also doing a water change. The process filters the dirty water without leaving a mess.

If you search “tank easy” online, the first thing you’ll find is an oil tank management program. Probably not what you were looking for. Further down you’ll see tankiteasy.com. They are a full service cleaning and maintenance company based in Chicago. If that is what you are looking for, I suggest being specific with your area since full service companies are abundant around large cities.

Aquarium Inhabitants

For a beginner, the basic aquarium would be a cold water freshwater setup, with temperatures between 64-74°F with hardy and low maintenance inhabitants. Goldfish, Bloodfin Tetras, and White Cloud Mountain Minnows are three fish that are peaceful and love living in groups. Goldfish are messy eaters so a weekly water change and dechlorination treatment might be necessary.

Don’t forget about plants! Live plants are great for a healthy tank environment through natural filtration and providing safety, food, and promotes breeding behaviors for your fish. Java Moss, Willow Moss, and Water Wisteria filter water and grow quickly. Java Fern and Anubias Nana are just a few plants used for decoration and protection.

After all this I’m sure you are super excited about starting your aquarium and want to setup everything in the same day, but it’s not a good idea. Plants can endure the initial move but very few fish will survive. Water in aquariums need to cycle to be hospitable.

Now you have the basics! It’s not very easy starting an aquarium but if you remember to buy compatible fish and that *live* plants are important, you should be fine. Don’t forget lighting and a filter system as well. Good luck!