Essential equipment for fishkeeping
Essential aquarium equipment includes a filter, bucket and cloth, water conditioner, algae scraper, fish tank gravel cleaner, ammonia and nitrite tests. Depending on the fish and the tank, an aquarium heater and an air pump.
- A fish tank: choosing the right aquarium
- A filter: choosing the right filter
- A bucket for the exclusive use of fish (and not to wash the floor) and an old cloth: fish tank maintenance
- A bottle of water conditioner to remove chlorine (tap water, containing chlorine, is aggressive to fish gills): how do you condition tap water for fish?
- An algae scraper (if you are on a budget, an old toothbrush works fine)
- Fish tank gravel cleaner: fish tank maintenance
- An air pump (also called ‘aerator’): don’t forget the flexible tube, preferably made of silicone, and the air stone! The aerator is optional in a properly planted tank and if the water is well aerated (for example, visible movement created on the surface by the filter): oxygenation of the aquarium
- An aquarium heater: fancy goldfish are more delicate than slim-bodied goldfish and prefer temperatures ranging from 21°C to 25°C. Aquarium heaters also prevent large day/night temperature variations. Slim-bodied goldfish (Common Goldfish, shubukin, comets, etc) are hardier so do well in cooler temperatures, 18°C to 21°C. If you plan to keep tropical fish, rather than goldfish, most tropical fish species also require a heated tank (check the actual temperature requirements online or in a fishkeeping book).
- An aquarium thermometer: cheap reinforced glass or adhesive thermometers or digital thermometer.
- Water tests: an ammonia test, and, ideally, a nitrite test: the implementation of the nitrogen cycle (cycling the fish tank)
- A fish net: choose a fish net adapted to the estimated adult size of your fish (so you don’t have to buy another one a few months later)
- Fish tank gravel: use gravel specially designed for use within fish tanks so it does not leech toxins or dust into the water, and is smooth-edged to avoid injuring your fish. First, rinse the gravel carefully. Plan a layer of 3 to 5 cm. Aquarium set-up
Important: the comments area below is not for urgent queries about fish health but for general feedback, comments and questions, as we normally check comments twice a week. Therefore, it you have a question about a sick fish, it is advisable to first check the health and disease section. If you do not find the answer to your questions there, please post your question in a fishkeeping forum, which usually allows to get help in a timely manner, or contact your local vet.