What are just the bare basics of keeping a fish aquarium? This chapter is a series of basic articles on what science has found out is the best way to set up a beginner’s aquarium. This science points out that the aquarium is a natural system. And Mother Nature is both very flexible and very forgiving. As a result, there a great many ways to be very successful with aquariums.
One common problem with this hobby is that hobbyists overthink it. Don’t go down that rabbit hole. Keep it simple and you will do just fine.
On this website, we give out advice on several “levels”. The “levels” go from simple advice to complex in-depth explanations. I suggest one only do the “deep dives” if you are a real geek like me.
Keeping it VERY Simple
This chapter of this website is designed in levels of difficulty in a hierarchical numbered fashion. The first level, the VERY SIMPLEST level, is the fifteen point list below.
Here is what to do if you are just beginning with aquariums:
- Ignore the profit-driven directions that came with the aquarium
- Fill the tank with tap water (if you can drink it fish can live in it!)
- Add conditioner if you have chlorine in the water (the ONLY chemical one needs)
- Take the tank up above 70°F (21°C) with a heater (not needed with goldfish)
- Add one of the following cheap, low-tech, filters: in-tank cartridge filter, hang-on-back cartridge filter, sponge filter, or an under-gravel filter (under gravel filters are by far the best option)
- Add a decent-sized air pump (generally the price point just above the cheapest price point pump in the store) and an airstone
- Add a few small fish under three inches (7.5cm) in length
- Feed nothing for three days. Then feed lightly once a day an amount equal to two fish eyeballs (six fish = twelve fish eyeballs)
- Do NOT add any plants
- Do NOT clean the ornaments when they get algae or vacuum the gravel
- Do NOT clean the filter and do not replace filter cartridges
- Do NOT buy a water test kit
- ONLY do 50% water changes every two months or so
- If your water turns green or gets cloudy just ignore it
- Gradually add more fish over several months
That’s it! 15 points! Easy!