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Gear Guide: Everything You Need to Keep Freshwater Fish

So you are thinking about getting a fish tank? We put together a handy shopping list so you know exactly what you need! 

Shopping list:
  • A tank
  • A tank stand (if required)
  • A filter (if not included)
  • A light (if not included)
  • A heater (if not included and you plan on keeping tropical fish)
  • Gravel/ substrate
  • Plants
  • Decoration (Wood, Rocks or Ornaments) 
  • A cleaning sponge or magnet
  • Gravel cleaner
  • A bucket that will be used only for your fish tank
The Tank:
  • The tank should be positioned away from direct sunlight and have plugs near by for the lighting, filtration and heating if you want a tropical set-up. 
  • You will need access to the top of the tank to enable easy cleaning. Bear this in mind when deciding where to put the tank.
  • Larger tanks are easier to maintain so you should aim to get the largest tank possible for your budget and the space available. This will also increase the number of species you can keep and the quantity of fish you can have in your aquarium. Tanks that are 60L plus are ideal for beginners. 
Making It Pretty:
  • Regardless of the aesthetic you are going for, we always recommend live plants because they provide fish with cover and also improve water quality. For best results this means adding gravel/substrate to your tank to encourage your plants to flourish and the fish will appreciate it too!
  • We stock a range of aquarium safe wood and rocks/stones if you want to create a natural environment for your fish. Leave wood to soak in a bucket and give any rocks or gravel a wash to remove any dust or dirt before putting them into the tank. Soaking the wood means it becomes waterlogged and sinks and also reduces the concentration of tannins which stain the water. Tannin-stained water is not harmful the the fish and can even be beneficial for some blackwater species but some people don't like how it looks.  
  • For those of you who want something a bit more fun we always have a selection of aquarium safe ornaments including plastic plants, mermaids, skulls and various Disney/Marvel characters.
  • Finally, the majority of our tanks come as complete sets, however, if your tank does not, lighting is very important. Ask a member of staff which light is most suitable for the style and future inhabitants of your tank. 
 Keeping it Clean:
  • You will need a dedicated bucket for all things fish tank related that has not come into contact with any detergents.
  • A filter is your best friend and will need cleaning every 1-2 weeks. A member of staff can explain how to do this in store.
  • A cleaning sponge or magnet to remove algae from the glass a required
  • A gravel cleaner to remove waste from the gravel.

Other Helpful Products:
  • Plant fertiliser and/or CO2 to improve plant growth (optional depending on plant species).
  • Water conditioner to add after the tank has been cleaned and new water has been added.
  • Replacement filter sponges.

As always we are available in store and online seven day a week, so feel free to visit us or get in touch! 

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Our Selection of Gravel and Substrate

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