Keeping a pet is very pleasing to the senses, relaxes the mind, and provides a companion who is not very demanding and very faithful to the owner.
Besides this, caring for pets give children a sense of
responsibility and pride. Although there are a number of pets, fishes stand out because,
They are very colorful. Some are so fancy that it is almost hard to believe.
They are quiet.
The are very graceful and one can simply spend hours looking at them.
Keeping an aquarium is very simple and involves little maintenance once it is set up. Components of a basic aquarium are as follows
One glass tank (min 2ftX 1ftX 1ft) = 350/-
Morang (Or river sand)= 10/-
Marble chips (white or colored)= 30/-
Air bubbler (Pump) = 150/-
Sponge/ HOB Filter = 150/-
Heater = (optional)
Fishes approx Rs. 30-80 a pair = 50/-
TOTAL = Rs. 590/-
Components of an advanced aquarium are
One glass tank (min 2ftX 1ftX 1ft) = 350/-
Plastic cover having holder for light = 150/-
Morang (Or river sand) = 10/-
Marble chips (white or colored) = 30/-
Plastic plants, Real plants = 30/-
Air bubbler (Pump) = 150/-
Heater (If you live in cool climate zone) =
Thermometer (Optional) = 60/-
Fishes approx = Rs. 30-80 a pair
TOTAL = about Rs 800/-
Only items marked with * are essential. This is minimum set up and can go up to any amount depending upon type of fishes to be kept.
Setting up your tank:
DO NOT PUT ANY FISH ON FIRST DAY OF SETTING UP OF TANK
Wash the glass tank carefully with hot water & salt. This will remove any dirt and chemicals. DO NOT use soap etc. Soap is poisonous to fish.
Put a sheet of thermocol between the tank and the table/stand.
Wash Morang, marble chips with hot water, again do not use any soap. Simply swirl the Morang/chips till the water runs clear.
Place a layer of approx 2-3 inch at the bottom of the tank.
Plant plastic or real plants.
Prepare water for filling. Ordinary tap water can be used but should be left standing for 24 hours so that chlorine which is dissolved by municipal authorities gets out.
As an alternative, declorinators which are available cheaply at all fish shops can be used. Please make sure that chlorine is removed as above. EVEN A SMALL AMOUNT OF CHOLORINE IS POISONOUS TO FISH. Put this prepared water in the tank very gently so that sand or gravel is not disturbed.
Place bubbler in the tank.
Place filter in the tank.
Let every thing run for at least a week before introducing fish.
Before fish are introduced, a new tank should be able to support the fish. A tank should be fully “cycled” before fishes are introduced. This term cycling is explained below. Fishes excrete waste into the water. In rivers and ponds this waste is spread over a very large area and does not harm the fishes. However in an aquarium this waste produces lots of ammonia gas which dissolves in water. This is very bad for fish and can very easily kill them.
However one should not despair, Mother Nature has given us ways of treating this problem also. There are a group of bacteria called nitrifying bacteria, which convert ammonia into a compound called nitrite, then there are bacteria that convert nitrite into another compound called nitrate which is relatively harmless.
There is no complicated procedure to culture these bacteria; they develop by themselves in water. However they will not grow unless there is some ammonia in water. Therefore when we have only one or two small fishes in the beginning in our aquarium, the amount of ammonia will be just sufficient to breed bacteria and low enough not to harm the fish. After some time all ammonia produced by fishes will be converted into nitrate. This process of converting ammonia into
nitrate is called cycling the tank. These nitrates are absorbed by live plants in your tank or can be removed by partially changing the water every 15 days or so. You can be sure that your tank is ready when the test for ammonia and nitrite & nitrate are negative. To test ammonia either buy test kits for aquarium or purchase Nessler’s Reagent from a science store. Take a teaspoon of water and put a few drops of the reagent in it. DO NOT ADD THE REAGENT TO THE TANK. It should not have any yellowish color. If there is a color, change some water immediately. Similarly test for nitrite & nitrate. Once when your tank has settled down, then there is no need for any tests. After a month or so slowly increase the fish if you want. Take care that you do not have many fishes.
REGULAR MAINTENANCE & FEEDING
Regular Maintenance & Feeding
Fishes can be fed prepared food pellets which can be easily & cheaply be purchased from any fish shop. Drop some pellets in the water and observe how much fish eat in 5 minutes. Remove excess food from the tank otherwise it will rot & pollute the water. Never over feed the fish, they will always be demanding more food and can go sick very easily if overfed.
Change some of the water every fifteen days after the tank is fully cycled. Never change all water as too much variation in environment of fishes makes them sick.
The Tank can be cleaned every 3-4 months, but do not change everything at once as any sudden change in any environment is very unhealthy for fish.
Only 5 minutes a day, 15 minutes on Sunday, 1/2 hour every month will keep you fish & yourself healthy.
Good work sandeep.
And thanks for using my Tank's photograph ! :)
I feel that the prices that you have listed above could be misguiding for a new comer.
He or she shouldnt be lured into this hobby by looking at low setup cost and then get bogged down later on by the prices.
The price of plants or gravel could be better be specified as price per plant/stem or KG so that one can use his/her discreetion to arrive at the total set up cost
The cost of any good gravele suitable for planted aquarium of size 2 ft could not be below 300 bucks !
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Very good article. I have a question, how safe or unsafe is keeping a pair of goldfish in a 7 ltr capacity fishbowl (with 24hrs oxygen supply, change of 3/4th water once every week) rather than a tank. What are the risk factors a beginner should be aware of.
hi i have 12 neon tetras 6 old and 6 new both from same LFS but new ones are not as brightly coloured as the old ones. old ones have a cool electric blue while old ones have a duller hue while old ones have an almost brick red line new ones have a rather dim orange. (it almost defeats the purpose as i repressed myself for a week to avoid adding all fish in one go ! :( ) i have fed them with tetra bits. my question is
1. will the bright coloration effect of tetra bits. so i have forgotten that my old tetras were of same colour? and now with some days my new tetras become as bright as the old.
2. is tetra bits complete and tetra colour bits same product or are they different. if different should i get the tetra colour bits to improve the color of my new tetras?
hoping for an answer.
( din know where to post so posted in fresh water fishes topic sorry if this is the wrong place)