Starting a Stunning Home Aquarium

Evidence has shown that keeping home aquaria is associated with relaxation. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine, interacting with fish in home aquariums is also touted to reduce stress, lower anxiety, promote improved mood, and boost overall well-being.

What’s more, a beautiful home aquarium makes a stunning centrepiece in almost any room. Providing a sense of calm, a little slice of nature in the shape of an aquarium also brings life and movement into the home.

It’s possible to while away countless hours watching a well-stocked and carefully maintained aquarium. Many fishkeepers even report spending more time observing their tanks than watching television!

By the same token, a beautiful aquarium will almost certainly draw admiring looks from friends, family, and other visitors. It is likely to be among the first things they notice when entering a room.

Meanwhile, as any proud fish tank owner will attest, embracing fishkeeping can become an incredible and rewarding hobby. With many species of fish and other aquatic animals suitable for home aquaria boasting unique personalities, an aquarium’s inhabitants often become much-loved pets as well.

With some species living for 15 years or more, varieties such as freshwater cichlids and saltwater clownfish are commonly as much a part of a household’s dynamic as the family cat or dog.

Furthermore, with recent advances in aquarium technology and fishkeeping practices, and with a wealth of information now spanning more than two decades freely available online, there has likely never been a better time to embrace the hobby.

Numerous aquarium manufacturers now produce beautiful all-in-one tanks and cabinets akin to luxury pieces of furniture and streets ahead of the cramped goldfish bowls and unsightly glass boxes synonymous with fishkeeping in the past. Available in various sizes, shapes, and finishes and lit using the latest LED technology, these aquariums are simple to set up and often a breeze to maintain.

As long as newcomers to fishkeeping understand a few key points and follow several best practices, it’s possible to have a stunning underwater oasis in your home with minimal fuss.

A tropical freshwater aquarium is often a good place to start. Once you’ve chosen a suitably sized tank with the necessary equipment, you’ll likely be excited to get it filled up. However, one of the most critical steps in the process is completing the nitrogen cycle. This cycle is what allows an aquarium to support aquatic life.

Beneficial bacteria work their magic to keep ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels in check. This bacteria is the basis of what will form your aquarium’s ecosystem – essential to your fish’s health and central to your tank’s ongoing success.

‘Cycling’ an aquarium, as it’s known, and establishing this beneficial bacteria in your new fish tank, can take several weeks. Alternatively, bottled bacteria products are now available to purchase, which can be added to speed up the process. Either way, it’s vital to understand and appreciate this process entirely. Take your time, and only add fish after completing the cycling period or according to the instructions supplied with a trusted bottled bacteria product like ATM Colony.

You can accurately ascertain when this has happened by testing your tank’s water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate throughout the process with an off-the-shelf test kit. Alternatively, your local aquarium store can test your water for you.

Once that’s taken care of, you can slowly add fish. Research the biological load your aquarium can support based on its water volume, and don’t overstock. You can add colourful shrimp and various snail species, too, to help keep the substrate and glass clean. If you’ve chosen an aquarium with a suitable light fixture, you may also wish to add live plants to your new underwater oasis.

Continue to monitor ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels in your aquarium. After successfully cycling, ammonia and nitrite should be undetectable, and nitrate levels should stay within an acceptable range.

Perform regular water changes, remembering to treat fresh tap water to remove chlorine before adding it to your tank. Feed sparingly, replenish filter media as instructed, and your new aquarium should serve as an ideal environment for your chosen inhabitants and a beautiful and captivating addition to your home for many years to come.