ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Aquarium Fish Tank

Updated on December 21, 2009

An aquarium is a pool or tank of fresh or salt water in which fish, other aquatic animals, and water plants are kept for exhibition and study. Many hobbyists keep small aquariums at home, and many public aquariums throughout the world are maintained for the enjoyment and education of visitors. Others, although open to the public, are devoted primarily to the scientific study of water plants and animals.

The two major kinds of aquariums are the controlled aquarium and the balanced aquarium. The controlled aquarium requires aerators, filters, and other mechanical aids to maintain the fish and plant life. A balanced aquarium is one in which the oxygen and carbon dioxide needed to support aquarium life are provided in proper amounts by the tank's inhabitants. The oxygen needed by the fish is supplied as a waste product from the plants in the tank, and the carbon dioxide that is needed by the plants to make food is supplied as a waste product of the fish's respiration. In a simple home aquarium, a small number of fish can be kept without the aid of aerators or plants.

Photography by Alejandro Heredia
Photography by Alejandro Heredia

Bottom Covering

The bottom of the tank should be covered with a 1 to 3 inches (2 to 7 cm) layer of clean, coarse gravel. The gravel is used only as a base in which to root plants. It should not be deep, or food will settle in it, decay, and pollute the water. Fine sand is not recommended because it prevents water circulation. Coral, seashells, and some kinds of gravel that contain lime must be avoided because they react with the water and produce substances harmful to fish.

Aquarium Plants

Plants are both decorative and useful in aquariums. Some fish eat plants, and others lay eggs in them or place their young among the leaves for safety. In balanced aquariums, plants are a necessity since they are the only source of the oxygen needed by the fish. Some popular aquarium plants are fish grass, elephant ear, duckweed, eel grass, and several kinds of Sagittaria. A few snails, which eat accumulations of algae, may be added to keep the tank clean.

Although aquarium plants need light to thrive, direct sunlight is often harmful to fish. For this reason, the tank should be placed in a well-lighted but not too sunny part of the room. If the room is relatively dark, the tank may need to be lit artificially.

Water

Although nearly all running water is suitable for aquariums, heavily chlorinated water may kill fish. Chlorinated water that is to be used in fish tanks should be exposed to the air for 24 hours to allow the chlorine to diffuse out of the water.

The temperature of the water should be regulated to suit the kind of fish being raised. For most tropical fish, a temperature of 70° to 85° F. (22°-29° C.) is warm enough. A glass cover placed over the top of the tank helps maintain an even temperature. It also prevents the fish from leaping out of the tank and keeps dirt and soot out. With the exception of a balanced aquarium, a completely covered tank must be supplied artificially with fresh air.

Aquarium Accessories

Among the most useful accessories are filters, aerators, and heaters.

An aquarium filter contains sand, activated charcoal, glass wool, or other filtering materials. Water from the aquarium is pumped through the filtering material and then returned to the tank through a tube. As the water passes through the filter, waste gases and particles of dirt are removed by the filtering material.

An aerator is a small electric pump that forces air through a tube opening at the bottom of the tank. The air comes out as a stream of small bubbles which release oxygen to the water. A tank with an aerator can sustain twice as many fish as an unaerated tank.

An aquarium heater consists of a small tube containing an electric heating coil. Some heaters have a thermostat that automatically maintains an even temperature by turning the heater on and off.

Feeding

Most fish thrive on a varied diet of prepared fish food, chopped worms, and small pieces of fish, meat, or shrimp. Fish should be fed twice a day and given no more food than they will eat in half a minute to two minutes. The particles of food should be sprinkled on the water's surface. Any food that is not eaten should be removed, so that it will not sink to the bottom and decay.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)