Beginner's Aquarium Checklist

  • Tank

A glass or acrylic aquarium. Its size determines the species and number of fish it will house.

  • Stand

Supports the aquarium and all it contains. Remember: 1 gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds!

  • Lid

Keeps fish safely inside the tank, prevents excessive water evaporation, and muffles sound.

  • Light

Illuminates the tank and allows fish to experience a natural day/night cycle. 

  • Filter

Filters out impurities in the water and helps maintain a clean living environment for your fish.

  • Heater and Thermometer

Allows for control, adjustment, and monitoring of water temperature. Essential for tropical fish.

  • Substrate (Gravel, Sand, etc.)

Acts as groundcover for your habitat, provides comfort, and houses beneficial bacteria. 

  • Dechlorinator or Water Conditioner

Removes chlorine and chloramines, making water safe for fish. Can help maintain slime coat.

  • Beneficial Bacteria

Beneficial bacteria break down waste and are essential to maintaining the nitrogen cycle.

  • Water Testing Supplies

Allows the monitoring of water parameters, including pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

  • Gravel Vacuum or Siphon Hose

Helps clean substrate, quickly and easily draining tanks of small or large amounts of water.

  • Cleaning and Maintenance Supplies

May include: A bucket (designated for aquarium use only), algae scraper, or scrubbing pad.

  • Net

Necessary for the removal, relocation, and acclimation of fish.

  • Fish Food

A nutritionally complete meal for your fish. Available in frozen, dry, and live varieties.

  • Plants and Tank Decor

Simulates a more natural environment, provides shelter, and allows for personal expression.