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.