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.