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Tips for Getting Your First Fish Tank

Pet fish owners often have a negative experience with their first aquarium purchase and give up just like that. Definitely, you can avoid this scenario, and that’s by having a plan before you go out and shop. Even for the experienced, planning is always a good idea.

Here are some helpful tips to help you choose and buy your first fish tank:


Many people think they can begin the hobby with a few dollars, which is far from the truth. If you’d like to start with decent quality equipment, you should set aside some $150 – $200. And there’s no reason to get anything short of decent quality. If you find the cost too much for your budget, it’s wiser to save until you have enough cash.

Making a List

Making a checklist of your needs is a great way to start. This list should include the tank and stand, heater, hood and light, gravel, filter, net, water treatment/cleaning supplies, and some decor probably. All of that on top of the fish and fish food to last until your next visit to the pet store. Speaking of fish, you can start with more manageable types as a newbie, like White Cloud or Bloodfin Texas.

If you’ve got a rather tight budget, try asking for help. Perhaps you show your checklist to a family member or friend who may not mind buying you a birthday or holiday gift in advance. Another option would be used equipment, but be sure to check very closely for scratches, cracks and other signs of damage. And don’t pay more than half the original price for whatever.


You’ll want to avoid less than 10-gallon aquariums as a newbie. Many people don’t know this, but the smaller a fish tank, the harder it is to manage – less water means a faster buildup of toxins. Not to mention temperature and water chemistry changes set in much faster in cramped spaces. When buying your first fish tank, go for 20 gallons or bigger. There’s a much better chance of it working since a larger tank will have more room for errors.

How Many Fish?

Lastly, decide how many fish you can keep and be as realistic as possible. This obviously affects the tank size you should get and the space you need to accommodate it. Even if you get a bigger tank, start with a few fish that are easy to care for. As you become more experienced with aquariums, you can get more challenging types.

Case Study: My Experience With Fish

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