Whether looking to set up the smallest home aquarium or a much larger commercial feature, the temptation is often to rush straight into things without a great deal of forethought. The reason of course being that not only is there a good deal of time and effort involved in getting things up and running, but the sooner you can have this soon-to-be gorgeous decorative touch in place, the better.
Unfortunately, while a stunning aquarium may indeed be a uniquely beautiful decorative asset in its own right, it also represents a uniquely demanding balancing act to pull off. After all, what you’re actually talking about is a life-giving habitat that’s responsible for nurturing and maintaining healthy fish for the long-term future. Get it right and you’ll be the proud owner of a stunning piece of living art that brings you nothing but joy – get it wrong however and you’re looking at little more than mass murder.
So, with this in mind, the following represents a brief introduction to just a few of the most commonly-made mistakes when it comes to setting up a new aquarium which are for the most part guaranteed to result in disaster:
1 – Rushing Things
As mentioned above, perhaps the biggest and most commonly-made mistake of all is that of rushing into things and trying to hurry the final result. The simple fact of the matter is that without proactive forethought and plenty of time devoted to the cause, you’re absolutely guaranteed to go wrong somewhere or other. You might overlook the importance of some of the equipment you need, you might not know how to operate your aquarium chillers properly or you might not realise how some fish are wholly incompatible with each other – rushing things breeds poor decision making across the board.
2 – Not Treating the Water
While it’s relatively common knowledge these days that fish cannot live in the standard water that comes from the tap, there are still thousands of would-be fish-keepers who try their luck with wholly untreated water. Whether a case of genuine misunderstanding or simply blind ignorance, the result tends to be the same in all cases – a tank full of sick, dying and dead fish. Needless to say, this really does not represent responsible behaviour and is therefore the kind of thing that should be avoided at all costs. All aquarium water must be carefully and appropriately treated before even thinking about going ahead and adding any fish.
3 – Water Temperatures
Aside from the treatment of the water, the single more important thing to be aware of for the sake of your tank’s residents is the temperature of the water. It’s crucial to understand and acknowledge the fact that even the slightest change in temperature can be fatal to fish and while some thrive in colder water, others need a constant source of mild to moderate heat. As such, it’s not simply a case of making sure the temperature is appropriate when the fish are introduced, but also that the ideal temperature is maintained consistently every hour of every day.
4 – Location
Just because an aquarium would look the part in any given location does not for one minute mean that this is the ideal location in which to position it. When looking to position a fish tank of any size and type, it’s crucial to bear in mind any outside factors and influences that could detrimentally affect the health of the fish. Is it likely to be bashed and knocked about? Is it too close to a home-heating source? How about open windows and cold draughts? It’s crucial to think about all such factors both for now and for the long term as the location of your aquarium will always play a key role in the overall balancing act.
5 – Choice of Species
And finally, one of the biggest mistakes any newcomer can make is that of assuming that all fish are pretty much the same and demand the same kind of care, attention and living conditions. In reality this really could not be further from the truth as while there are certainly fish that have their similarities, every fish species is to some extent unique. This means from temperatures to space needed to feeding patterns and right down to the other fish they get along with or otherwise, you essentially need to know your chosen fish inside and out before even thinking about taking them home.
Their health and wellbeing is your responsibility, after all.