Buying An Aquarium Complete Guide 2021


The Great Beginner’s Guide To Aquarium

Buying An Aquarium is the definitive guide where you will learn quickly and easily everything about aquariums. Join us and we will help you learn everything you need to know to enjoy your own aquarium.

Good Reader , Are you thinking of putting on an aquarium but don’t know where to start?

Do you want to know everything about aquariums?
How much time will you have to invest?
How much money is it going to cost you?
How to start an aquarium?

Aquarium Buying Guide for Beginners

Buying An Aquarium

Well, here you have everything about aquariums, in this guide on the aquarium for beginners I will present in a simple way everything you need to have your own tank .

The objective is that when you finish reading the post, you know roughly everything that implies having and maintaining an aquarium. But without going into too many technicalities, only the essentials.

First of all, aquarium hobbies are one of the most popular hobbies in the world , the total value of the industry is estimated at 15 billion US $ per year .

In the more than 300 Public Aquariums around the world, the Aquarium moves more than 450 million visits each year as well.The therapeutic effects of watching fish swimming are already known to many people. In fact, the rhythmic movements of aquatic organisms and the sound of water produce a relaxation effect that reduces stress. .

Also aquatic pets in fish tanks and aquariums require very little space and time compared, for example, with our beloved dogs or cats.

In this guide to the aquarium for beginners, we will help you understand that an aquarium tries to recreate a natural ecosystem . As a consequence, the living beings that inhabit it need a commitment and care to keep their habitat in balance.

The first thing we are going to explain in this aquarium guide for beginners is what aquarium hobbies are. After all the basic concepts necessary to start in the world of aquariums.

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Learning how to keep your aquarium starts as a hobby, but it’s up to you if you want to turn it into an art.

Buying An Aquarium

Buying Fish Aquarium

The Acuariofilia is raising fish and other aquatic organisms in controlled aquariums that recreate an artificial aquatic ecosystem by auxiliary technical systems. This hobby allows you to bring a small part of aquatic nature to your home , but it goes far beyond the merely aesthetic or decorative.

You can talk about the aquarium as educational, creative, entertaining … there are even studies that claim that observing an aquarium reduces stress .

These therapeutic effects are already known to many people, but it also helps Alzheimer’s patients.

Ultimately, the aquarium world is about controlling aspects such as water, light, filtering… to maintain optimal conditions for your aquatic guests.

In this Beginner’s Guide to the Aquarium I will explain the basics, all about fish tanks you need to know to get started in this exotic world .

Buying A Fish Aquarium – All About Fish Tanks

Aquariums are NOT like those hobbies where you keep your racket, or your boots in the closet and forget about it until next time .

The first thing I must tell you and that you must know is that an aquarium, its fish, its plants are living beings, they need your commitment , a maintenance agreement. Like with a dog or a garden, but easier, even.

But keep one thing in mind, you can only be a beginner, novice, inexperienced, dummie, apprentice, neophyte … for a limited time .

And that period is the most beautiful, in which any experience and / or new knowledge is most enjoyed.

The aquarium will always allow you to continue learning and expanding knowledge, but it will be difficult for you to get excited as when you are a novice .

So enjoy, Beginner!


The tank is the starting point to begin this fantastic journey.

beginner aquariums: My first aquarium
My first fish tank

The definition of Aquarius is simple:

Water tank where live aquatic animals or plants are kept.

But healthy or living organisms will last a short time, if we do not add the technical components necessary to recreate a natural aquatic environment -light, filter, heater, etc.- , but we will see this later.

Let’s first look at the aquarium itself, the reservoir, the urn, and start at the beginning. The first decision you have to make is the place where you are going to place your fish tank, but first write down these tips:


  1. 1. Don’t put it near a window, because it will affect the temperature, favor the growth of algae and disrupt the daylight hours.
  2. 2. Avoid the proximity of air conditioning and heatingas sudden changes in temperature can damage beginner aquarium fish.
  3. 3. Must be accessible for maintenance and have a plug for electrical devices nearby.

You have to decide the place before installing it, because the space will determine the size of the tank , which will be the next decision you will have to make.


The next decision is the size of the deposit . You have fish tanks for beginners of all sizes and shapes, from 10l nano aquariums, like the one you can see here , to custom-made tanks of several thousand liters.

If you want to see a sample of the supply of aquariums on the market, you can click on the button under the image.

What you have to take into account is the size of your tank will affect the characteristics of the rest of the necessary equipment .

For example, a 200L tank requires a larger filter than a 60L one.

Although it may seem contradictory to you, a large aquarium for beginners is easier to maintain than a small one .

The more surface area a tank has, the smoother the mismatches, and the easier it is to maintain.

A small urn is cheaper and easier to locate, but it is a mistake to think that it is simpler.

The aquarium for beginners should not be below 80 liters .

The bigger an aquarium, the more margin for error you have, and you can expand it step by step .

  • I advise you that the height of the aquarium isabout 60 cm. You will facilitate maintenance and lighting.
  • Of width I advise itbetween 35-50 cm.
  • The physical space and your budget will determine the length .

How to calculate the capacity of an Aquarius?

Use this simple formula to calculate the volume of a tank:

Height x Width x Length (cm) / 1.000 = X Liters

For example, if we have a tank 60 cm high x 40 cm wide x 50 cm long:

Regarding the price of the urn , it is evident that it depends on the size of the same. For a quick reference, in this link you have a 135 liter tank for less than € 150 in Amazon aquariums .

However, the most common among those who start is to buy a complete aquarium kit , with all the necessary equipment to get started in the fastest and easiest way. Below you can see some beginner aquarium kits that you can buy in the Amazon online store .


Buying an aquarium kit for beginners is the easiest way to get started without the hassle of buying each device in the kit separately.

These simple aquariums are a perfect option to get into the aquarium for beginners without having to make a large investment.

Below you have a small sample of the complete kits for fish tank that you can buy in the market.


Buying An Aquarium

In order not to get too complicated with the different types of aquariums, we are going to see the most common fish tanks .

Cold water fish tank

The experts recommend this type of nursery in the aquarium hobby for beginners , because it is the easiest to maintain . You have many options of fish that can live in this type of fish tank for beginners .

They require a stable temperature around 18-20 C , a filtering system and oxygenation of the water.

Tropical aquarium

Perhaps the type of classic aquarium , the aquarium Tropical maintains a temperature of warm water, between 24-28 or C .

You have many species to choose from, as well as aquarium plants , but be careful not to overpopulate your aquarium, it is a typical novice mistake.

Marine fish tank

The Marine Aquarium is more difficult to maintain, so it requires a little more attention and more technical means than the freshwater aquarium.

Marine fish are also more sensitive to any change in their environment.

Planted aquarium

Also called “Dutch Aquarium”, its main protagonist is the cultivation of aquatic plants , regardless of even the presence of fish.

If you want to know more about the planted aquarium , you can see our guide on the aquarium with natural plants. You can also stop by our special dedicated to aquarium plants for beginners . There we will solve all the doubts related to the planted aquarium .

The type of ecosystem you want to recreate in your fish tank has to be decided based on the difficulty of maintenance , and the type of species you want in your aquatic micro-world.

The Water In The Fish TankBuying An Aquarium

Water is the fundamental pillar on which the small world created in an aquarium for beginners rests , and in order to maintain it successfully, you must control certain parameters of the water.

Knowing the water is the basis

Water is a complex element, and you have to learn a couple of basic things for the success of your aquarium :

  1. 1. It is common to think that the water in the supply network is suitable for fish, but it is NOT . Care must be taken as this water brings substances such as Chlorine or Chloramine , which are very toxic to fish, plants and beneficial bacteria . This is why you have tolet the tap sit for several days or use a product that eliminates chlorineIn addition you have to control the basic parameters , which you will now see, before using that water in the fish tank for beginners.
  2. 2. You have to bear in mind that different species of fish require different qualities of water . For example, freshwater fish ask for soft and acidic water, while sea fish need a salt supplement.

Regarding the basic parameters, you must know them to control them, and thus maintain the necessary conditions for your aquatic friends.

Basic Water Parameters

Let’s see the 3 parameters that any beginner to aquarium hobby should know . Don’t be scared, they are just a few simple explanations:


The pH is the parameter that indicates whether the water is acidic, neutral or alkaline .

It is measured on a scale from 0 to 14:

  •  Acidic: From 0 to 6 we have acidic water , being more acidic the closer it is to zero.
  •  Neutral: The 7 on the pH scale indicates a neutral water .
  •  Alkaline: Above 7 the water is alkaline , being more alkaline the higher it rises on the scale.

The appropriate pH values ​​depend on the species that inhabits the aquarium for beginners.


Hardness or gH refers to the “amount of salts” in the water .

The scale that ranges from 0 to 20, is measured in or dH , and in general we can find:

  •  Soft: Below 8 o dH.
  •  Semi-soft-semi-hard: Between 8-12 o dH.
  •  Lasts: Above 12 o dH.


The parameter Kh indicates the temporary hardness of the water .

  • If the value drops below 4 or dKH, the pH of the beginner tank becomes more unstable .
  • Above 4 o dKH the pH remains stable.

Other parameters of the water in a fish tank

There are, in addition, other parameters that must be controlled in beginner aquariums because they are toxic .

These are derived from the biological process of fish and plants, and the decomposition of organic matter.

I am talking about Ammonia , Nitrites and Nitrates .

To keep these harmful elements under control we need the filtering system that I explain in the next point.

Obviously the chemistry of water is much more complex, but for now you don’t need to know more. Don’t be overwhelmed, because we all learn little by little.

For the analysis and control of the different water parameters, there are different devices , more or less sophisticated. From test strips to accurate and expensive digital meters. But the most practical solution for newbies is usually to get a multi-test for € 30-50.

By clicking on the button under the image you can see an example of the different aquarium water analysis kits that you can buy on Amazon .

Filter Systems

It is essential for a healthy aquarium to clean the water of impurities and purify it biologically .

Variety of fish tank filters for beginners and aquarium initiation
Different filter systems for aquariums

In a beginner’s aquarium, as in nature, the biological cycle of living things produces different wastes .

In the natural environment, these wastes are diluted without problem, but in a tank they accumulate until reaching toxic levels .

For this reason it is necessary to have a system that filters the water and retains the solid waste particles. Also, aquarium filters must harbor a colony of beneficial bacteria that remove toxic waste.

A filtering system that purifies the aquarium water 3-4 times an hour is essential , and removes biological waste before it becomes dangerous.

This point is vital, and I recommend that your filtration system “go overflowing” and have a capacity of Liters / Hour higher than what your tank needs.

That is, if you have a 100-liter tank, then you need a system that filters between 300-400 liters / hour at least .

Types Of Filtering

The dictionary of the RAE has the following definition for the term Filter :

Porous matter, such as felt, paper, sponge, coal, stone, etc., or mass of sand or small stones, through which a liquid is passed to clarify it from the materials it carries in suspension .

In the market you will find several types of filters that we will see later, and different filter materials.

But first you must know the three kinds of filtration that the water of an aquarium for beginners needs :


This filter cleans the water of solid impurities, retaining them physically . They are used sponges , gravels or gurnard .

They require regular cleaning to reduce nitrate build-up and promote aquarium stability.


This type of filter alters certain chemical parameters of the water depending on the material used.

These types of filters are not generic and are used according to the specific needs of the water .

For example, when we want to end up with drug residues in the water, we put active carbon . Resins and peat are also used in the aquarium for beginners.


Some strains of beneficial bacteria that are located in the filter materials purify water through nitrification cycle.

Bacteria spread over the entire surface of the filter, so it is best to use highly porous materials that offer a larger surface area.

The important thing is to know that these bacteria transform ammonia into nitrites , then nitrites into nitrates , and the latter disappear with regular water changes .

Let’s now see what the cycling phase is , essential before introducing fish.


It is the period of settlement and acclimatization of the bacterial colony in the aquarium and the filter.

Aquarium Cycling is a tough test for every beginner in aquarium hobbies . A difficult exercise in patience for these days when life goes by so fast.

Many are surprised when they learn that Once the tank is assembled and working, we must let it mature.

It is known as aquarium cycling , and it is the time it takes for the bacteria to colonize the urn and take care of the biological waste .

 Without cycling, fish would die in the beginner aquarium from high levels of Ammonia and Nitrite .

This maturation period usually requires 30 to 60 days. Yes, you read correctly, up to 60 days.

An aquarium is cycling when it has zero levels of ammonia and nitrites , and the level of nitrates begins to increase.

It is advisable to keep the nitrate level between 5-15 mg / l. To control it, make regular changes of water and avoid that it exceeds 30 mg / l.

For the bacteria to colonize the aquarium they need food, that is, ammonia , and there are three ways to supply it:

  1. 1. Fish food: Adding a few flakes every day, which decomposes into food for bacteria.
  2. 2. Adding Ammonia: Ammonia can be added to the aquarium chemically, but it requires a thorough control of the aquarium water parameters for beginners.
  3. 3. Resistant fish : Add fish capable of withstanding high levels of ammonia . Many of us consider him little friend to animals .

There are also products that accelerate this process, which neutralize certain substances and favor the growth of the beneficial bacterial colony. In this link, you can see an example of this type of product.

As a beginner, take advantage of this time to deepen more in this art of aquarium hobby , and expand your knowledge.

Filter Types

Deciding which filter is appropriate for your aquarium is not easy , especially when you are a beginner.

Depending on the situation of the filtration system we can distinguish the following types:


    • Internal Filters
      For Aquarium

      The best offers of indoor fish tank filters at the best price in aquarium3web.comSee Internal Filters

The internal aquarium filter , also called “submersible” , is the filtering system that is placed inside the tank, taking up valuable space . It is typical of the small beginner aquarium.

The water enters through the base, and after passing through the filter material, it is returned to the tank through the top.

They generally only use mechanical filtration, but we can add biological material to increase their performance.

If you press the button under the image you can see the different models and prices available for this type of filter on Amazon .

Waterfall or backpack

    • Waterfall Filters
      For Marine Aquarium

      The best offer of Backpack filters for the fish tank at the best price in Acuario3web.comSee Cascade Filters

This system hangs from the tank on the outside , and usually offers more space for filter material than the internal filter.

The waterfall filter has a higher efficiency and avoids the loss of space inside the aquarium, but aesthetically it is still visible.

It is normally used in the medium beginner aquarium , and its maintenance is usually much easier than the internal filter.

Click on the button under the image to see the different models and prices of the waterfall filters on Amazon .


    • External Filters
      For Marine Aquarium

      The best selection of outdoor filters for fish tanks and aquariums at Acuario3web.comSee External Filters

It is the best and most efficient , it is totally external, and it has a larger container for the filter material.

Click the button below the image to see the external filter offer on Amazon

The water is introduced through a tube, which passes through the filters from bottom to top and a pump returns it to the urn.

Although it is more expensive, the Canister Filter does not take up space in the aquarium for beginners, it is very simple to clean and we can hide it in the cabinet.

Filter Maintenance And Cleaning

You need to clean the filter materials every so often , because little by little they will become saturated.

How often to clean your own tank will tell you, but as a guide, once a week or 15 days.

But this cleaning It can NOT be with tap water, since it would end the biological filter.

If you use tap water as is, the chlorine will kill the entire colony of friendly nitrifying bacteria.

To clean the filter materials you should ALWAYS use the water from the aquarium itself .

Normally the one that is withdrawn in the partial changes that are part of the periodic maintenance is used.

  • The mechanical filter can be cleaned every time you do the partial water change, eliminating all possible residues.
  • The biofilter have to clean when saturated, and do it gently to keep most of the bacteria.
  • The chemical filters need to be changed from time to time specified by the manufacturer.

Fish Tank Oxygenation

Aquatic, animal or plant organisms also need oxygen dissolved in water for their vital functions .

Fish Tank Aeration or Oxygenation for Beginners in Aquariums
Aquarium Aeration for Beginners

In nature, the extensive surface of the water and its movement provide the necessary oxygen for aquatic beings.

But in an aquarium the surface of the water is very limited and it is necessary to promote oxygenation .

    • Fish Tank Aerators And Oxygenators

      Beginner Fish Tank AeratorsSee Oxygenators

The simplest way to increase oxygen levels is to shake the surface , but without stressing the fish. To do this, an air pump called aerator is used, connected to one or more diffusers.

Many people mistakenly believe that it is the bubbles in the aerator that provide the oxygen. But it is actually the movement on the surface generated by the bubbles that brings oxygen to the water.

By clicking on the button under the picture you can see beginner aquarium air pumps on Amazon .

In recent times, the aerator pump is being replaced by modern filters , since they are much more efficient.

Very fast gill movements, and fish gasping on the surface indicate a possible lack of oxygen in the tank.

The aeration function in addition to providing oxygen to the aquarium for beginners, ensures thermal stability , as it agitates the hot and cold layers.


There is a close relationship between the temperature of the water and its oxygen concentration. The lower the temperature, the more oxygen .

Relationship between water temperature and oxygen concentration in the aquarium
TemperatureAvailable OxygenMinimum Acceptable Oxygen
10 o C11.3 mg / l [od]08.8 mg / l [oma]
20 o C9.2 mg / l [od]7.8 mg / l [oma]
25 o C8.2 mg / l [od]7.5 mg / l [oma]
30 o C7.5 mg / l [od]6.9 mg / l [oma]

Temperature – C . / Oxygen concentration – mg / l
o.d. oma

Although most fish could accept a minimum oxygen concentration of 4-5 mg / l, it is recommended that in beginner aquariums it should never be less than 7-8 mg / l.


We must maintain a constant water temperature appropriate to the type of aquarium and the species chosen.

fish tank temperature control for beginners
The temperature in the fish tank

Another determining factor in the tank is the temperature, and in this aquarium manual for beginners we cannot skip it.

Whether it is a hot or cold water fish aquarium , the aquatic environment must have a thermal stability that you must recreate. It is important for the health of the fish to avoid sudden changes in temperature .

The point is not to keep it at an exact temperature but to maintain a stable temperature in the tank within the range required by the chosen fish.

Keep these two points in mind:

  1. 1. The temperature of your aquarium is totally influenced by the climate of your area and / or room.
  2. 2. Cooling water is much more complicated and expensive than heating it.

Different species of fish have different preferred temperature ranges. Some adapt to a wide range, while others need very specific temperatures.

The thermal control equipment in a fish tank is composed of the thermometer, and heaters / coolers governed by one or more thermostats .

Thermal equipment is not totally essential in every aquarium for beginners, but I advise you to use it to maintain a stable temperature.


You need to monitor the temperature, and for that there are thermometers.

    • Aquarium Thermometers

      The Thermometer is very important in aquariums for beginnersSee Thermometers

You have these types of thermometers for your aquarium:

  •  Glass: The classic thermometer commonly known as a “mercury thermometer” is actually tinted alcohol. It is placed inside and they are quite accurate.
  •  Sticker: It is an adhesive sticker that is placed on the outside and is very unreliable. I do not advise it because they are very imprecise.
  •  Digital Thermometer: They are the best, since they are the most accurate. You have a great variety to choose from, with multiple functionalities such as maximum and minimum, interior and exterior reading … I recommend that you choose one with the submersible probe.

Click on the button below the image to see the offer of aquarium thermometers on Amazon .


To maintain the proper temperature, the most widely used system is the use of a submersible resistance activated by one or more thermostats , also called a heater or thermo- heater .

    • Heaters
      For Acuariofilia

      See aquarium heaters on AmazonSee Heaters

It is important that the heater is located away from the thermostat, and in a place where there is good water circulation, to distribute the heat in the best way and maintain a homogeneous temperature throughout the aquarium.

As for the power of the aquarium heater , it depends mainly on the difference in temperature between the aquarium for beginners and the room. Keep in mind that the filtering and lighting system provide heat .

Click on the button under the image to see the aquarium heater offer on Amazon .

NEVER connect the heater out of the water , because it heats up very quickly, you can burn yourself and damage the appliance .

As a general rule you can take that the tank has as many Watts as liters , that is, 100 liters aquarium – 100 Watt heater.

  •  If we choose a heater that is too small, it would always be working, reducing its useful life and increasing the electricity bill.
  •  If we choose one that is too large, it could heat the water too fast, damaging the fish.

In the case of discovering some type of imbalance in the temperature of the aquarium, when correcting the deviation do not cause sudden changes, and do it gradually .

Types of heaters

In aquarium heating systems we find these 3 types:

  •  Internal: The most widely used heater, it is placed inside the water, and it is basically a resistance inside a glass tube with a thermostat. NEVER turn them out of the water.
  •  External: It is more modern and effective, in addition it does not take up space inside the tank because it connects to the outlet hose of the external filter.
  •  Background: We have the heating mat , which are usually placed under the tank, and the heating cable , which is placed inside, under the substrate. These types of heaters notably favor the development of plants.


In many areas when summer is coming, coolers have to be used to prevent the water temperature from rising too high .

Coolers are used to lower the temperature of aquarium water for beginners, and it is more difficult and expensive than heating it. Here you can see in this link one of the best-selling aquarium coolers in the Amazon online store .

You will generally find yourself with fan coolers, thermoelectric coolers, or refrigerant-based coolers.



Lighting is important as it is the source of vital energy for the plants that inhabit the aquarium.

In this guide to everything about aquariums for beginners you can not miss the extensive topic of fish tank light , so let’s go.

Natural light is difficult to control so it is better to use an artificial lighting system that provides the necessary lighting conditions.

It is essential in the aquarium, and we must choose well to recreate the necessary light, without excesses or defects .

  •  Too much light will throw money and more algae in the water.
  •  Low light will impede plant growth.

The fish -only beginner aquariums are the simplest in terms of lighting, needing only to make it look good.

But natural plants require a higher quantity and quality light.

It is essential that you maintain regularity in lighting, providing stable periods of 8-12 hours of light. The simplest thing is usually to use a timer.

It is essential to maintain an hourly regularity between periods of light and periods of darkness for the stability of the ecosystem.

To know what luminous flux your aquarium needs, you must take into account the light requirements of your plants and fish, and the height of the water column.


This calculation is complicated, so as a generic rule you can take the following traditional reference with fluorescent lighting :

  •  4 liters / 1 Watt – Basic lighting
  •  3 liters / 1 watt – intermediate lighting
  •  2 liters / 1 Watt – Strong lighting

Also for guidance:

  •  1W / 3l is enough for freshwater aquariums
  •  One marine asks for 1W / 2l

Traditionally, Watts per Liter have been used as a reference in lighting. But it is better to use the Lumen (Lm) because it is more appropriate.

The Lumens refer to the amount of emitted light , while Watts refer to power.

For example, a cheap 100W device can give less Lumens (quantity) than a quality 60W device.

For this reason I am also going to give you an indicative reference in Lumens , which is more appropriate:

  •  20-25 Lm / l – Basic lighting for urns without plants.
  •  25-35 Lm / l – Intermediate lighting for fish and plant aquariums.
  •  +35 Lm / l – Strong lighting for planted aquariums.
  •  50 Lm / l – Lighting for marine aquariums.
  •  50-70 Lm / l – Lighting for reef marine aquariums.

After a few months of operation, the development of the aquatic plants and the color of the algae will indicate if the lighting in your aquarium for beginners is correct:

  •  Brown in the color of algae on sand or crystals indicates weak or poor quality lighting.
  •  Green algae signify correct lighting.
  •  The blue color in the algae indicates excess light intensity.

Fluorescent tubes have traditionally been used to illuminate aquariums , due to the variety of assortment, and greater performance and duration.

But in recent times, new technologies such as PL lamps, HQI, low-consumption lamps, and especially Led lamps have come into play.


Today you have several options for lighting your aquarium for beginners. Below you can see what types of lamps you can find in the market.

    • Fish Tank Lamps

      Lamps for fish tanks at Acuario3web.comSee Lamps
  •  T8 Fluorescent:
    They are the most common and usual of the kits , but they are not the most recommended, because they are not very efficient.
  •  T5 Fluorescent:
    They are more modern and efficient, they give better light and take up less. They achieve a greater penetration in the water column.
  •  Fluorescent PL:
    They provide more light in less space. The heat it gives off is its main drawback.
  •  Low consumption lamps:
    Similar to the PL lamp , it has in its favor the integrated ballast, but it does not reach much depth.
  •  Led:
    The latest technology offers quality, power, reduced consumption and a greater aesthetic appeal. Its main drawback is a higher cost.
  •  HQI lamps:
    Metal Halide lamps are used for large aquariums, where fluorescent lamps fall short.

If you want to see the different offers that you can find in the aquarium lamp market, click on the button under the image.


The “soil” of the aquarium is composed of gravel or sand , and if necessary, a substrate with nutrients for plants or shrimp.

    • Substrates
      For Fish Tanks

      Different substrates for fish tanks
    • See Substrates

Depending on the tank you install, you will need a thick layer of substrate for plant roots, or a thin layer for African cichlids.

Always wash the gravel, you will avoid cloudy water for days, and unnecessary work to the filter.

I recommend putting the substrate forming a small slope from back to front , to facilitate cleaning and give greater depth.

Click on the button under the image to see the different substrates that you have on Amazon .


Now that you have assimilated the basics about aquariums, we come to the moment to put everything together to start recreating your little aquatic micro world .

When you have decided the size of the tank, where to place it, all the necessary equipment and the fish and plants with which to start, you should know how to start an aquarium to start this fantastic journey .

In this Aquarium Guide for Beginners , I give you the guidelines to start your aquarium.


Let’s see in 6 simple steps how to start an aquarium:

1. Install the tank:

Fish tank installation
Install the tank

Place the aquarium on a sturdy and perfectly level stand-cabinet .

I recommend that you put a polystyrene sheet between the cabinet and the tank to compensate for any irregularities in the support and protect the glass from the bottom.

2. Check the tightness:

Let's test the leak-free tank
Check for leaks

Fill the tank and wait at least 24 hours to check that there are no leaks in the tank .

This simple test can prevent you from a real disaster.

Imagine for a moment that after having everything assembled you realize that your aquarium for beginners is leaking.

3. Pour the gravel and place the decoration:

Put the substrate in your fish tank
Place the substrate

First clean the gravel thoroughly with tap water before adding it . I recommend that when placing the substrate, the back of the tank is about 8-10 cm thick, while the front is 5-7 cm. This gives a sense of depth, and it will help you when putting the plants.

Then place the decoration that you have decided, leaving the necessary spaces for the plants.

4. Place the equipment and adjust the parameters:

Put the equipment of your new fish tank
Place the equipment

It is time to locate the heater and the filter system.

It is important that the filter takes the water near the bottom on one side, and expels it on the opposite side at the top, to create a stream that circulates throughout the aquarium for beginners .

Use a plate or glass on the bottom so you don’t stir the gravel when you add the liquid . Place the thermometer and let it sit for 24 hours.

The next day, plug in the filter and heater, and adjust the temperature for the next few days. Every day I make a couple of flakes of food so that when it decomposes it serves as food for the bacteria .

5. Place the plants:

Put your plants to finish installing your new fish tank
Put the plants

After a few days you can place your plants, I advise you to put the less demanding species. Before cleaning them with warm water and remove dead leaves and roots.

Another little tip, put the plants that grow the most in the back and the ones that grow less in the front of the tank. Turn on the lighting with a daily period of 10-12.

When you have the stage set, it is time to wait for the aquarium to “mature” and stabilize the biological balance , before introducing the fish.

Buying Fish For Aquarium

It is essential that the species you choose are compatible with the parameters of your aquarium , also taking into account the liters of water that each fish needs, if they are solitary …

Select the beginner fish that will live in your new tank
Tetra Imperador in an Aquarium for Beginners

Make sure that the species you choose are compatible with each other, and do not end up serving as food for others.

Keep in mind that there are different levels where fish inhabit, there are bottom, surface and medium height fish.

If you want more information about what fish can visit the previous link our category dedicated to our friends water.

Fish for beginners

Now let’s look at the recommended fish species for beginners as they are the hardiest and easiest to keep classes of fish .

The Cyprinidae family that are shoal fish, that is, that live in groups, we can start with Barbos , Chinese Neons , Rasboras or Danios .

Also the Coridora or Rainbow Fish family are good types of aquarium fish for beginners.

Now let’s see more variety of beginner fish, appropriate for beginner aquariums, but these are let’s say second level, I mean, they need more care than the previous ones.

We can choose between Guppys , Platys , Sword tails , Loaches , the famous Bettas , or Tetras …

There is a long list of aquarium fish for beginners, but don’t mess around too much, start small and learn the needs of each fish before buying .

If you are interested in having a good time, you can read the “curious” article that we have prepared on some curiosities of the most striking fish .

Tips for buying fish

This Beginner’s Aquarium manual can’t end without these little tips for when buying your fish:

 Control the water color:
Generally, the aquarium water must be transparent , so if we detect any coloration, it may mean that the fish have some type of medical treatment, so it is not very advisable.
 Observe the fish:
If the fish show a different color than what can be seen in the photographs, or white spots on their body, I do not recommend that you buy them.If you see any dead fish in an aquarium, you should not buy fish from that tank either as it may be caused by some disease.
 Look at the reaction of the fish:
Bring your hand to the aquarium as if you were going to feed them, if the fish do not come up for their ration, it may mean that their diet is deficient. This can lead to weak and disease-prone aquarium fish.
 Ask not to mix fish from different aquariums:
Better to be safe, and ask them to put the fish from different tanks in separate bags. If we avoid mixing water, we avoid possible contagion of diseases.

I recommend you to be patient when you have to add your fish to the aquarium. Introducing a small group every 15 days will give your beneficial bacteria enough time to establish themselves .


The importance of this step is vital to minimize the stress created by changing the tank from the store to our fish tank.

How to put aquarium fish in the fish tank
New friends in the fish tank

We must help the fish in their acclimatization from the water in the tent to the water in our aquarium .

We have two methods:

  1. 1. Quick method: Put the open bag inside the beginner tank to equalize the temperature, and add a little water from your tank every 10 min . After an hour, catch the fish with the net and put them inside, butDO NOT tip the bag, since you do not know for sure what state that water has.
  2. 2. Slow method: Like almost everything in life, slow means safer. Place the bag as I explained in the previous point, and then extract water from the aquarium into a container. Pass the water into the bag by dripping (you can get the dropper at the pharmacy). This process usually takes a minimum of 4 hours, but slow acclimatization of fish increases the chances of survival .


Cleaning the tank is a periodic task that you cannot skip .

aquarium maintenance
Fish tank maintenance

Maintenance is critical to a healthy aquarium , and this beginner’s guide to fish tanks would not be complete without general maintenance guidelines.

Let’s see how to keep the aquarium in optimal condition with a daily, weekly and monthly maintenance routine.

Obviously it is a generic routine that you should adapt to your own aquarium , since each one has its own characteristics and its own needs.


  1. 1. Feed your fish and check that their behavior is normal.
  2. 2. Check that the technical equipment works correctly.
  3. 3. Verify that the temperature is correct.


  1. 1. Change the water: Change 5-10% for prepared water (dechlorinated and temperature).
  2. 2. Clean the substrate: Make a cleaning of the substrate with a siphon, and combine the water change with the siphon .
  3. 3. Control Nitrification: Monitor the levels of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.
  4. 4. Check the water parameters: Check the pH, density, and gH-kH of your aquarium for beginners.
  5. 5. Clean the aquarium: Clean the glass inside and out, the lights and the screen.


  1. 1. Wash the filters: Clean the filter materials once a month (your aquarium will tell you how often it needs it.),always using water from the aquarium itselfUsing tap water will kill the colony of nitrifying bacteria .
  2. 2. Replace the carbon: Once a month, the carbon in the filter has to be changed.
  3. 3. Control evaporation: Replaces evaporated water.

Final Takeaways On The Buying a Fish Aquarium

Buying an Aquarium. The first thing you have to keep in mind is that this is a small guide called ” Aquarium for Beginners “, therefore, it is an almost schematic look focused for beginners , but with everything about aquariums for beginners .

The idea is to put together the basic information with everything about aquariums and fish tanks so that anyone who comes to this hobby for the first time, can get a global idea about aquariums.

If you’ve read the entire article ( Congratulations! It’s over 7,000 words), then it’s because you’re really interested in this beautiful hobby.

Now I can only encourage you to share this small guide on the aquarium for beginners on Social Networks , and continue on your way to turn your new hobby into an art that will bring you many satisfactions. 😉 Thank you !!

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