You have the perfect tank, exactly what you wanted!! Now you need supplies to keep it that way. We will review the aquarium supplies which are used in both freshwater aquariums and marine aquariums, supplies just for freshwater aquariums, and supplies just for marine aquariums. There are too many to mention all of them so we will review the most frequently used supplies.
The following supplies could be used in both freshwater and marine aquariums:
- A net is used to remove fish from the aquarium.
- The gravel syphon will be used to remove waste and other debris from underneath the substrate.
- An algae scraper and/or algae sponge could be used to remove the algae from the sides of the aquarium.
- Algae sponge to remove algae from the decorations.
- A thermometer is used to determine the temperature of the water in the aquarium. It is important that the aquarium’s temperature does not fluctuate more than a couple degrees. Usually, aquarium’s temperatures are between 76-80 degrees.
- Five-gallon buckets with lids are used when cleaning and changing the water in the aquarium. Place same amount of clean water in the buckets to equal the amount of dirty water which was removed during syphoning. (Buckets and lids may be purchased at your local hardware store.)
Now for the freshwater aquarium supplies:
- Make sure you have fish food! Cannot have starving fish. Fish food is either flakes and pellets. For smaller fish, use flakes (smaller fish are unable to eat pellets because their mouths are too small). For larger fish, use flakes or pellets.
- Freshwater test kit. This kit usually includes chemicals to test the PH, Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrites. The liquid testers are more accurate and have a longer shelf-life than the paper strip testers.
- An aquarium needs to properly go through the cycle of producing good bacteria, also known as cycling your aquarium. There are products which speed the cycling process allowing fish to be added within 24 hours. Such as, FritzZmye 7.
- Alkaline and acid buffers are needed when using RO/DI water for top-offs or refilling your tank after cleaning (2:1 ration, 2 parts alkaline to 1 part acid). (RO/DI means reverse osmosis and deionization-removes ALL chemicals from the water. The buffers increase the PH to the proper range.)
- If you chose to use tap water instead of RO/DI water, then we recommend an agent which makes the tap water safe for sea life by removing chlorine and chloramine, and detoxifying heavy metals. Such as, Fritz Guard.
Last but not least, the marine aquarium supplies:
- Make sure you have fish food! Marine water fish usually each frozen food. There are too many to discuss. Good rule of thumb is to ask your local fish store which food they are feeding the fish you purchased and feed the same thing.
- Marine water test kit. This kit usually includes chemicals to test PH, Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrite. Some marine water test kits, like Red Sea Marine Care test kit, include chemicals to test Alkalinity as well as PH, Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrite. Please note, marine aquarium’s PH is normally higher than freshwater aquariums.
- Red Sea Reef Foundation Pro Multitest kit (for reef systems only). This kit usually includes chemicals to test the Calcium, Alkalinity, and Magnesium.
- Just like the freshwater aquariums, marine aquariums need to cycle also. There are also products which speed the cycling process allowing fish to be added within 24 hours. Such as, FritzZmye 9.
- Refractomer is used to check the salinity of the saltwater prior to topping off or if there are problems with the aquarium. A Refractometer measures the level of salt in the water. When the saltwater level is low, check the salinity level via a Refractometer to determine if saltwater or RO/DI water with marine buffer needs to be added. If the saltwater is within normal levels, then add RO/DI with marine buffer. If salinity level is low, then add saltwater without buffer.
- Maine buffer is needed when adding RO/DI top-off water.
- Some people choose to make their own saltwater instead of purchasing premixed saltwater from their local fish store. If you choose to make your own saltwater then you will need bag(s) of aquarium salt.
You should have everything you need for your new aquarium. Now go have fun selecting your fish and/or corals to take home!
Author: Tessy Weigold