There are many reasons to acquire some pet fish for your home; not only do they spruce up a living room, dining room or bedroom by showing off some beautiful, live animals but they make a great gift for kids and are great first pets to teach kids responsibility.
There are a variety of fish tank types to choose from and they come with different specifications so it’s a good idea to get some information behind them before you go ahead and make a purchase.
The great thing about keeping fish is that it’s a hobby with variety. You can choose how much you want to spend and how far you want to go. If you are looking for a few cheap freshwater fish like goldfish to keep for the kids, then that’s an easy option. But if you are looking for a fantastic display of diversity and color, you might want to spend a little more and go for a full saltwater aquarium.
Types of Aquarium
There are four different aquarium types to choose from and different reasons to decide on one.
These are composed of a freshwater environment for fish that are happy with water at temperatures below 70 degrees, usually at room temperature. These can be a simple as a goldfish bowl which many people kept as kids.
Tropical aquariums are also freshwater but usually needed to be warmed up to simulated environments that the fish species kept naturally live. Temperatures usually range between 72 and 80 degrees and are fairly easy to maintain.
Saltwater, marine aquariums simulate the oceanic environment and are home usually to much more diverse, yet more difficult to look after species of fish. Certain concentrations of salt are to be purchased and mixed with the water and the creatures that live here have very specific parameters for their environment and so equipment needed may vary.
Brackish is a mixture of a fresh and saltwater environment, similar to that of an estuary where the river meets the sea. There are species of marine life which are adapted to this environment and the specific conditions required for this aquarium type can be difficult to manage.
Types of Aquarium Fish
The selection of fish and aqueous life there is to choose for your tank is of an amazing variety. They all have different temperaments and specific needs and so if you do decide to mix different species together, make sure to get the advice of the pet shop owner as to whether they would live side by side peacefully.
Here are some examples of pet fish favorites and other creatures that can be kept in different types of aquariums:
Cold Water Aquarium Fish
- Paradise Fish
- Blood fin tetra
- Hillstream loach
- Cherry shrimp
Tropical Aquarium Fish
- Neon tetra
- Kuhli loach
- Sword tails
Marine Aquarium Fish
- Butterfly fish
- Rabbit fish
- Clown fish
Brackish Aquarium Fish
- Topaz puffer
- Prehistoric dragon goby
- Green scat
- Columbian shark
- Archer fish
What Type of Aquarium is Best?
The type of aquarium to go for will depend on your interest in certain types of fish and your budget. Many people buy aquariums fully intending on keeping piranha for example. Since the pet piranhas that are sold are often from tropical, freshwater environments you would need to supply them with an environment similar to that they are adapted to.
This means providing a heater, water pump and filter and other equipment needed to keep the fish tank as close to the natural environment as possible.
Other varieties of pet fish, for example, goldfish and mollies, are happy in tepid environments and require less maintenance and less expenditure on equipment is needed to maintain a cold water aquarium.
With saltwater aquariums, more often even more equipment and maintenance than tropical aquariums is required since you will need to provide for a self-contained, balanced ecosystem that needed certain concentrations of salt mixed into the water, it’s the same with brackish aquariums.
Assuming you are a beginner fish pet owner, you are much better starting off with a cold water or tropical aquarium as they are easy to maintain and can still host some beautiful fish. You won’t need to worry about getting salt water concentrations just right, it’s just more about making sure the water isn’t too dirty and is warm enough for the species you keep.
The size of the fish tank you need to buy will also count on a combination of the varieties of fish you decide on, the number of fish you want to keep and the amount of space you have available but the rule to go by is: the bigger, the better!
Our Top Picks
Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank Starter Kit
This is a 20-gallon starter aquarium which also comes with included LED lights to really make your new pets stand out in the room. It also comes with a heater and thermometer which allows you to start out with a freshwater tropical fish tank right away. Additionally, the set gives you some tools you’ll need for caring for your fish such as food, water conditioner and a net for the times you need to remove fish such as cleaning or breeding.
Its dimensions are 24.75/2.5/16.75 in inches which is not a bad size at all, not so big it’ll be difficult to manage but has enough space for your fish to swim freely and can hold a good quantity of them.
The product reviews about this particular tank are great, people who purchased are happy, particularly with how quiet the water pump is in comparison to other products. The manufacturer would recommend changed the filter about every month but handily there is a red LED light on the pump to let you know when it needs changing.
Tetra LED Cube Shaped 3 Gallon Aquarium
If you are looking for a simple and small fish tank then look no further than the Tetra Cube Tank. It’s much smaller than the previous and would easily fit onto any bedside table, desk or coffee table and would make a nice centerpiece in any living room.
The set also comes with a filter and LED light to keep the tank illuminated showing off your fish. It doesn’t come with a heater, however, so its initial set up is not meant for tropical environment dwelling fish but a heater could be installed.
Coralife Fish Tank LED BioCube
You may have seen the vast beauty of the marine fish and want to have a go at taking on running a marine aquarium: after all, you’ve got to start somewhere. The Coralife Fish Tank is the perfect option to get started on running a saltwater aquarium.
Not only is it a well built and high-quality fish tank it also comes with automatic lights that can be set to replicate a natural day and night cycle so you don’t have to manage that yourself. There is a built-in filtration system that’s also customizable, submersible pump, dual intakes and adjustable return nozzle, all added to make your journey as a keeper of marine fish as easy as possible.
Another fantastic feature that all fish tank owners find superb is the fact that it is so quiet in comparison to other products. One reviewer even said it’s quieter than their computer! It’s the best start a for a beginner marine aquarium owner out there which you can use as a head start to begin modding and customizing the tank to suit your needs when you have some more expertise.
SeaClear 50 gal Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set
Another absolutely fantastic fish tank is available here and doesn’t be put off by the price, it’s worth every penny. First of all, it holds 50 gallons of water and so you can have a whole cacophony of small fish living together here and can even host a few larger fish like Oscars. Additionally instead of glass is made of acrylic making more durable, clearer to see through and much, much lighter to carry!
This tank is also highly moddable being so large and able to host a marine aquarium too if you wish to do so. There’s also a 24 inch light fixture included with this product to keep your beautiful underwater setting illuminated when it needs to be. N doubt a display within this fish tank would be the talking point at any party, check out the reviews they all sing this products praises!.