Are you thinking of setting up a tropical fish tank? Whether you decide to go with freshwater or salt water fish, you are investing in a beautiful and rewarding hobby. Here are a few things to look for when it comes to setting up a reliable tank.

One of the most interesting things about tropical fish tanks is that they evolve over time. With this in mind, it's a good idea to start small at first, especially if you're new to taking care of fish. While it may be tempting to invest in all sorts of beautiful tropical fish, the fact of the matter is that some species are simply too rare or too delicate to be able to take care of if you aren't accomplished to the nuances of tank life. However, don't become impatient—you can always add more fish to your tank once you're certain that the environment you've created is stable enough to introduce new species.

A basic tropical fish tank will contain a water filter, a heater, gravel, plants, and larger stones or logs. The fish tank gravel can range from natural stones to wild neon colors. Depending on the look of your tank, you can choose from a wide selection of sizes, textures, and colors. Just be sure to give your tank time to settle—adding gravel to tank water often results in it taking a day or two for the dust to settle. Plants, rocks, and small bits of driftwood are also useful for several reasons. Not only are they useful for decorating your tank and creating a nice sense of symmetry, but they also provide your fish with places to sleep or hide when necessary.

Of course, when it comes to buying aquarium plants for tropical fish tanks, you have to be careful. While many tank owners prefer to use live plants as a natural addition to the tank, you should be careful not to buy herbivorous fish if you do, as they will quickly devour them down to the nubs. There is nothing wrong with using plastic plants—these range in style from stunningly realistic to gaudy and flashy—but make absolutely sure that they are made of quality plastics that won't leak dyes or chemicals into the water.

Finally, when choosing your tropical fish, be sure to pick ones that won't outgrow your tank. If you are unsure of a purchase, feel free to tell a fish store attendant the size of your tank and he or she will direct you toward fish that are an ideal size. Also be absolutely sure that the fish that you purchase work well together, as different species of tropical fish have varying degrees of aggressiveness. If you purchase fish that swim in a group, make sure to learn the exact number necessary—some species require odd numbered schools, while others require even numbered schools. Learn more about how to create the perfect tropical fish tank!

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