Tropical fish collecting is a hobby enjoyed by fish owners across the country. Whether you have a simple freshwater tank or a sprawling saltwater tank, taking care of your own aquarium is a rewarding and enjoyable pursuit. Not only do you get to enjoy the company of a variety of different fish, but you get to care for your own little window into the natural world. Here are a few tips on tropical fish collecting to help you get started.

The first step to starting your own tank is to find the right supplies. These include gravel or sand for the base and a variety of plants, stones, or pieces of driftwood. Also necessary is a quality heater, a filter, a thermometer, and a quality test kit for testing levels of substances such as ammonia, nitrate, calcium, and more. This concept applies to both freshwater and salt water tanks.

The type of gravel or sand that you choose can be very important for both your fish and your overall sense of aesthetics. For gravel, there is a wide selection of colors, textures, sizes, and more. Not only is some sort of base essential for grounding plants, logs, and other furnishing, but some species of fish actually use it to lay eggs in.

Picking out the right plants for your tank is an important part of tropical fish collecting. Live plants provide your tank with much needed oxygen and are useful for fish to slide against, hide behind, or sleep near. However, keep in mind that if you have any herbivorous or omnivorous fish, they may nibble your live plants if you don't include a vegetable supplement with their food. Fake plants also come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors if you'd like a bit more variety. Similarly, driftwood and large rocks can provide your fish with much needed privacy and sleeping spots.

Once you've established these essentials, it's time to begin your tropical fish collecting. Many new tank owners start with simple, hearty fish such as tetras, guppies, and rasboras. Once you've kept these fish healthy and happy for a few months, you can begin carefully introducing new fish into your environment. However, keep in mind that some species of freshwater fish are quite aggressive and may not be compatible with your fish. Also, if you have a variety of small fish, avoid including larger predators, such as cichlids, as you may wake up to find your tank empty save for one lone, smug fish. Learn more about tropical fish collecting today!

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