Are you thinking of acquiring new freshwater tropical fish tanks? If so, you have a lot to consider before you begin to think about purchasing fish. Priming your tank ahead of time can do wonders for ensuring that the environment you've created for your fish is as healthy for your fish as you can make it.

The basics for setting up tropical fish tanks include finding quality gravel, plants, driftwood or large stones, and a good heater and water filter. This may not sound like a difficult list of items to acquire, but it's a lot more complex than many new fish owners realize.

The gravel, for example, comes in a wide variety of types, shapes, sizes, textures, and colors. Depending on the type of gravel you use, you can create a wonderfully natural setting or a wild neon paradise. Gravel is also important for grounding plants and giving some species of tropical fish a place to lay their eggs. When picking out your gravel, make sure that it doesn't realize any foreign toxins or minerals into your water, as this can drastically throw off the delicate balance of your tank. Once you've poured your gravel, give it a day or so for the dust to settle.

Plants are another important part of tropical fish tanks. Live plants are beneficial in that they provide oxygen for your tank. They're also useful for hiding behind, rubbing against, or simply playing in. However, as some herbivorous fish like to nibble on these plants, it may be a good idea to substitute them with plastic ones instead. Another advantage to plastic plants is that they do not pollute the water by rotting away. Another disadvantage to live plants is that sometimes they can cause snail infestations, as snails attach their eggs to the leaves.

Pieces of wood or large stones are also a great addition to tropical fish tanks. These not only provide a natural setting for your tank, but they also provide sleeping spots and hiding places for your fish and other creatures. However, when it comes to accessories such as these, it's better to buy them from the store rather than harvest them from outside. The products at the store are free of foreign dirt, small insects, and other contaminants that may disrupt the order of your tank.

Finally, the heater and water filter are essential for keeping your tank livable. Fish are sensitive to changes in water and may become sick or even die if these devices aren't monitored. Most tanks function well at approximately 77 degrees. Try investing in a heater that has a memory function to prevent sudden temperature fluctuations. The filter, meanwhile, helps rid your tank of rotted food, fish excrement, dead plant matter, and other particles that may affect everything from the oxygen content to the chemical balance. Learn more about tropical fish tanks today!

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