Essential accessories for the aquarium
If you plan to buy an aquarium and you wonder what are the essential accessories for the correct operation and maintenance of the aquarium, this article is for you.
Entering the world of aquarism is usually accompanied by many doubts. It is not always easy to understand the processes that occur within this interesting ecosystem. That is why it is also very common to have doubts about the function of each accessory and which are the essential accessories for the proper functioning of the aquarium.
And this is what we are going to see in this post, the necessary accessories to ensure the correct maintenance of our small submerged ecosystem.
filter and pump
A very common confusion among novice aquarists concerns these two accessories. There is a reason for that. This is because, although these two aquarium kits can be complementary, the pump can never be used without a filter, while the filter does not always need an additional pump.
Starting with the pump, its function is to move the water, allowing a greater gas exchange between the aquarium water and the atmosphere. This means that the pump promotes the entry of oxygen into the aquarium.
However, the pump cannot remove impurities from the water or transform ammonia into nitrites and nitrates. This is where the filter comes into play.
The filtering system is essential for the balance of the ecosystem in the aquarium. It is an element that ensures the integrity and well-being of the inhabitants of the tank.
The filter allows the removal of harmful substances and the creation of beneficial microbacteria. The filtration system ensures continuous cleaning of the aquarium by removing organic waste produced by fish and plants. It also allows the formation of an essential balance for the life of fish and plants.
Available in different internal and external models, the filter system keeps the water clean of toxic substances for fish, therefore, we recommend that you invest in a quality product.
But, if the pump promotes oxygenation and the filter cleanliness, how is it possible to have only the filter in the aquarium?
The reason the pump is not always necessary is because external filters already have a pump attached, which in addition to sucking water into the filter also promotes oxygenation of the water. Therefore, the pump is recommended in cases where a bottom biological filter is used, which does not generate movement on the surface.
In the aquarium, light is necessary for various reasons. It stimulates fish activity, provides plants with the energy needed for chlorophyll photosynthesis, and finally allows the aquarist to see what is going on in the tank.
Lighting is necessary to ensure a healthy ecosystem in our aquarium with fish and plants. Especially if there are natural plants, having an adequate lighting system is essential for their correct development.
Usually, in aquarium kits, the lighting system is usually contained in the aquarium lid, but if it is not, it will be necessary to find out how much light the plants we have chosen need and buy a lamp of the appropriate power.
The classic lighting system in aquariums has used fluorescent tubes until the appearance of the led screen for aquariums. LED technology allows, in addition to reducing energy consumption, to use shades that favor the development of plants and enhance the color of its inhabitants.
The amount of light required is about 10-12 hours a day to obtain a good development of the plants, without causing an excessive development of algae. The growth of algae usually indicates that there is too much light or that there are few plants.
Fish are susceptible to sudden changes, and turning lamps on or off suddenly can be detrimental to some very delicate species. It is recommended that there is already some ambient light before you turn on the tank lighting, as well as that there is some ambient light for a while after the aquarium light is turned off.
If you are thinking of setting up an aquarium, you should already know the importance of water temperature for fish. Unlike us, they regulate their body temperature based on the temperature of the environment, and each fish lives best in a certain temperature range.
Keeping the fish out of this range has a direct impact on their metabolism, so much so that sudden changes in temperature can even lead to the death of these swimming animals.
Therefore, the temperature of the water must be constantly controlled and monitored. And that’s what the thermometer and thermostat are for.
Everyone knows the function of the thermometer: it serves to indicate the temperature. Therefore, the ideal is that it is always in sight of the aquarist. The thermostat regulates the temperature of the water, turning a heater on or off as needed.
An aquarium that has cold water fish (15-20° C) does not need this accessory, but it is crucial for the survival of the vast majority of tropical fish. Tropical fish need to be kept at a certain temperature, and the most common way to heat an aquarium is with an immersion heater.
It should be noted that a failure or adjustment error of this tool can “boil” your aquatic friends. Also, it would be best to install the immersion heater in an area of water movement to aid heat diffusion.
For larger tanks, the total power required can be split between two or more separate heaters. Remember that the larger the aquarium, the slower the temperature changes.
It is always necessary to condition the tap water before introducing it into the aquarium for the first time or changing it the following times.
Water conditioners allow to eliminate ammonia and heavy metals present in tap water that are deadly for our fish.
The conditioner not only removes substances that are harmful to fish, but also integrates macro and micro minerals into the water that allow fish to live longer.
The lid is usually sold with the aquarium and can be used as a support for lighting on the inside. Among the accessories for an aquarium, this is not always essential, but it is used to prevent some jumping fish from escaping, to protect them from objects that may fall into the tank and to minimize water evaporation.
Accessories for tank maintenance
In order to carry out the daily maintenance operations of the aquarium correctly and quickly, it is recommended to have the following accessories for the fish tank.
Glass Surface Cleaning Kit
To free the inner surfaces of the tank walls from algae and other encrustations, it is advisable to have a special blade scraper, which should be used with caution.
Alternatively, there are aquarium cleaning kits consisting of magnetic abrasive sponges.
Aquarium organisms should never be touched with hands for two reasons:
- The surface of the fish is covered with a mucous layer designed to protect the animal from fungi, bacteria, and other pathogens. Damaging this coating with your hands means exposing the animal to the risk of disease.
- The surface of many animal species have defense mechanisms that could harm humans. We are not only talking about the claws of crabs or the sharp elements of actin and annelids, we are also talking about the poisonous barbs that many fish have.
In this sense, it is important to have nets of different sizes so that you can handle the aquarium animals in complete safety.
It is an accessory that also comes into play in the maintenance of your aquarium. It will be used to «fish» and remove large debris from the aquarium water. Since it helps maintain a healthy environment, we can’t ignore this must-have aquarium accessory.
tweezers or pliers
For most aquariums, you will need short or long tweezers. In any case, they must be made of inert material or stainless metal.
The tongs will be used to pick up objects from the bottom, order the furniture and introduce food. Tweezers help us manage plants and are useful in a large number of activities.