When we do not have a fixed idea about the aquarium we want, the wide selection of aquariums available in the stores can be overwhelming. However, choosing our first aquarium is easier than you think. Ideally, before you buy it, do some research and inform yourself about the requirements of space, habitat and specific care, among others, that you will need the fish you are interested in maintaining. If we had the good fortune to start with a complete aquarium with aquarium filter, it may have seemed like a great wonder, because it seems that the filter will absorb all the dirt from the water and the water will be clean and we will no longer have to change it. The filter becomes the salvation for that dirty and smelly water, which many people believe is associated with keeping fish.

Location of your first aquarium:

The location will be key to the proper maintenance of the aquarium. Placing it in an area of the house that you do not frequent much go is not recommended, since you may not notice in time if there is a problem in the aquarium, with the operation of an accessory, if a fish is sick, etc. It is always better to place the aquarium in an area where you spend a lot of time every day. At the end of the day, aquariums are beautiful and relaxing, it is better to enjoy them as much as possible. The main thing in an aquarium is aquarium filter, without which the fishes cannot survive!

Even more important is to place the aquarium where it is easy to access it for regular and practical maintenance. Keep in mind that, once full, the aquarium will weigh at least 1.2 kg per litre. This means that even a 19-litre nano aquarium will weigh a considerable 23 kg. Think carefully and choose wisely the place where you will place the aquarium to avoid having to move it later.

Place the aquarium on a stable and level surface. As we mentioned before, the aquarium will weigh at least 1.2 kg per litre, so a stable surface is more than necessary. In case of doubt, consult a professional to ensure that the furniture or surface is able to support the weight of the aquarium. Also, try to place the aquarium on a flat, level surface. In this way, you will make sure that the water is also level and you will help to avoid excessive pressure in the tank.

Size of your first aquarium

There is a tendency towards the decision of the first aquarium that the smaller it is easier to maintain, have you heard it too? Pay attention, nothing is further from reality. Generally, the bigger the aquarium, the better it will be for your fish. First, you will have more space to include a greater diversity of fish, plants and decoration. Secondly, and more importantly, a larger volume of water helps maintain more stable parameters (such as temperature, for example) and dilute the toxic residues of nitrogen (ammonia and nitrite) that can accumulate over time.

The fish in your first aquarium

Again, research about the fish species that you would like to keep in your first aquarium. Find out what size they can reach and if they are compatible with each other. Remember that a nice 8 cm coloured fish will not keep that size forever.

Find out about their natural habitat to know the aspects to consider, such as decoration, what is their behaviour, feeding, temperature and with what other fish or species usually live together.

Types of filtration

Choosing the type of aquarium filter, that you will use in your first aquarium is often considered the most difficult part of buying an aquarium, but it should not be since there are only 3 main options: backpack filters, external or internal.

Backpack filters, such as AquaClear and the Fluval C series, are the most common for aquariums up to 189-227 litres. These are attached to the back of the aquarium easily, absorb water from the aquarium and lead to a series of mechanical, biological and chemical filters. Its maintenance is simple, relatively cheap and reliable filters.

The external filters are often used in aquariums of over 227 litres or have a large number of fish. Generally, external filters are placed in a cabinet under the aquarium, so that they are hidden. The external filters Fluval have spent decades in the market and have a wide variety of sizes with numerous options of filter media for a wide range of possibilities.

The internal filters, as the name suggests, are submerged in the aquarium. They can be used as main filters in small aquariums or as complementary filters in aquariums of more than 189-227 litres. Its exclusive design makes it possible to place them in the bottom of the aquarium, so they are especially ideal for aquariums where the water level is low.

But although the sellers try to convince us of this, this is not the case. The filters do not make dirty water clean, but its work is tremendously important for any aquarium.

So the aquarium filter is not something optional in an aquarium, but something essential. Then we will explain more about them and which is the most appropriate for each type of aquarium. In the filters is where a large part of the nitrogen cycle will be carried out, they are the aquarium’s purifier, and that is what we are going to explain now.

What is the nitrogen cycle? The truth is that it sounds like something strange and complicated

For nothing, do not worry. I will explain it to you in a very simple way: all the waste of the fish, remains of plants and excess of food not consumed, are transformed into ammonia. As you know, ammonia (NH3) is a very toxic product, which is why fish usually die in unfiltered tanks, or in new aquariums where fish have been put in without waiting for the maturation process.