Life Behind Glass: Aquariums and Tanks
For a lover of marine life, the gift of an aquarium brings a piece of an ocean or pond or river into the home. Christmas morning can give way to the building of an underwater habitat that friends and family together can enjoy. It's not just a present for the humans you love, though. Whether dad, sister, or son has fish or reptiles, the right aquarium setup is a present for a pet that can have a dramatic impact on their happiness and well-being. eBay has a variety of tanks in new and used condition, suitable for fish, snakes, turtles, and more.
What Size Fish Tank Do Fish Need?
When choosing an aquarium for fish, it should be large enough to accommodate your fish and all of the aquascaping you will need to keep them healthy and happy, including room for the proper filter, lights, plants, and other items you wish to include. There is a rule of thumb for tropical fish that states you will need 1 gallon of water per fish. This rule does not apply to goldfish. For goldfish, you will want to start with a tank that holds a minimum of 20 gallons of water, with another 10 gallons of water per each additional fish. Because these fish like company, you should plan on having at least two in your tank. You may want to err on the side of caution and choose an aquarium that may be a little on the larger side rather than one that is too small and may affect the health of the fish.
What Materials Are Aquariums Made Of?
You have a choice when it comes to the material used for a tank:
- Glass is relatively scratch-resistant and reasonably durable. Tempered glass is traditionally used for safety.
- Acrylic or plexiglass is light in weight, can be made into nearly any shape, and is shatter-resistant.
Should You Consider a Starter Aquarium Kit?
For a first-time fish parent, you might want to begin with a starter kit that has all the essentials in one package. It leaves them ready to set up their pet's new habitat as soon as the Christmas wrapping is torn away. Some of the items that your beginning setup might include are an aquarium, lights, heater, filter, gravel, plants, and a reef or other hiding spot.
Before You Choose
Before you choose your new aquarium setup, you will want to determine some information regarding your available space, what you like, and the amount of time you can spend in regular maintenance.
- Size: You can decide to get an aquarium based on available space or on how many fish will figure into the setup. Will they be ringing in the New Year in a large living space, or atop a desk at an office or a dorm room?
- Shape: There are rectangle, round, hexagonal, square, tower, and other shapes available in fish tanks. The more surface area of the water that is exposed to the air means more oxygen available to fish.
- Weight: Not only should you take into account how heavy the tank itself is, but you will have to consider the water needed to fill it as well. Each gallon of water weighs a little more than 8 pounds. Add the water amount to the weight of your fish tank to get your total.