Fish – Getting Started & Next Steps

Tops Tips for Buying a Fish Tank

Pet fish owners usually have a bad first experience buying their first aquarium and give up too easily. Certainly, there’s a way to avoid such a scenario, and that is by planning your purchase ahead. Even for the experienced, planning is always a good idea.

Here are tips to keep in mind as you buy your first fish tank:


Many people think they can begin the hobby with a few dollars, which is far from the truth. If you want to start with decent quality equipment, you should prepare between $150 to $200. And there’s absolutely no reason to settle for less than decent quality. If you find the cost too much for your budget, it’s wiser to save until you have enough cash.

Making a Checklist

Listing down the things you need is a good starting point. Such a list should include all the essentials, such as your fish tank, its stand, hood, light, gravel, heater, water cleaning and treatment supplies, net, filter and maybe some decor. All that and the fish and enough fish food until your next trip to the pet shop. Speaking of fish, you can start with more manageable types as a newbie, like White Cloud or Bloodfin Texas.

If your budget is limited, you can always seek help. Perhaps you show your checklist to a family member or friend who may not mind buying you a birthday or holiday gift in advance. Of course, you have another option – buying secondhand equipment, but be sure it’s free of cracks, scratches, etc. And don’t pay more than half the original price for whatever.


As a beginner, avoid fish tanks that hold below 10 gallons of water. Not many people realize that smaller tanks are more difficult to handle for the simple fact toxins pile up faster in limited volumes of water. In addition, water temperature and chemistry changes occur more quickly in such environments. When purchasing your first fish tank, get at least 20 gallons. The chance of it working is so much bigger as it provides a much larger room for errors you might make as a beginner.

How Many Fish?

Lastly, be honest to yourself about how many fish you can keep. This will obviously have a big impact on how big a tank you need, as well as the amount of space you should make available for it. Even if you decide to go for a larger tank, begin with a few fish that are easy to handle. Just add in more difficult types as you become more experienced as an aquarium owner.

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