Now is the time to set up an aquarium

Aquarium keeping is a rewarding hobby that is both exciting and calming, educational and entertaining. With so many people quarantined at home, it’s no surprise that we’re all feeling a bit bored, anxious, and frustrated. Be assured the outbreak will eventually end and we’ll return to our normal routines. But what to do while waiting? People around the world are discovering new hobbies. Some are buying musical instruments like guitars and ukuleles. Others are going old-school with jigsaw puzzles. We really like the idea of starting an aquarium in your home. In fact, it has never been easier to set up a fish tank and dive into the fascinating world of aquarium-keeping. Starting an aquarium now will help you relax while also allowing you to learn and grow. If you have kids at home from school, think of it as an epic in home science class that is fun and rewarding.

Why set up an aquarium?

You may wonder what makes an aquarium special. Aquariums are windows into amazing worlds where humans rarely wander. An aquarium, much more than a “tank of fish,” is a miniature ecosystem teeming with vivid fish, plants, and invertebrates. Fish constantly move and exhibit unique personalities and habits. Some friendly fish will even eat right from your hand. Live plants provide more than scenery as they serenely sway in the current. You can even cultivate colorful corals right at home! The possibilities are endless.

Should I start with freshwater or saltwater?

The two things you should consider are your personal interests and your time investment. If you’ve always dreamed about keeping colorful marine fish and majestic corals, you may want to  jump right into the reef hobby. Reef tanks are especially appealing to “techy” people because many reef lighting and saltwater filtration systems are specialized, high-tech devices. Bu specialized does not have to mean difficult. Protein skimmers, wave makers, and programmable LED lighting are really cool gear that use technology to simplify keeping exotic marine life in your own home. Freshwater aquariums use simpler filtration and lighting but are no less beautiful. You can recreate an Amazonian stream with a school of neon cardinal tetras. Or, add live aquatic plants and turn a freshwater planted tank into a tropical aquatic garden for your fish to explore. Some freshwater aquarists skip the fish and go with vibrant cherry shrimp. No matter what type of aquarium you choose, the variety of fish, plants, and invertebrates to choose from are almost endless.

What size aquarium?

Modern aquariums come in a wide range of sizes from small “nano” desktop tanks to large free-standing aquarium systems. Check out these sleek modern designs that fit into any room of your home. You may have seen tiny plastic aquariums sold at Big Box stores that look like an easy way to get into the hobby. But they are made with cheap, easily scratched plastic that distorts the appearance of the fish and plants. The aquarium filter will be underpowered. That’s why we recommend choosing an aquarium from a reliable manufacturer. All of the aquariums we offer are manufactured by companies dedicated to providing long-term dependability with high-quality workmanship.

Where do I purchase my fish?

Many pet shops are open during the quarantine period. But if your neighborhood doesn’t have a dedicated fish shop you can always order fish, plants, invertebrates, and aquarium decor online. Most livestock shipments are delivered by overnight shipping. We strongly recommend giving your tank around two weeks to cycle before adding aquatic life. This gives you time to make sure everything is working properly and ready before the shipment arrives. 

How to get helpful advice

It’s a good idea to educate yourself about what’s involved with the various types of freshwater and marine aquariums before you start the project. There is a lot of information on the internet and it can become confusing sometimes. Marine Depot has an ever-expanding library of educational videos and helpful articles. Our support staff of seasoned hobbyists are here to help you navigate the process of setting up your tank, from choosing the right fish tank to pairing it with the right aquarium filter and lighting. We’re here to help, so please contact one of our friendly staff anytime you have a question about your aquarium.

Final thoughts

Now is the perfect time to enter the exciting world of aquarium-keeping. You’ll find your aquarium provides hours of enjoyment created by the colorful fish, lush plants and fascinating invertebrates. You’ll discover something new and interesting every day!