Aquarium – the beautiful small glass/acrylic box where you try to re-create nature so to say.
I have been interested in this hobby for the last 2 years now .And before I begin, let me confess I am guilty of killing 2 sunset platies, 2 mickey mouse platies, 2 swordtails and 1 serpae tetra to newbie mistakes. So treat this as a journal from newbie-fish-killer to MTS(Multi-Tank-Syndrome) affected individual.
I always wanted an aquarium and 2 years back we bought the Marineland Eclipse 3 system , which essentially is a 3 gallon acrylic tank with a in-built hang-on-behind (HOB) filter with a bio-wheel. The filtrationsystem gives mechanical, chemical and bio-logical filtration . So we bought this “starter” kit and filled it water. I also bought the “Aquarium for Dummies” book and read it out. That was somewhat of a good start. We had the tank running for 2-3 days and then added a serpae tetra in the tank. I asked the pet store assistant if it was ok to have a single seprae tetra and he said yes. All was happy and well, it seemed.
Right here I can point out quite a few common newbie mistakes :
1. Not getting a big enough tank – Always get the biggest tank you can afford. Bigger tanks are much more forgiving to water parameter changes and hence easier to maintain, contrary to the common belief.
2. Not adding any de-chlorinator to the water – Chlorine in water is great for humans, making it safe to drink, but is fatal to fish. Always add a dechlorinator to the tap water to be added to the tank, or keep the water in sunlight for one day before adding it to the tank.
3. Trusting the pet store personnel – Not all of them care or have enough knowledge of fish. They try to sell stuff to make money – which is fine for their business but probably not for the fish!
4. Not doing enough research on the fish to be bought – Serpae tetra in this case is a tropical fish and the tank would need a heater for any tropical fish. Of course my 3 gallon did not have any. Also Serpae tetra need much more swimming room than 3 gallons and would really like to be in a group of 3 +.