The three most important things every new aquarium owner should know

For beginners, it can often be overwhelming in terms of understanding what it is you need to do in order to maintain a healthy fish tank. Today, we’re going to help take a little bit of the edge off and discuss some of the primary things every new fish owner should be thinking about when putting their tank together. 

Properly condition your water

Much of your fish’s overall health will be impacted by the condition of the water in your tank. It’s not as simple as turning on a faucet and filling up the tank and splashing your fish inside. Tap water contains a variety of properties and minerals that need to be balanced out. If not, it won’t be healthy enough for your fish. Before you take the plunge, make sure you have a strong talk with your pet store about exactly what kind of water composition you’ll need to have for the fish you wish to purchase. 

  • You’ll want to make sure you’ve got a solid grasp of:
  • The temperature your water needs to be
  • The pH and alkalinity of your water
  • Nitrate levels
  • Frequency of water changes

Selecting your fish

Putting together your first aquarium works two ways: Either you build a tank around the kinds of fish you wish to purchase or you choose the fish who are the best fit for the tank you wish to purchase. Having compatible species is essential. Some fish prefer cold weather, others prefer warm. Some fish need a lot of space to operate, others do not. Some are freshwater fish, some are saltwater. Some are territorial and aggressive and others are good citizens with just about anyone.

Do your research up front. If you’ve got a decent budget – you might want to choose your first option (choosing fish first, tank second). But if you’re working within budget constraints, you may need to consider a specific type of fish for your tank. Either way – do your homework. We 100% recommend that beginners be VERY careful to not bite off more than they can chew!


Owning fish isn’t as easy as just watching ‘em swim around. They require food and feedings. The tanks require regular and routine maintenance. And depending on which fish and what kind of a tank you own – it may impact how much time you’ll have to spend maintaining the entire structure. 

The great thing about owning fish is that there are types of fish for everyone’s energy level. Some are extremely low maintenance and you won’t have to spend eternity constantly changing their water. Some are a little higher maintenance, may produce more waste, etc. Just like when you’re selecting your fish – make sure you do your homework as who is living in the tank will have the greatest impact on how much time you’ll spend maintaining it. 

Also – DO NOT overfeed fish! This is a common mistake and a cardinal rule of owning an aquarium. Fish do NOT need a colossal amount of food in order to thrive. Overfeeding creates algae growth and depletes both the quality of the water and the oxygen in the tank. Maintain a consistent feeding schedule and provide the right amount of food. 

We get it! Being a beginner fish tank owner can be tough and trust us – you’ll 100% make mistakes. But if you stick to these tips and make sure you take your time when picking and choosing what you want to own – that things will go far, far smoother. And as always – if you ever have any questions – give us a call and we’ll be sure to help you out! Until then – good luck!

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