A Beginners Aquarium Guide to Successful Fish Keeping

So, you are thinking about joining one of the most popular hobbies in the world by diving into the crazy world of fish keeping and aquarium maintenance? In this aquarium guide, we will be running you through the fundamentals when it comes to fish keeping, looking after your aquarium tank, water care, equipment, and the best fish for a beginner.

Owning fish is almost like a full-time job itself, and as your aquarium or as many fish keepers say, “community” grows, so will your responsibilities. You cannot simply neglect your fish nor clean your tank; otherwise, there will be unfortunate consequences for the life forms that you are looking after.

Being an aquarium owner is an incredibly rewarding hobby; you can see the fish and other life you look after grow and flourish thanks to your hard work and dedication. There is so much to learn about this awesome hobby, and in this guide, we will simply be running through aquarium basics for beginners. However, if you are interested in learning much more detailed information, fishkeeping tips, and fish guides, you will want to visit www.LionfishLair.com.

Location – Where is the Best Place for Your Tank?

This is an extremely common question amongst beginner fish tank owners. Fortunately, it has a fairly easy explanation. The best place for your fish tank to reside in your house or apartment would be a quiet, less busy area, preferably away from direct sunlight and heat.

This is simply because your fish (especially when first acquired) will be a little distressed and surrounding them with loud noises and busy movement is not fair on them. This advice still applies to your fish once they are settled in. 

Also, the less natural sunlight, the better. Most fish species come from various places around the world and are used to different lighting, so often, you will have to replicate that in your tank – natural sunlight coming in will almost certainly cause more harm than good.

Aquarium Equipment

The equipment your aquarium needs is reliant on your fish and their requirements; however, most people starting out in the hobby (beginners) will be experimenting with freshwater fish, typically Goldfish. So, here is what you would need in a freshwater tank:

  • A water filter
  • Lighting
  • A water heater
  • Chlorine remover
  • Test kits
  • Substrate and decorations

So, that is the basic equipment you will need for your freshwater fish tank. However, some people that start out want saltwater fish in their beginner fish tank, so here are the equipment requirements for a saltwater tank:

  • Water filter
  • Marine fish tank lighting
  • Pumps/powerheads
  • Heater
  • Marine aquarium sump
  • Protein Skimmer
  • Saltwater tank gravel/substrate

Water Care for Your Beginner Fish Tank

Once you have got your new tank and established some of the aquarium basics, you will need to familiarize yourself with the process of water care. You should always add a solution to any water before you put it in your tank. Tetra AquaSafe Solution helps neutralize or eliminate chlorine, chloramine, and heavy metals from your aquarium water. If your first tank is a small one, it is recommended to use spring water as it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.

You must change 10% of your aquarium water every week at the very least, or 25% every two weeks. The water you are replacing your tank water with must be the exact same temperature. Make sure to treat tap water with a water conditioner to neutralize any chlorine and ammonia before adding it to the aquarium. You should always change your filter cartridges at least once per month.

Best Fish for a Beginner Fish Tank

Selecting the right fish for your first tank is always a tough call, sure you could play it safe and go for a Common Goldfish or perhaps one of the Rasbora species, but you might not like the look or personality of either of those fish types.

The biggest recommendation when it comes to purchasing fish to occupy your aquarium is getting the most compatible ones. You do not want to purchase two fish types that are not compatible and will spend the whole time fighting. It is strongly recommended to do your research before purchasing any two types of fish, or even multiples of one species.

Here are the best fish for a beginner fish tank:

  • Rasboras
  • Common Goldfish
  • Tetras
  • Corydoras
  • Platies
  • Betta Fish
  • Barbs
  • Bolivian Cichlids

Here are the best (and easiest) fish for a tropical fish tank:

  • Guppy
  • Molly
  • Zebra danios
  • Dwarf Gouramis
  • Bettas
  • Catfish
  • Swordtails
  • Firemouth Cichlid

Best Accessories to Make Your New Tank Awesome

Nothing is better than setting up your first aquarium, choosing the best fish for it that are also compatible with one another, and then filling it with awesome accessories and decorations! 

Some of the best decorations are simply funky aquarium boxes and caves for your fish to hide in, some people even go as far as to recreate Bikini Bottom from SpongeBob!

Some other good accessories would be colored gravel, ornaments like a volcano, underwater LED lights to give some different color to your tank, and an awesome mixture of aquarium plants.


Beginning your journey into becoming a fish tank and aquarium owner is somewhat daunting, although, if you follow this aquarium guide, running you through all the aquarium basics you need to know, you should be fine and will soon become an expert, expanding your community and aquarium life in no time!

Emma Thompson

Hi, I'm Emma Thompson. Welcome to The Pet Town! I'm a Pet lovers like you and please feel free to get in touch with any questions. Enjoy your stay!

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