What equipment do I need to keep fish?

Level: Beginner

There are two very important tips that every new fish keeper should follow:

  • Wait to get equipment until you know what type of fish you want to keep; and
  • Wait to get fish until you have set up and Cycled your aquarium

Before you can Cycle Your Aquarium or Build a Natural Environment for Your Fish, you’ll need some aquarium gear.

Start with a plan

The equipment that you will need, completely depends on three factors:

The basic equipment needed for most tropical freshwater fish includes:

  • Aquarium
  • Filter
    • Sponge
    • Canister
    • Hang on back – HOB
  • Heater (note that cold-water fish – including goldfish and many minnows – do not need heaters
  • Aerator or power head – this are best for fish that rely on flowing water

In addition to the above, some common supplies include

  • Air hoses
  • Siphons
  • Nets
  • Replacement filter media
  • Cleaning sponges
  • Razor blades
    • To scrape tough algae from the sidewalls of your tank.

This short list of equipment can get you started with a simple aquarium setup.

But, maybe you have more specific questions about equipment or want to share some gear you particularly like.

If so, let us know in the comments section below.

Want more information? 

Read the Beginner’s Guide to Fish and Aquarium Care

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