Write: Işık Canan Kaya Photos: Hakan Hatay
Perhaps you, like us, are also in love with the sea and the incredible creatures living in its waters, each one of which is a wonder in and of itself. If so, with its irresistible allure, an aquarium must have worked itself into a significant place either in your life or in your mind. Of course, with the Internet taking its indispensable role in our lives, you might own a virtual aquarium through some social media site, without actually touching water, plants, or fish. However, that can never replace a real one, which provides satisfaction in proportion to the time and effort you spend for it. There is nothing more fascinating than witnessing a pair of fish courting one another, a father fish carefully carrying the eggs to bubbles of air, a mother fish carrying her eggs in her mouth for days without eating anything, or a group of fish moving around in an aquarium. This is an ideal hobby for those seeking tranquility.
Types of Water
Tranquility requires time. As is the case for other beautiful things in life, an aquarium and what lives inside it need being looked after, attention, and care. The more careful and detail-oriented you are in setting up your aquarium, the healthier your aquatic life will be. To start, you must choose the type of water you want, namely saltwater, freshwater, or brackish water. The flora and fauna living in each one of these are different. The easiest to care for and most wallet-friendly among them is the freshwater aquarium, an attractive option with the diverse varieties of plants and fish it can host. Saltwater (seawater) aquariums, on the other hand, are typically preferred mostly by people who care very much for visual charm. One must bear in mind that they are as expensive as they are aesthetically pleasing and require professional levels of care. Brackish-water aquariums are very attractive for those who fancy wildlife with the hardy, active species of fish that can live in them. Containing flora that live in marshes or where rivers meet the sea, brackish-water aquariums are close to seawater aquariums, being slightly salty, and are becoming more popular with each passing day.
The second matter you must decide on is the dimensions of your aquarium. You may wish to own an aquarium perhaps because you enjoy looking after fish and feeding them, or to create a more relaxing ambiance in your life, or maybe with the thought that it would be a decorative accessory in your home. The crux of the matter is the amount of space and water that the piscine population and the flora you grow will require.
There are two different types of fish, aggressive and peaceable, and they can live in harmony with other fishes that behave in the same manner. Another point that needs to be considered for visual harmony is the fishes’ swimming levels. Selecting both bottom-dwellers and fishes that go about their business in the middle and surface parts of the aquarium is a good choice that will create a harmonious appearance.
Setting Up the Aquarium
The most technical part in building an aquarium is setting it up. I suggest you do your research on the Internet before buying the required equipment. Your aquarist’s shop can help you with this as well. For setting it up, you first need to find the right spot in your home or office; the best is a place that is well lit but away from direct sunlight. The basic materials are clean water that has been stabilized, sufficient amount of sand or gravel for the bottom of the aquarium, small pieces of rocks for your fish to be able to hide behind when they please, and underwater plants that your fish can adapt to. Although you might be a little impatient by now, the best is to set up the environment and keep it without the fish for a few days. The other necessities are an air filter, water heater or conditioner, and lighting. If you are looking for a more comfortable environment, the quality and functionality of the equipment you get are entirely up to you. Your job gets easier once you use the aforementioned technology to set up the nitrogen cycle required by the beneficial microorganisms, and you may then start feeling proud of yourself and enjoying your work. Once you add the disinfectants and vitamins you buy from your aquarists’ to the water, you can start inviting your fish to their new home.
The basic equipment required for an aquarium are clean water that has been stabilized, sufficient amount of sand or gravel for the bottom of the aquarium, small pieces of rocks for your fish to be able to hide behind when they please, and underwater plants that your fish can adapt to.
The swimming levels of different types of fish in your aquarium are important for visual harmony. Selecting both bottom-dwellers and fishes that go about their business in the middle and surface parts of the aquarium will create a more natural appearance.