Freshwater Aquarium

What Do You Need For a Fish Tank: 15 Things

While pets, like dogs and cats are always on their feet and are difficult to feed and manage, fishes are limited to the aquarium

Well, tell me what do you need for a fish tank? Setting up a freshwater fish tank might seem like the easiest way of having a pet that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. While pets, like dogs and cats, are always on their feet and are difficult to feed and manage, fishes are limited to the aquarium. Quite contradictory to how it feels, it is not just the fishbowl/tank and the fish that you need. In fact, even considering that is all you need, it would be more hard work than ever without other stuff that we are going to talk about.

There are certain things that go into setting up a home aquarium at your place. This needs a considerable amount of research and a checklist. Despite the hard work, having a fish tank is a good idea for both pet lovers and people who’d want to make their room look aesthetic. As you read this article till the end, you would be ready to fish tank shopping and installing a fish tank at your home. Here’s a list of stuff to answer the question, “What do you need for a fish tank.”

What do you need for a fish tank?


As obvious as it is, first up, what do you need for a fish tank is a fish tank. One thing to know would be- a smaller fish tank would mean having to clean it more often and change the water more frequently. This is why; it would be a good idea to get a considerably bigger tank. Also, if you plan to keep more fishes, a small fish tank wouldn’t be very accommodating.

what do you need for a fish tank
Fish Tank

With all of that being said, when you look for a tank or anything that can serve as a fish tank, make sure about a few things. The container/tank should be watertight. A leaky fish tank keeps disturbing the right environment for fishes. As you come to think of it, even you wouldn’t want a leaky fish tank that keeps wetting the floor of your room. The fish tank should be made of a non-toxic material; something fishes don’t chew. It should also be waterproof and should be sturdy so that it doesn’t fall easily under any circumstance.

Aqueon 10 Gal Black Aquarium:


To keep your fishes healthy, you will need to house them in a good aquarium. The Aqueon 10 Gal Black Aquarium is excellent for this purpose, it is available on for 27.33 dollars and has a 4.5- star rating; the product is currently in stock.

The fish tank is made in the USA, and it has a black trim design with clear silicon seals. The material is suitable for freshwater and saltwater fishes. The fish tank will be shipped in its container along with reinforced packaging to protect the product from any external harm, while in transit.

02. Stand

what do you need for a fish tank
Fish Stand

Unless you plan to settle down on a fishbowl, fish tanks or aquariums are quite heavy. While hunting for a sturdy fish tank is one thing, making sure the entire system is sturdy means getting the right stand for your fish tank. What do you need for a fish tank to be stable is an aquarium stand. Stands might seem to be expensive but are worth it. Even so, you can get a stand built or build it yourself. DIY videos available on YouTube should be helpful enough if you are good with tools.

Aquatic Fundamentals 55-gallon Scroll Aquarium Stand:

An aquarium needs a sturdy stand, that should be able to support the full weight of a filled fish tank. The Aquatic Fundamentals 55-gallon Scroll Aquarium Stand is available on for 35 dollars and has a 4-star rating as well. It is available in black and is a moisture resistant aquarium stand that has a powder coated finish.

The stand is available in various sizes from 10 to 55 gallons, and it’s ready to assemble with everything that you will require. The classic scroll design will take your fish tank appearance to the next level.

03. Filter

what do you need for a fish tank
Fish Tank Filter

Next, to a fish tank, what do you need for a fish tank is a filtration system for your aquarium. A fish tank in itself has no outlet. This means all that goes in (like food particles) stays there. A filtration system will help get rid of food particles, fish excreta, chemicals, and dust if it enters the tank. If all of what has been mentioned stay in the fish tank for a long time, they can contaminate the water and accumulate and prove toxic for the fishes. This is precisely why you need a filter for your fish tank.

Since there are different kinds of filters, you can talk about it with the fish tank seller. The kind of fish tank filter you get depends on the number of fishes you plan to keep and the size of your fish tank. So, make sure you get the right kind of filter. Many people nowadays are buying a bio-wheel system for its efficiency.

Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter with BioScrubber for aquariums:


This filter is perfect for keeping your tank clean and the fishes healthy, the Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter with BioScrubber for aquariums is designed for fish tanks that can hold up to 40-gallons of water. The product is available on for 14 dollars and is currently in stock. The filter has a 4-star rating and the sizes that are available consist of 10-gallons to 40-gallons.

The filter makes use of Bio-bag filter cartridges; you can install it with a hanger and a suction cup or two, depending on the placement of the filter. For proper cleaning access, remove the bottom; this filter is perfect for aquariums and terrariums.

04. Gravel

what do you need for a fish tank
Fish Tank Gravel

It is a common assumption that gravel makes the fish tank look fancier. While that is one of the reasons, there’s a lot more to it than bare aesthetic purpose. For big fish tanks or anything besides fishbowl, having a layer of gravel or substrate is highly recommended. Gravel layer is actually what do you need for a fish tank to stay clean. Gravel is home to the flora, like bacteria that carry the process of biological filtration. In simpler words, these bacteria take care of the waste products that the fishes would excrete. Moreover, whatever remains is taken care of by the filtration system. A base layer of gravel means less frequent water changes.

Gravel also gives a nice and calm environment for the fishes. As gravels come in different colors, you should make sure you don’t buy too bright or bold colored ones. Given you get pleasant colored gravel, your fishes would live longer, stress-free, and healthier in the fish tank. Besides that, a layer of gravel is also helpful when fishes lay eggs. Choosing the right kind of substrate, you can also improve the quality of water to what would ideally suit your fishes.

One important thing to remember is that you should not line gravel in your fish tank if the fish tank houses newly born fishes. Fish tanks with tiny ones need to be crystal clear since gravel would make it hard to differentiate.

Spectrastone Shallow Creek Regular for Freshwater Aquariums, 5-Pound Bag:


Every fish tank needs a good layer of gravel, and the spectral tone gravel is an outstanding choice. Available on for 11 dollars, this product is currently in stock with a 4.5-star rating. The gravel is exceptionally safe for usage in freshwater tanks, it won’t affect the pH level of the water, and it also has a non-toxic coating that won’t affect the health of your fishes.

05. Cover

what do you need for a fish tank
15 Things Cover

A cover or a lid is yet another element that you need to get for your fish tank. Lid or cover ensures that your fishes stay safe in the aquarium without jumping off of it. It also provides that the water doesn’t get evaporated. Not a lot of dust and unwanted particles enter your fish tank when it is covered with a lid. Covers also come with lights fixed on them, which are called hood. So, if you don’t want to buy a light separately, you can get a hood.

Aqueon Aquarium Black 24″ Fluorescent Deluxe Full Hood:


This is the number one bestseller on when it comes to aquarium hoods. Priced at 38 dollars, this product is very much in great demand. The size that is currently available id 4.2 pounds, and will fit aquarium sizes 15, 20 high, 30 extra high, 33 long, 40 long, 55.

Technically, it is designed to fit most aquariums; it comes with a T8 lamp and splash guard included and fits tightly inside the rim of the aquarium. The cover has a full-length feeding door, plastic breakout sections at the back and the front. This popular hood is designed explicitly to compliments an all-glass aquarium. The custom fit reduces evaporation.

06. Lights

what do you need for a fish tank
Fish Tank Light

If you buy a hood, you don’t need to buy aquarium lighting. However, if not, you should be buying a light to keep the fish tank illuminated. There are many kinds of fish tank lights that you’d be able to find in stores. You can buy based on what do you need for a fish tank budget is. Also, if you wish to keep your fish tank illuminated naturally, you can buy a glass cover/lid, which would allow a fair amount of natural light to enter the fish tank.

NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light, Fish Tank Light with Extendable Brackets, White and Blue LEDs:


This super bright and energy efficient light, consist of long-lasting LEDs that produce an amazing shimmer to the aquarium. This product was also selected as an Amazon choice and is available on the website for 18 dollars, in various sizes from a Single Ramp Timer to 46’’-54’’. The item is currently in stock and is backed with a 4.5-star rating.

The adjustable metal brackets fit aquariums tanks from 11 inches to 19 inches; the product also has a one-year limited warranty.

what do you need for a fish tank
Fish Tank Heater

07. Heater

A fish tank heater is needed in a fish tank so that you can maintain sustainable temperature for the fishes. You can find out if you need a heater in your fish tank or not by figuring out if your fishes are tropical ones. Generally, tropical fishes require heaters while temperate ones don’t. As you visit the stores, you would find many kinds of fish tanks. Out of all the types that you find, hanging heaters are the cheapest of all and are also the most common ones. When you buy a heater, make sure you have all your doubts cleared regarding how to use it.

Uniclife HT-6050 Aquarium Heater Submersible with Thermometer for 10 Gallon Fish Tank, 50 W:

This product is currently in stock and is priced at 10 dollars on This heater has a wide application and can be used for tropical freshwater fish tanks. It can be easily adjusted and displayed at the upper portion of the tank.

08. Water conditioner

You might not be very sure about what the water at your place is composed of. Chances are- there might be traces of chlorine, ammonia, etc. in the water. If so, the water strictly needs to be conditioned so that it does not prove toxic to the fishes.

what do you need for a fish tank
Fish Tank Water-conditioner

To find out if the water in the fish tank is good enough, you can make use of various fish tank water testing kits that come. These test kits would come in strips with manufacturer’s instructions about using them. Make sure you test the water for chlorine, ammonia, pH value of the water, nitrate, etc.

For anyone who would want to go an extra mile to ensure the water quality, you can find in-tank water monitors. These monitors would keep displaying the composition of the water in the fish tank, which would make it quite easy for you to know about the water chemistry. However, it would help if you replaced the monitor every one or two months since they only last for a couple of months.

Aquatic Experts Premium Complete Aquarium Water Conditioner for Fish Tanks:

This water conditioner is great for your fish tank, it removes all the impurities from your tank and does not leave behind an awful smell. The conditioner eliminates any nitrates and chlorine that can be harmful to the fishes. It is available on Amazon for 15 dollars, and it has a five-star rating with amazing reviews!

The cutting-edge formula makes tap water clean and safe to be inhabited by freshwater fish. All you will have to do is add a cap or a teaspoon of the formula per 10 gallons. Do this once a week, and you will have results within a short period. The product comes back with a sum of money back guarantee, if you are not satisfied with the results.

09. Siphon

what do you need for a fish tank
Fish Tank Siphon

For any standard fish tank or aquarium where you use gravel to layer the bottom of the tank, you need a siphon tool. A siphon is a fish tank cleaner-like tool using which you would vacuum the substrate and use it while you change water. Siphon works on the principle of gravity. In siphons, you would be able to find both basic ones and ones that are easier to use. Based on your budget, you can buy what suits you.

Aquarium Gravel Vacuum Fish Tank Siphon Cleaner Water Changer, Easy Prime 2 in 1:


This easy, and fast-to-use, fish tank siphon is available on for nine dollars and is in great demand. The suction cup and tank clip provide excellent control of the hose, which means no dirty fish-tank water spilled on your floor! The hose encourages easy tank cleaning because it is BPA free and non-toxic.

10. Water pump

what do you need for a fish tank
Fish Tank Water-Pump

Water pumps have two functionalities. First of all, if you have a filtration system in your aquarium, it helps in moving the water in and out of the filter. However, another reason for having a water pump would be to create water currents. Based on how big your fish tank is and how much water your fish tank has, you go about choosing the right kind of water pump.

KEDSUM 880GPH Submersible Pump (3500L/H, 100W):


This Ultra Quiet Water Pump with 13ft High Lift, Fountain Pump with 4.9 ft Power Cord, three Nozzles is perfect for Fish Tank, Pond, Aquariums. It is currently available on for 25 dollars and is in stock as well. The sizes that are available vary from 100GPH to 880GPH.

The pump is ultra-quiet, and it is designed to be reliable and super-quiet, as well as, provide years of service, save on energy, and also consume less power.

11. Algae scraper

As the fishes excrete organic material and there is so much of organic activity in the fish tank, algae would start growing in your fish tank. Using an algae scraper, you can get rid of the algae that otherwise can colonize in your fish tank and ruin it.

what do you need for a fish tank
Fish Tank Algae scraper

Algae scrapers come in different forms, and you can buy what you would be comfortable in using. However, make sure you buy the kind of scraper that is meant for your aquarium. An aquarium made of acrylic needs an acrylic scraper and an aquarium made of glass needs a glass scraper.

There are two kinds of scrapers that you would find in the market. One is the normal one, and the other is the magnetic one. While the normal algae scraper would need you to get your hands inside the tank, you can clean your fish tank without wetting your hands using a magnetic scraper. Ordinary scrapers also come with handles to make the cleaning task easy for you.

Jasonwell Magnetic Aquarium Fish Tank Glass Algae Glass Cleaner Scrubber Floating Clean Brush:


This product is available on for seven dollars, in three sizes that range from small to extra-large. With this product, you can clean scum and algae easily. The strong magnetic force helps you to clean the tank from the inside and the outside. If at all the inside piece gets separated from the outside piece, it will float to the surface, so that it can be easily retrieved.

12. Timers

The timers are not an absolute requirement for your fish tank. However, they come in handy for various purposes. Timers are used to turn the light on and off at specified intervals. If you want to ensure a definite photoperiod for your fishes and plants (if any), timers are a good idea. Timers help you keep a check on the psychological health of the fishes, plants, and also curb unwanted algae growth.

13. Fishnet

what do you need for a fish tank

A fish net is really useful every time you change the water in your fish tank. With a fishnet or two, you can catch the fishes easily and replace them for as long as you plan to clean your fish tank. You can put them back in the fish tank as soon as you have cleaned it. Having two fish nets is also a good idea since you should have a back up in case the one you use tears.

14. Bucket

what do you need for a fish tank

It’s a good idea to dedicate at least two buckets solely to your pet fish. This is because the buckets that you use for your fishes should be clean and free of any toxins. A bucket is what do you need for a fish tank when you plan to clean it or displace a bigger fish. As you siphon your fish tank, you can transfer the dirty water to the bucket and get rid of it.

15. Decorations

what do you need for a fish tank

While decorating your fish tank is just an option, if you’ve come this far, it would be a nice idea to decorate your fish tank as well. It’s because you know better what do you need for a fish tank. There are a number of things you can do to decorate your fish tank based on the amount of space your fish tank has. You can get a toy, stone with holes, aquatic plants, a castle, colorful gravel at intervals, and other fish tank accessories. However, make sure whatever material you use is non-toxic for your fishes. At the end of the day what matters is the health of your fishes.

Conclusion on What do you Need for a Fish Tank

When you ask yourself, “What do you need for a fish tank?” These are the supplies that you need if you are planning to have a fish tank. Thus, I recommend you to carry out thorough research on fish and varieties of fish. It’s good to physically visit the fish pet store to find out about it. This will help you give the best kind of living conditions to your fishes.

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