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Aquarium fishThere are a number of reasons for the growing popularity of tropical fish and aquarium keeping. Perhaps the most obvious is the simple act of watching fish .... watching you.

Just place a group of people near a fish tank and watch what happens. As the ancient Chinese discovered long ago — fish are fun and fascinating to look at.

Of course, keeping the proper aquarium may not be any less work than, say, a pet dog or cat. First, you have to choose the tank. Next comes the water filtration pump, and proper light and heating. Then you have to select the right fish - goldfish, angelfish, guppies, or something more exotic?

A typical 10-gallon beginner fish tank aquarium setup usually starts with a 2-inch deep lining of gravel or substrate at the bottom of the tank to catch waste and provide a home for beneficial bacteria. It also provides a rooting medium for live aquatic plants.

A beginner aquarium will also usually come with a protective hood (to keep Tabby from swiping at the fish) and a hood light to nourish live aquatic plants. Pet shop owners will also recommend a water filter and an air pump (with tubing) for maintaining a healthy aquarium environment. A small net is also necessary for catching and safely removing fish during water changes.

Typical fish tank setup

Typical aquarium setup for tropical fish

Like most pet food formulations, commercially prepared fish food comes complete with all the necessary nutritional requirements. Follow manufacturer's directions -- and don't overfeed!

Note: When introducing your pet fish to its new home, NEVER ever pour the water from the plastic bag into the aquarium. Although the pet store where you bought the fish may be reputable, the water may contain diseases you don't want to introduce into your new home aquarium.

also see in Pets -> Turtle Care & Feeding

More about aquarium fish around the Web:

As experienced pet fish fans know, the work of keeping an aquarium can be greater than you expect, but so are the rewards. On the Web, find out more about pet fish, their care and feeding, how to maintain your aquarium - and to enjoy the thrill of creating a mini-ecosystem right at home with the help of expert tips, fish FAQs, instructional videos and photos....

The Krib : Aquaria & Tropical Fish - The Web's premier spot for archived e-mail discussions and a detailed FAQ on starting your own aquarium, choosing fish and plants, general maintenance, coping with algae, a section on saltwater aquaria, and suggested reading.

The Angelfish Forum II - Pose your question or browse for quick answers at this busy discussion board with everything you ever wanted to know about angel fish with facts & information on care, diseases, breeding tips.

Tropical Freshwater Aquarium Fish - Extensive site with straightforward info on fish species, food, tank selection, a great discussion on tropical fish diseases, breeding, with related bibliography, links

Tropical Fish Centre - Browse this helpful UK site for facts and information on starting or maintaining an aquarium, symptoms and cures for common fish diseases, tips on choosing fish and plants, care and feeding, species guide, message board and more ideas and pictures at an other people's aquariums gallery.

The Tropical Tank Homepage - More great hints and advice from the UK with comprehensive info for beginners including tank setup, filters, heaters and lighting; health and disease prevention, plant care guides, with more in the online forum, related links, and a fish keeping quiz to test your knowledge.

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