posted on Mar, 9 2007 @ 05:07 AM
Id have to agree with spacedoubt
First port of call is your local aquarium supplies shop. Its better to travel a little further to go to a dedicated shop rather than a general pet
store. There'll be plenty of books to get you started and the staff will be able to advise you on getting the best set up. And DO go the tropical
rather than marine route. Marine tanks will empty your pockets very quickly!
Once your set up, as suggested, get cheap fish! And make sure they're capable of standing the high nitrate/nitrite levels you'll get while the tank
goes through its maturing cycle. Personally, I'd recommend neon or glowlight tetras. Very cheap, go well together in large-ish groups, and can stand
the nitrate/nitrite levels quite well. But ask at your local shop for their recommendations. If your using biological filters, make sure you get a
product like TETRA SAFESTART
to kick start the maturation process. It'll help immensely and you wont have to do as many water changes while the tank settles down.
For decorations, get those from the aquarium shop too (at least at 1st) as they'll be safe for use. Don't be put off using live plants either.
They're incredibly easy to look after, and look much better than fake as well. Another thing to consider, is that while this is a nice decoration to
your home, its the fishes whole world! So, make it as nice a place for them to live as you can. All fish feel more comfortable with plenty of cover
and hiding places. So make sure you have as many as possible, as a lot of fish are territorial, and like to have their own little place to hang
around. This will help stop a lot of conflicts occuring.
The only other thing to stress is that its not a quick or easy thing to get going. It'll take anything up to 12 months for the tank to fully mature.
And certainly for the first 3 - 6 months theres an awful lot of work to do with water changes, filter cleaning etc. Dont let that put you off though,
the benefits are well worth the work.