Tropical fish for starter tank

Your first Aquarium equipment needed and on a budget

This post covers a couple of main topics and is the first in a mini-series if you like of articles based around setting up your first tank / planted tank. It covers all the equipment you will need for a tropical fish aquarium as well as allowing you to do it all for a budget of less than £100!

When planning this I set myself a couple of tasks / goals. Many people just starting out don’t want to spend a fortune for something they may not enjoy. Other people may only be wanting to setup a small aquarium for their kids to hold a few smaller fish in there etc. So what I wanted was a fairly small aquarium with all the equipment needed and ready to go. I also wanted to spend no more than £100 because anything over that for your first tank is going past the “well its cheap enough to give it a try” margin. 9/10 times you end up gettting hooked and spending thousands over time but for now the target was sub-£100

Equipment Needed

Since we’re talking tropicals here we need a couple of pieces of additional equipment over and above a cold water setup but luckily it only adds an extra tenner or so to the price.

  • Fish tank
  • Lid for tank with inclusive light or if going open top just a light fitting of some description
  • Filter (in this case internal)
  • Heater
  • Thermometer
  • Substrate
  • Stand for tank (optional)
  • Water Conditioner (remove chlorine from tap water)

For the tank I managed to pick up a 24″x12″x12″ with lid + light + stand for £45 from aquarist classifieds. Its a Hagen Elite Style 60 tank which holds 54 litres of water ish. Its a fairly small tank in the scheme of things but its a good size for a first tank looks pretty good and comes with a matching stand. The hood fits over the entire tank sealing it nicely to stop houdini fish and has a single T8 bulb in the hood too. Which is perfect again for a starter fish only tank. (I’ll be expanding this article to cover doing this tank as a planted tank in part 2 but for part 1 concentrate on the basics)


Tetra's are tropical fish

by Asidi

They should have a consistant temperature around 74 - 78 degrees. You can get away without a heater if your room temperature is always in that temperature range, but you're better off with the heater. If something happens to drop the temperature more than a degree or two in a short period of time the fish could get sick, but if the change is very gradual it won't affect them that badly as long as it doesn't get too cold.
(I have a 55 gallon tropical fish tank currently running without a heater. The reason is that the temperature here has been over 100 degrees for the past I don't know how long and I can't even get my air conditioner to cool my house below 85

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