Starting an Aquarium for Tropical Fish Anyone can start a home fish tank for tropical fish and aquatic plants. Starting with tropical fish is very easy, if you have enough background on how to maintain tropical fishes. You could also ask guidance from a pet store, but you can get more information if you will understand the basics first by doing research from various sources. Think through what your purpose is in setting up an aquarium for tropical fish, instead of rushing to the pet store immediately and filling your car trunk with different aquarium tools and a bag of tropical fish. You should take note that not all tropical fishes can be kept together in a single aquarium. Some species are very aggressive, others have special water needs, but most kinds can get along. Most of the smaller tropical fishes such as the guppies and the catfish that you would normally see active in the aquarium are called the community fish. An aquarium with these residents looks delightful, not so expensive and will give you enough options in the pet store, starting with community fishes is the best method for a new fish tank keeper to begin with. Some freshwater tropical fish you might see in a pet store have special needs. Cichlids, discus and other varieties need particular water conditions or habitat. Piranhas are specialized fish because they are very aggressive. Some fish are very formidable and sociable enough to anything they cannot start a fight with, but they expand large enough for a medium sized fish tank. Gouramis and certain kinds of catfish are in this category. These tropical fish are less readily sold than in the past that is great news, as they would outgrow the fish tank and pollute the water. These kinds of tropical fish are normally raised by experts and marine biologists. Other creatures, such as invertebrates need more meticulous care and maintenance. You can find tropical fishes easy to deal with, but marine slugs and snails have special needs for them to live inside a mimicked habitat. Aquatic plants such as Amazon Swords will develop in any kind of fish tank if administered with enough light and ground to root in. However, if you like to have a readily planted fish tank, you will need to plan from the start to give the plants the light, ground and water conditions that they need in order to live. The size of the fish tank depends on the room space you can provide. A 50-gallon aquarium is heavy, so virtually anything other than the residents needs its own unique base, either purchased or home crafted. With available larger fish tanks, you may even need to check the floorboards. You also need to ensure that it’s far away from direct sunlight and heat since extreme light conditions can trigger overheating of the fish tank. It is better to prevent hot spots. Electrical sockets near the aquarium are a necessity as you need to plug filters and other electrical equipment. Once you have decided on your aquarium and the paraphernalia, you can start looking for other essentials you need such as: 1. Aquarium and base 2. A lighting system 3. Temperature-regulator 4. Fish net 5. Air pump 6. Pebbles 7. Decorations 8. Water filers 9. Test kits for nitrates and ammonia 10. Fish medicines However, the type of these essentials should be based on the type of fish you want to keep.