Definition of aquarium
- An aquarium (plural aquariums or aquaria) is a vivarium of any size having at least one transparent side in which water dwelling plants or animals are kept and displayed.
- Fish keepers use aquarium to keep fish, invertebrates, amphibians, aquatic reptiles such as turtle and aquatic plants.
- The term coined by naturalist Philip Henry Gosse, combines the Latin root aqua, meaning water with suffix arium, meaning “a place for relating to”.
- The aquarium principle was fully developed in 1850 by Robert Warrington, who explained that plants added to Water in a container would give off enough oxygen to support animals, so long as their numbers do not grow too large.
In the Roman Empire, the first fish to be brought indoors was thee sea barbell which was kept under guest beds in small tanks made of marble.
In 1832, Jeanne Villepreux-Power, a pioneering French marine biologist became the first person to create aquaria for experimenting with aquatic organisms.
The popularity of aquatic hoppy has grown steadily over the years as people look to bring a little piece of nature into their homes. Aquarium offers an amazing way to appreciate the beauty and diversity of aquatic life. Regardless of its size, an aquarium can become a decorative focal point in any environment.
Aquariums have many positive attributes that extend well beyond being decorative. Research has indicated a link between watching aquarium and the reduction of stress. Finding a chance to relax in today’s face paced world has become difficult at best. The aquarium, providing a living display which allows observers in a variety of environment such as dental, legal and medical officers as well as restaurant and homes to relax and compose their taught. Fish keeping can provide experience and events that stimulate the learning process. Children and adult can gain a sense of responsibility and accomplish from establishing and maintaining an aquarium.
AQUARIUM CHOICES AND CONSIDERATION
Aquarium surface area is important. This will contribute to providing superior oxygen and facilitates the recreation of an attractive aquatic theme. Heights also needs to be considered
Generally, a complete aquarium set-up will weigh approximately 10 pounds per gallons’ it is important to use a proper aquarium stand or cabinet and to verify that the floor is capable of supporting it
The size of aquarium is often limited to the space available. An aquarium can range from a small glass bowl containing led than 1 litre (2.1 US pt) of water to immense public aquaria that house entire ecosystem such as kelp forests.
TYPES OF AQUARIUM
Two basic materials are used for aquarium construction; glass and acrylic. Glass is preferable due to reasonable cost and superior ability to resist scratches and discoloration
- AQUARIUM LOCATION
Choose an area in the home where one can best enjoy the beauty and serenity of the aquarium. Placing aquarium near the windows, heating and cooling ducts should be avoided .direct sunlight and temperature changes can negatively affect an aquarium.
The equipment required depend upon the type of set up that is chosen. Fresh water aquaria can be used to keep either cold water species e.g goldfish must be kept at room temperature or tropical species which must be in heated water.
A generalized checklist for a fresh water aquarium should include the following
- Glass or acrylic aquarium
- Suitable stand
- Secure kid
- Water conditioner
- Water treating kits
The key to a clean, healthy, thriving aquarium is filtration. In most aquariums, the number of fish, plants, corals and invertebrates, in relation to water volume, excess water would typically be found in nature. It is essential that the biological waste produced by aquarium inhabitants be removed and metabolized before becoming toxic. Aquarium filters are available in various configurations and should provide mechanical, biological and chemical filtration as well as oxygen. Use of chemical filtration will be determined by the interest and need of the aquarist.
- BIOLOGICAL FILTRATION
Biological filtration is the oxidation of waste products, specifically ammonia to nitrite and then nitrate. Most fish have high level of protein and the resultant is ammonia.
Nitrate is generally considered less toxic to fish though accumulations in marine tanks `may be problematic. Oxidation of nitrogenous waste is an aerobic process.
- MECHANICAL FILTRATION
Mechanical filters are designed to remove particulate matter from the water. These are usually placed in line in front of the biological filters to avoid large particles getting into the biological filter bed. Mechanical filters do require maintain ace and must be replaced or cleaned regularly to ensure proper function.
- CHEMICAL FILTRATION
Chemical filtration can be considered optional for many systems. The general role of chemical filtration is to remove coloured or odiforous compounds form the water column.
Water quality needs to be monitored all of the time especially during initial set up and when stocking the tank. This helps to reduce the chance of survival of causing any damage to the animals because of the build up of high ammonia nitrite level.
It is also advisable to test for nitrate, pH and hardness. The temperature is also monitored.
Regular water changes are required to remove excess nitrate. This should be carried out as often as required. Smaller fish tanks will require more regular maintenance as the water is less stable than in larger aquariums
Filters need to be checked for clogging and waste build up. If they require cleaning, never rinse them under a tap as this washes away the beneficial bacteria. If clogged, rinse the filter media in some of the waste tank during a routine water change.
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