10 Aquarium Essentials

Bloodfin Tetras

Introduction: The Aquarium Essentials List

Even though fish pets are generally considered relatively low-investment, no fuss pets compared to other common domestic animals like dogs, setting up a perfect aquarium for them is neither an easy nor simple task. Behind every beautiful aquarium lies a properly selected assembly of aquarium equipment. With such a great variety in products, however, ranging from the completely essential, like filters, heaters and thermometers, to the useful, like air pumps all the way to the completely useless, it is natural that one gets confused when trying to make the best purchases available.

We have compiled the following list to shed some light on the matter. We’ve emphasized items that will enhance your underwater friends’ health, the aesthetics of their environment, and also products that will help you regulate and monitor their living conditions more easily. If something catches your eye, be sure to give it a try, as we’ve tried to bring together products that couple high quality with very reasonable prices.

KENT Marine Essential Elements

KENT Marine Essential ElementsFor over fifteen years, KENT Marine has been offering solutions that help the proper care and nurture of fresh or saltwater habitats. They have offered a wide range of nutritional products so that corals, planktivorous fish and over invertebrates receive the nutrients they require to maximize growth and be as healthy as possible. Kent Marine Essential Elements works as follows: By replacing biologically important trace minerals that often get removed by fish and invertebrates, through protein skimming, ozone and carbon filtration, it maintains and increases your inhabitant’s vigor and color.

It does not contain detrimental heavy metals, phosphates, nitrates or silicates, nor does it promote undesirable algae growth. Using just one teaspoon every one to two weeks should be enough. One should be cautious to not taste, swallow or breathe this product, as it is not made for human consumption. Naturally, it should be kept away from children.

Currently priced at only $10.63 on Amazon, and with a 4.2 out of 5 stars rating, this is an excellent choice for everyone interested in getting nearly all of the trace elements they will ever require for their aquarium in one go.

SunGrow: Natural Betta Leaves – Simulate Aquatic Environment

 SunGrow: Natural Betta Leaves - Simulate Aquatic Environment

A rather specialized product, Sungrow’s Natural Betta Leaves are specifically designed to work with betta fish. Bettas are highly territorial fishes and are often known to express high levels of aggression even against each other – an event that many times results in the death of one or both combatants. Sungrow’s Betta Leaves promise immediate improvements in the behavior of your betta fish – they create an environment similar to their natural habitat, and thus reduce their stress, induce breeding and boost their immunity system.

They act as a shelter to your fishes, as a cover and as place for them to lay their eggs. Through the release of beneficial minerals, they will help keep your betta’s skin and scales hard, yet smooth and slippery.

The product is really easy to use. You just drop a few leaves into your tack. Note how this package holds ten pieces. Currently sporting a 4.6 out of 5 stars rating, and priced at just $8.90, SunGrow’s leaves are quite the bargain if you are interested in making an excellent gift to your betta fish.

CNZ: Digital LCD Thermometer for Aquarium Fish Tank, Vivarium Reptile Terrarium

CNZ Digital LCD Thermometer for Aquarium Fish Tank, Vivarium Reptile Terrarium

A very important piece in every aquarium essential’s list is definitely the thermometer. They conveniently allow water temperature and heater accuracy monitoring. CNZ’s Digital LCD Thermometer, is an excellent high quality choice if you’re interested in getting an aquarium thermometer. It is really easy to use: You just need to attach the device to the side of your aquarium and terrarium. The temperature probe sits inside the aquarium to monitor temperature – there is also the option for displaying temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit.

Included in the package is an additional battery, other than the already pre-installed battery, to save you an extra trip or two to the store. Currently priced at $5.89 and with FREE shipping, this thermometer is highly recommended. At a very cheap price, you will enjoy convenient monitoring of parameters that are essential to your pets’ health. And if you don’t want to take us on our word, the 4.3 out of 5 stars rating, after 233 customer reviews, speaks volumes of the product’s quality.

Blue Ribbon: Exotic Environments Caribbean Living Reef Aquarium Ornament

Now you might call this out and say this product is not essential to your aquarium. It is an ornament, designed to enhance the looks and aesthetics of your aquarium and is in no way comparable to other really essential stuff, like heaters and thermometers. And you would be right, in a sense. Most fish would be able to live without Blue Ribbon’s Living Reef Aquarium Ornament. Honestly, though, would you wish for them to live in an undecorated environment? Much how you like your bedroom or living room to feel comfortable and look appealing, so do your fish.

And in that sense, this hand-painted, vibrant ornament will do wonders for your fish. It is hand-crafted by talented artisans to look exactly like the real thing. It is both safe and non-toxic, it is suitable for freshwater, saltwater & terrariums, and is a solid, one piece construction. If you ever thought of buying something just because you liked the way it looked, you might want to consider doing the same for your fishes. They are bound to love this product. And at the price of $9,37, it’s a pretty negligible investment for you.

Penn Plax: Wizard’s Castle. Aquarium Decoration, Hand Painted with Realistic Details, over 10 inches highWizard’s Castle. Aquarium Decoration, Hand Painted with Realistic Details, over 10 inches high

Penn Plax’s Wizard’s Castle falls under the decoration and ornament type of products. But this one really turns it up to eleven. If you have any thoughts of getting decorative products for your aquarium and are interested in making it look grand and memorable, well, this is essential. Featuring a large, grey castle perched upon a rocky hill, it looks amazing and very realistic, all the way from its colors to the little, hand-painted details in its walls and towers. It provides a huge visual interest for your fish, sporting holes and passageways for fish to pass through, sleep into or hide in.

It is 8 inches wide by 10.2 inches high and 6.2 inches deep. The castle is double sided and thus able to be placed anywhere in your fish tank. Made of safe, durable resin, it is fine to use in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. After one hundred seventy seven customer reviews, this product currently sports a 4.1 out of 5 stars rating on amazon. Priced at just $17.52, it is a great opportunity to take your aquarium’s aesthetics to the next level, on a small budget.

Tetra: 77849 Whisper Air Pump, up to 60-Gallon

Whisper Air Pump, up to 60-GallonAn air pump is a device used to move air, possibly under pressure. Their purpose is two-fold: They insure your tank maintains an adequate concentration of oxygen. Secondly, they are used to force water through a filter. Therefore, while not directly putting oxygen into the water, they greatly improve its circulation. A big downside most such products have is that they create a lot of noise when in use. Fear not, however, as Tetra’s Whisper Air Pump, as its name heavily suggests makes minimal noise, akin to a whisper. This is achieved by its sound damping chambers that flatten sound wave frequencies. The brand has many different sizes, ranging from up to 10 gallons all the way up to 300 gallons – thus you’re guaranteed to find a product suitable for your aquarium size.

Buying this will keep both you and your fish pets happy and healthier, minimizing the annoying noise while maximizing the quality of your aquarium’s water condition all at once. The Whisper Air Pump is currently priced at $19.80, and holds a 4.2 out of 5 stars rating, even after a staggering 929 customer review sample. You are definitely getting your money’s worth.

Zoo Med: Floating Betta Log

Floating Betta LogAs has already been previously mentioned in this article, betta fishes, even though they are a common choice of underwater pets, are rather restless and prone to aggression. If you already have them or if you’re interested in getting them, you would be wise to invest in a product or two to keep them happy and satisfied. Otherwise, you might end up having less than desirable consequences. Zoo Med’s floating Betta log is made to address exactly this problem.

Essentially it is a decorative ornament but made in way to appeal specifically to this kind of fish. It will keep them happy, reducing their stress and relieving them of the boredom that comes with the territory of captivity. It is three inches in length and two and a half inches in width. And your bettas will love it. It is currently priced at just $9.18, and holds a 4.2 out of 5 stars rating, after having being reviewed 444 times by customers.

LUFFY Betta Balls: Live Marimo Plants, Natural Toys for Betta Fish, Aquarium Safe

 LUFFY Betta Balls: Live Marimo Plants, Natural Toys for Betta Fish, Aquarium Safe

Another product designed to specifically appeal to betta fishes, Luffy’s Betta Balls is a highly-acclaimed amazon best-seller. Sporting a 4.4 out of 5 stars rating, even after a thousand and seven customer reviews, you can be practically assured that you won’t go wrong with investing in this product.

The betta balls are large, between one point six and two inches. They add vibrant color to your tank and they are a great toy to play with for the hyperactive betta fishes, providing them with lots of entertainment. Moreover, they absorb many of the same nutrients algae feeds on, thus preventing any unwanted algae growth in the tank. More entertainment? Check. Better health? Check. Of no less importance is that they require practically no maintenance – all they need is some light, fresh water and something to feed off of. In other words, things you already have in your betta’s tank.

You should keep note, however, that for every $8,95 packet, you will receive only one Luffy Betta Ball. If you want more, you’ll have to buy more packets.

GloFish Aquarium Gravel, 5-Pound GloFish Aquarium Gravel, 5-Pound

The gravel in a tank can be very important. First, it serves as decoration, making your tank look nicer. Secondly, it serves as substrate, if you have underwater plants in your tank. Thirdly, it can be mandatory, if using an UGF, as it is the filter media – the surface area on which bacteria attach. GloFish’s Aquarium Gravel  comes in a five pound bag of various colors, ranging from pink, green and blue fluorescent all the way to solid black – generally speaking, darker gravel better highlights a fish’s colors. It can be used both as substrate and as accent.

You will need approximately one pound a half of gravel per gallon of water your tank has.

Exotic Pebbles: Exotic PMS0510 Polished Gravel, Mixed, 5 Pounds, 3/8-Inch

Exotic PMS0510 Polished Gravel

Exotic Pebble’s brings you another sound choice for polished gravel. These multi-colored stoneware exotic pebbles are a great alternative to mulch, as they are long lasting and will not deteriorate like it. For every purchase you are getting 5 pounds worth of exotic pebbles. They can be used in flower arrangements, walkways, exposed aggregate flooring or walls, around swimming pools and many other areas. As you can tell, this product is very flexible and not strictly made for your aquarium or water tank.

What we really like about it, is that due to its design it will feel really close to a fish’s natural habitat – a really important factor if you’re interested in giving them the best experience possible. Some of the stones will be rough, others will be smoother, just the way they would if you found them outside in nature. You should keep in mind, however, that as these pebbles are larger than the standard gravel you will require appropriate biological filtration.

The product currently holds a 4.3 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon, and is priced at $7.57 per five pounds of pebbles.