As a hobby, fish keeping is relaxing and rewarding. But if you’re just starting out, it’s best to start small. Begin your new hobby with a small aquarium of 30 gallons or less in size. This will allow you to learn proper fish care. You can later transfer your knowledge to a larger tank.

How do you take care of a small aquarium? Here are some tips that will help you create a healthy fish environment.

Start with a Kit
Aquarium kits are a great choice for beginners because most come with filtration, lighting and heating systems included. Just add gravel and decorations, which you can get with the help of an associate in your local store.

Pick an Appropriate Space
Although your aquarium may look magnificent on a table behind your sofa, this may not be the best location. Remember, even a small, 12-gallon aquarium will weigh more than 120 pounds when filled. Instead, choose a stand designed to accommodate the weight of a tank, as well as the humidity it will produce.

Select a Theme for Fish, Plants
It will be easier to keep your habitat healthy if you pick a theme. This will guide you in getting species and plants that come from the same region. For example, you might choose a fresh water river theme, with fish that are native to the Amazon region, such as tetras, guppies, angelfish or plecos.

Don’t Overpopulate
You may be tempted to get a number of fish, but when they grow, you’ll be left with a crowded tank. Overpopulating makes it difficult to keep the water quality at a viable level. Start with a small amount of fish and introduce two or three new ones over the span of several weeks or months. Over time, small species should make up the bulk of your aquarium’s inhabitants, with one or two larger feature fish and a small group of bottom cleaners.

Monitor Closely & Test Weekly
Small tanks see rapid changes in water quality. This means frequent monitoring and testing is crucial for success. Test strips can give you an easy “dip and read” method to ensure water levels are within a certain range. If there are signs of potential problems, use a more accurate test kit. Also, watch the behavior of your fish for signs of distress or sickness.

Refresh with Partial Water Changes
One of the best ways to maintain high water quality is by changing 10% to 20% of the water once a week. Learn how to do it properly to minimize stress for your fish.

Resolve Problems Quickly
In a small tank, the smallest problem can affect you entire aquarium. If you see any signs of concern, from high nitrate levels to erratic behavior, respond quickly. Waiting even one day may affect the health of your entire fish community.

Feel free to ask any associate at your local Pet Supermarket for help.