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10 Essentials You Always Need in Your Fish Room

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Serious hobbyists go beyond having a tank or two; they have a whole fish room stocked with numerous tanks, many species, and a lot of supplies to make their lives easier. I polled several fish keepers who boast impressive fish rooms to see what they thought to be the most useful tools of the trade (beyond the typical nets, water changer, and other obvious fish-keeping basics). Here are their top 10 essentials you always need in your fish room:

  1. Plastic Tupperware containers: These are useful for just about everything from holding surprise fry, transporting fish, and growing live food cultures. In fact, just about any bucket or container you can think of comes in handy for fish keeping. From empty kitty litter buckets to Rubbermaid totes, anything that holds water is handy. Just make sure to clean them thoroughly before and after using them.
  1. Cotton balls, Q-tips, and tweezers: They aren’t just for bathrooms and personal hygiene! Q-tips and cotton balls are excellent to feed small worm cultures. And tweezers can be used to plant plants or remove things from the tank.

Related: The Pros and Cons of CO2 in an Aquarium

  1. Turkey Baster: This kitchen staple can be used to remove waste from a bare bottom tank, to suck up fry in order to move them, or to feed larger fish. They are easily cleaned out and cheap to replace when needed.
  1. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers: These cleaning essentials are aquarium safe! They will remove algae from the tank glass, clean decorations, and keep your tanks sparking.
  1. Vinegar: A natural and eco-friendly cleaner that can be used to remove stubborn water deposits in empty tanks, on decorations, etc. Just rinse well after a vinegar scrub and it’s good to go back in the tank. Vinegar also works well when you clean the outside of the glass.

Related: Cost-Cutting Tips and Tricks for Aquarium Enthusiasts

  1. Bleach: Another essential cleaner that can be used to clean tanks, sanitize equipment, and dip plants with stubborn algae on them. After using bleach, rinse well, and add the items back in the tank. (BTW, tips #5 and #6 are paired well with the items in #1.) You should also keep paper towels or clean rags around to use for cleanup, and for wiping off surfaces.
  1. Extra sponge filters or filter media in existing tanks: These make it quick and easy to set up a new tank, a quarantine tank, or fry tank, without worrying about cycling.
  1. Battery-powered air pumps and extra blankets: Should you have to suffer through a prolonged power outage, you’ll need these items to insulate the tank and keep the water oxygenated. Without them, you could lose your fish very quickly.
  1. Backup filter and heater: You should always have a backup filter and heater in the event of equipment failure, especially during a time when you cannot get one immediately. Having a spare is simple peace of mind.
  1. Found natural décor: Any rocks or wood you find in your adventures outside. You never know when you may decide to set up a new tank! Look for unusual shapes and sizes to spruce up your tanks with a natural flair. The fish love it!

summerSummer Davis is the mom of three kids, four dogs, and several tanks of fish. She boasts a passion for all animals, whether they are in the water or on land. This fish aficionado has kept many different species in her time, but holds a special place in her heart for wild and domestic bettas. When she’s not talking about fish, Summer “spins” her extra time as the director of a baton twirling organization.


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