The Basic Aquarium part 3 covers the assembly and installation of the equipment on our 20-gallon kit. The parts to this kit are an Aqueon Quiet-flow power filter, a heater and a standard fluorescent hood. The only difference between this and other kits will be the details of how specific pieces are assembled.
I have had a few readers ask me how these videos can be used to help new hobbyists who may not know about my blog. I have created a page which will include only the blog posts in this series, so if a club, pet store or anyone else wants to direct people to just these videos, use this link: http://tedsfishroom.com/category/video-posts/basics/
Please feel free to use that link however you wish. The purpose of this series is to help new hobbyists, but it cannot be a benefit unless they see it!
This is the second installment in the Basic Aquarium series. It covers preparing the tank before setting up the aquarium, and adding a basic gravel substrate with a few structural decorations. The first part of the video will show you how I paint the backs of my tanks. There are a lot of different ways to make a background, and it is important that you do something to cover the back of your tank. It helps to create areas in your tank where fish can find a quiet refuge. The aquarium will look a lot nicer too…
There is a scary statistic in our hobby… less than 10% of the first-time aquarium keepers stick with the hobby for more than a year. Fortunately, that number has not changed a lot in 20+ years; but it is not a retention rate we should be proud of. No matter how you try to explain the causes of the problem, the end result is that most of the failures are due to inadequate support for new hobbyists. Either they are not getting good information, or they are not getting the right information when they need it the most.
Aquarium equipment manufacturers are fully aware that most of the aquariums they sell end up collecting dust in garages, and have been trying to find a solution. Their strategy has been to apply the K.I.S.S. principle (keep it simple, stupid) to their products. I applaud this philosophy, because I know that one of the most frustrating factors in taking up any technology-based hobby is figuring out how the equipment works.
The aquarium hobby started to become very complex in the 1990′s, and stores were cashing in on a new customer’s willingness to buy anything that they were told they ‘needed’. What should have been a simple purchase of a tank, top, filter, heater, substrate and dechlorinator turned into a budget-busting expense that included everything from extra lights to vitamin drops. The fault for that lies with the retailers, and the manufacturers knew it, so they came up with a way to try to make the hobby easier: the aquarium kit.
Hooray for kits! I think they are great. New hobbyists can get all the essentials they need in a box, add a few extras (like substrate and a few decorations) and be reasonably assured that they will at least get the aquarium up and running successfully. The kit has made the advice new hobbyists get more consistent, and it has lowered the price of getting started in the hobby. I buy kits whenever I need an aquarium that will not end up plugged into my central air supply system in the fish room. A 20H kit, usually on sale at a big box store, is less expensive than purchasing the parts separately.
This video series, titled The Basic Aquarium, will include videos on topics that I think a lot of experienced hobbyists take for granted. They are aimed at new hobbyists, so if you know anyone who may benefit from a crash-course in aquarium set up and maintenance, please direct them to these videos. The opening installment describes a basic aquarium kit. Future episodes will show how I go about setting a tank up, decorating, planting, acclimating fish and even how to do a water change. WARNING – the videos depict how I do things… I am not going to attempt to make a video that shows all the different methods. I consider these videos as a starting point for new aquarium owners, and my hope is that they will give new hobbyists a basic understanding of how an aquarium works.
I would like to thank my friends at Aqueon (a division of Central Aquatics) for their generous support of this project. I have used Central Aquatics products (Aqueon (formerly All-Glass), Kent Marine, Coral Life and Oceanic) for many years.