Freshwater aquariums, as the name suggests, are used to keep freshwater fish and plant life. They are easy to maintain, and are a popular first choice with most households. Both glass and acrylic is used to make freshwater aquariums. However, glass tanks are heavier and require a sturdy base while acrylic tanks and lighter and trendier.
The capacity of freshwater aquariums can vary from 30 to 60 gallons. They normally consist of an inlet, filtration systems, pumps and an outlet. Recycling of water is very important for maintaining the fine ecological balance in freshwater aquariums. This is done by circulating the water with the help of a pump. Normal tap water can be used for recycling but it should be done after checking the water quality.
There are three types of filtration systems that are usually present in freshwater aquariums. They are: the chemical filtration system, biological filtration system and the mechanical filtration system. The mechanical filters help remove the particulate matter from the aquarium. Activated carbon, which is generally used as a mechanical filter, later starts functioning as a biological filter.
To ensure proper chemical balance, zeolites are used for removal of ammonia and ion exchange resins to lower the degree of water hardness. The biggest function of the biological filters is nitrogen recycling. This is essential for keeping the fish alive. Air pumps are also used to increase the oxygen circulation and concentration within the freshwater aquariums.
It is best to use healthy and young freshwater fishes in these aquariums. If you want to add more fish then you should first allow the system to stabilize. Plants in freshwater aquariums serve a dual purpose. They add to the beauty of the aquarium and help maintain the ecological balance. Some of the plants that can be used in freshwater aquariums are: Amazon Sword (Echinodorus amazonicus), Argentine Sword (Echinodorus argentinensis), Hygrophila polysperma, Java Fern (Microsorium pteropus), Umbrella Plant (Spathiphyllum wallisii) and Vallisneria spiralis.