16 Things You’ll Need for Your New Fish Tank

Great, you want to start a fish tank! You might think that simply buying a tank and a couple of fishes would be enough for a good start. However, managing a perfectly healthy fish tank with happy fishes swimming around starts with the things you need to consider before buying a tank.

Before moving the fishes in, you’ll need to make a livable habitat for them. To do that, you’ll need several things:  

1. Automatic fish feeder 

It might be strange to put an automatic fish feeder at the top of the list, but you’ll never know you need it until you’re in a pinch. Having fishes as pets is that you can’t take them with you if you need to be away for a while.  

If there’s an emergency that requires you to be out for over three days, you’ll have to scramble up a plan to get your fishes fed for however long you plan to be absent. The best way to get your fishes fed while you’re elsewhere is to get a good quality automatic fish feeder.  

Don’t even try to use cheaply made ones because it will cause you more trouble. Poorly made fish feeders could dampen and clump up the fish food, causing the fishes to starve. There are also some instanced when the fish feeders release all of the food in one go. 

To avoid any malfunctions such as these, you’ll need to go with a trusted brand. has tested several fish feeders and have come up with the most reliable recommendation.  

2. Tank 

The first thing you’ll need is a fish tank. Consider the number of fishes you’ll be getting, their sizes, and how often you plan to clean the tank. For a smaller tank, know that you’ll have to clean it more often, while a bigger tank will need less. This is why getting a larger size is suggested.  

Remember that the tank should also be watertight. Do this for you and the fishes. You wouldn’t want to deal with water everywhere, and it’s going to cause disturbance to the environment of the fish.  

Furthermore, because you’ll be keeping living things in it, it must be non-toxic. Fishes tend to chew on all kinds of stuff, so it needs to be safe for their health.  

Finally, the tank needs to be waterproof, as well as stable and durable. If the tank isn’t sturdy, it could collapse, and that’s going to be a huge problem.  

3. Thermometer 

Your fish tank will need a thermometer. Depending on the fishes you have, the water should be at the right temperature to make sure that they survive. Temperatures must be stable and to avoid any sudden changes because it can shock and kill the fishes. 

4. Heater and fan 

Because the water temperature is essential, you need a fan or heater. We suggest two smaller heaters to turn up the temperature equally on either side, instead of just one big heater that will heat the water unevenly.  

A fan is suitable for cooling the tank. But for bigger fish tanks, an aquarium chiller is more efficient. 

5. Stand 

If you’ve decided to get a fish tank or aquarium, a stand will be necessary. However, if you’ve decided on a fishbowl, you won’t need it.  

More than anything, it’s imperative that the fish tank stand is stable and level. The downside is that it can be quite pricey, but you can choose to build it yourself if you have woodworking skills.  

6. Lid 

Getting a lid or hood is vital as fishes could jump out of your tank. Furthermore, it can reduce evaporation, and it keeps the light fixture from getting damaged from water.  

7. Light 

As mentioned, you’ll also need an aquarium light. A fluorescent lamp is suggested for beginners, but you can again go for other types like LED bulbs, metal halide, incandescent, mercury vapor, and halogen. 

8. Filter 

Fish tanks are notorious for collecting dust, dirt, fish excreta, and pieces of fish food. If these particles stay in the tank for too long, it could cause contamination, and the water could become toxic. When this happens, your fish could get diseases or die. 

A filter will be necessary to avoid this. The type of filter you get will depend on your aquarium size and how many fishes you plan to keep there.  

9. Water pump 

Pair your filter with a water pump so water can move back and forth from the aquarium to the filter. Fishes also like the current that it creates. 

10. Gravel  

For a fish tank ecosystem to thrive, gravel is needed because it allows the tank to stay clean through biological filtration. And getting calm colored gravel will also help reduce stress. It helps fishes remain healthy physically and mentally. So, don’t get brightly colored gravel! 

11. Water conditioner 

The quality of the water needs to be conditioned so that it’s safe for fishes. Some water could be high in ammonia, chlorine, and others. A water conditioner is necessary to keep it secure. 

12. Water testing kits 

To be aware of the condition of the water, having water testing kits handy is also crucial. Testing the pH levels is easy. Just follow the instructions listed on the kit.  

13. Siphon and bucket 

For an aquarium with sand or gravel, a siphon and buckets are necessary to do regular clean-ups. This makes it easier to take out the dirty water without messing up the aquarium setup. 

14. Fishnet 

Since we mentioned cleaning out the aquarium, you’ll find a fishnet helpful so you could take out and transfer the fishes quickly before cleaning up the tank. 

15. Algae scraper 

Algae buildup can be nasty and irritating. It can also ruin your fish tank, so get an algae scraper to keep it from growing out of control.  

16. Décor 

Finally, to make it a comfortable home for fishes, you can get decorations such as stones, toys, aquatic plants, and other items that would make it as pleasant as possible. Again, be sure that it’s non-toxic and not too bright to keep their stress levels low.  


Keeping a fish tank is simple if you know what you’re doing and you have the right. You also need to know the type of fish and what their needs are. But regardless of the species, some essential pieces will make caring for fish more manageable.

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