When purchasing pet fish, there are a few necessary fish tank supplies you will need. Many of these items are designed to ensure the health of the fish and to make the tank more visually appealing. These items can apply whether you have a large aquarium or just a small fishbowl.
The first step is to choose an appropriate size aquarium for the amount and size of fish you are purchasing. An employee at the pet store where you purchase your fish should be able to direct you to the correct size. Many fish tanks come with a water filter and water pump, but if your tank doesn't, these are the first essential fish tank supplies you will need. You might also need to purchase a heater and a thermometer if you are purchasing tropical fish that require warmer water -- again, specific instructions will be found when you purchase particular fish.
Other fish tank supplies are floating fish food and a net to remove your fish from the tank if you need to. You might also purchase gravel to create a layer on the bottom of the tank. Another important item in your fish tank supplies is a test kit, which you can use to regularly test the pH, salinity and ammonia levels in the water, among others. These tests help ensure the safety of the water for your fish.
To decorate the fish tank and provide the fish with a more natural day/night cycle, an overhead light is a nice touch. Plastic or ceramic figurines are also popular for fish tanks; these might look like caves, water wheels, sunken ships, coral, or even small homes. In addition to providing a decorative touch to the fish tank, these fish tank supplies give the fish a place to hide. Plants are also a nice addition to a tank; they may be plastic or real. Real plants for the fish tank can be found at most pet stores that also sell fish.
Keep in mind that essential fish tank supplies also include cleaning supplies. A siphon hose can be used to vacuum any debris from the gravel in the bottom of the tank, and you will also need to purchase extra filters to go into the water filter. A scrub brush is nice to clean algae or any dirt off the sides of the tank walls. There are numerous other fish tank accessories found in most pet stores that can improve the look of a fish tank, but it is a good idea to start with the basic essentials and then determine if there is anything you need or want to add.