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How to Re-create a Natural Habitat for Your Aquarium Fish

By Charles Hopkins Published 08/8/2006 | Fishing and Boating

How to Re-create a Natural Habitat for Your Aquarium Fish

The joys of owning an aquarium and the beautiful fish that occupy it go hand in hand. And with good reason: an aquarium without fish looks pretty silly, not that there arent those very odd people who enjoy filling an aquarium up with water and not putting fish in the tank. I guess it saves them money.

And fish without an aquarium is commonly referred to dinner and that is hardly enjoyable beyond the time it takes to consume the meal; but the less said about that, the better.

Now, in order to truly make the aquarium totally livable and acceptable to the fish that occupy the aquarium, certain standards must be maintained, so that the fish are agreeable to the environment that they are placed in. Possibly the most important method of making the environment agreeable to the fish would be to recreate an natural habitat for the fish that truly provides for an environment that is as close to their natural habitat as possible.

First, it must be understood that the natural habitat for an aquarium will vary from fish to fish as each fish has their own specific needs and habitat and environmental concerns. This is a given. What one can do, however, is offer a few general points to follow so that one is on the proper path to quality aquarium care.

Take, for instance, tropical fish. Tropical fish should be placed in an environment with a reasonably warm temperature, so as to best simulate tropical conditions. Additionally, tropical fish should be placed in an environment with a stable, neutral pH.

How can you achieve both of these goals of stable temperature and stable pH? It's actually easier than you might think. To get a stable, warm temperature, you will want to place the aquarium in an area that receives direct sunlight and you will also want to hook up an automatic heater to keep the aquarium at the right temperature at all times. To stabilize the pH, you will want to pay careful attention to what you put in your aquarium. As plants decay, they may change the pH of the water. Additionally, you will want to put pH stabilizers in the water which you can now purchase at most pet stores that will ensure that the water stays around a reasonable safe pH level.

Another important thing to keep in mind when recreating a natural habitat is exposure to sunlight. If you are recreating a tropical habitat as in our above example you will not only want to expose your fish to natural sunlight, but you will want to make sure they are exposed to artificial sunlight. You can do this by purchasing aquarium lights that specifically will generate light that is similar to natural sunlight.

The last thing you will want to consider when recreating a habitat is what plants and gravel you should use. You will want to ensure that you purchase both gravel and plants that are conducive to your fish's environment and help to maintain a stable pH.