How to Select Gravel and Lighting for Your Aquarium

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

You would think that those beautiful fish that occupy an aquarium would be generally in a foul mood. On the surface, one would assume that the fish are fairly unhappy to be confined in an aquarium as opposed to being out in the deep, blue sea.

What people often fail to understand is that part of the joys of being out there in the deep blue sea involve enjoying the wonders of being eaten alive by other fish who just happen to be hungry at about the same time as that pretty tropical fish unknowingly seems to be in front of its mouth. Oops.

So, it would be wise to create a wonderfully livable environment for those cool fish that one invested quite a few bucks in.

Before even purchasing the fish, one should make a good decision as to what type of gravel and lighting one should supply for the fish, so that the fish are in a position to truly accept a better quality of life.

On a baseline level, one should always select aquarium gravel that is acceptable for aquariums. That is, do not go into a plant store and purchase gravel that is not supposed to be put in an aquarium! This may save a few pennies, but it also runs the risk of a significant possibility of KILLING THE FISH! Always use gravel that is specifically designed for an aquarium. Also, one might consider purchasing cultured gravel as this type of gravel will allow bacteria to grow that is the type of bacteria that will be beneficial to the fish.

Lighting is also highly important to aquarium fish. Reef fish, in particular, must have adequate lighting or there can exist the possibility of a serious danger to the health of the fish. A serious, inadequate level of light may result in an environment that is totally impossible for the fish to survive. This is also true of tropical fish, which should have exposure to simulated natural sunlight.

Now, keep in mind, there are different types of light that are used to light an aquarium. Fluorescent and metal halide are two major different kinds of lighting that can be used to light up an aquarium. Always consult with the pet shop as to which specific type of light is the type of light that will be agreeable and acceptable to the fish. If not, the misapplication of the light will turn out to do the opposite of what it is intended. That is, instead of creating a livable environment, it may kill the fish! This is especially true of deep sea, salt water fish, which should not be exposed to large amounts of sunlight, as it can be seriously damaging to their scales.

Keep these few basic tenets in mind and one will be able to offer an environment of gravel and lighting that will provide the aquarium inhabitants with a nice environment that will make them glad they aren't in the ocean anymore!