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Warm Water
Fish and Aquariums
This page contains information and advice about keeping Warm Water Fish in an aquarium with an aquarium heater and thermometer.

On this page you can read about how to start a Warm Water Fish Aquarium, the correct temperature range, good fish for a Warm Water Aquarium, changing water, cleaning your aquarium, and other important topics.


1. A Warm Water Aquarium ...
requires more skill to maintain than a Cool Water Aquarium. If you are a beginner, you'll do better to start with a Cool Water Aquarium then later, when you have more experience with fish and aquariums, you can get an aquarium heater and convert your Cool Water Aquarium to a Warm Water Aquarium. Click here to read about Cool Water Aquariums.

How to Start a Warm Water Aquarium. You'll need an aquarium, an aquarium cover, an aquarium stand, and a power filter with a BIO-Wheel. Click here for more information about aquarium equipment.

You'll also need a 5-inch fish net and a bottle of Water Conditioner. Click here for more information about Water Conditioners.

Finally you will some food to feed your fish. We recommend floating flake food such as floating flake food and freeze dried blood worms, which are actually dried mosquito larvae. Click here for more information about fish food and how to feed fish.

Fill the aquarium with tap water from the faucet and add the amount of Water Conditioner listed on the bottle. Plug your filter into an electrical outlet. Put the filter pad in your filter.

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Customer Comments

Hey guys! Just wanted to let you know that you have a wonderful website.  I tried my search engines for information but couldn't find half the information that you provide in one click! I can tell you I will keep coming back.
Keep up the good work.
Laurie F.
Click here to read more Customer Comments and our Replies about starting a new warm water aquarium.
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2. Aquarium Heaters
Tropical Fish must have an aquarium heater and a thermometer. Be sure to read all the instructions that come in the box with the heater, then put both the heater and the thermometer in your aquarium. Click here for more information about Aquarium Heaters and Thermometers.

Adjust the Aquarium Heater until the temperature on the thermometer is between 78 and 80 degrees F.

Always unplug your heater before you remove it from your aquarium. In fact you should unplug it, leave it in the aquarium for 15 minutes, so it will cool, then remove it. You should also unplug the heater, whenever you work on your aquarium, and be sure to plug it back in, after you finish.

Now your aquarium is full of water, you've added the correct amount of Water Conditioner, the filter is running, and the heater is heating the water. It is important to just let it all run for at least three days before you add fish.


Customer Comments

As a novice, I researched quite a bit before starting my hobby. I just wanted to say that your website is the one I used the most. I still come back to it all the time.
I think the funniest thing that has happened so far was bringing home two Mickey Mouse Platies and an hour later having to turn my aquarium into a delivery ward. It was chaotic and I now have nine babies

The Correct Temperature Range
Adjust your aquarium heater until the thermometer is between 78 and 80 degrees F. This is usually the best temperature for your Warm Water Fish. You should check your thermometer every day, say just before you feed your fish. If the temperature is not between 78 and 80 degrees F., adjust the aquarium heater.


How to Adjust your Aquarium Heater
First carefully read all the instructions that come packed with your aquarium heater. Those instructions will recommend that you put the heater in one part of your aquarium and the thermometer in another part of the aquarium far away from the heater.

Learn to read the correct temperature on the thermometer. If the temperature is less than 78 degrees F., turn the temperature on the aquarium heater up just a little. If the temperature is above 80 degrees F., then turn the temperature on the aquarium heater down just a little.

Don't make big adjustments. Make a small adjustment then check the thermometer a few hours later. If the temperature is still not between 78 and 80 degrees F., make another small adjustment to the heater and check the temperature an hour later. Keep repeating this process until the temperature is between 78 and 80 degrees F.

If you have children, teach them not to play with the aquarium heater. It is an electrical heater made of glass with an electrical cord going into the water. This is a not a good toy for children.

Children can have lots of fun with a Fish Bowl or a Cool Water Aquarium, that don't have an aquarium heater. Click here for more information about Fish Bowls, and here for more about Cool Water Aquariums.

3. Don't Keep Goldfish  ...
in a Warm Water Aquarium.
Tropical Fish and Goldfish require different temperature water and different food. Goldfish will not do as well in a Warm Water Aquarium. The appropriate home for a goldfish is a large Cool Water Aquarium or even better a pond.

Good Fish for Warm Water Aquariums
After your new aquarium has been running for three days without fish, you can add a few fish. Not too many in the beginning. A good choice for a Warm Water Aquarium is school of 6 Zebra Danios. They are hardy, active, and will usually do well in a new aquarium. Click here for more about Zebra Danios.

After three weeks if your Zebra Danios look healthy, the water is crystal clear, and smells clean, you can add a few more fish. Here is a list of more healthy active fish that are compatible with each other. Gold Danios, Leopard Danios, Black Skirt Tetras, Swordtails, Mollies, Platies, Blue Gouramis, Gold Gouramis, Opaline Gouramis, Plecostomus Catfish, and one Red Tail or Rainbow Shark. Tadpoles, Ghost Shrimp, Mystery Snails, and Crabs are also compatible and add variety to an aquarium.

To learn more about these fish look at the narrow table along the left side of each page on this website. Find one of the underlined fish names that interests you and click on it.

Be patient and go slow in adding fish. Get at most 3 new fish each week. Be careful not to add too many fish to your aquarium. A maximum of 1 inch of fish per gallon of water is a good rule of thumb for beginners. So by this rule, you'd keep 10 inches of fish in a 10-gallon aquarium; for example, five fish each 2" in length.

Over time your fish keeping skills may increase, and you'll be able to keep more than 1" of fish per gallon.


4. Your Fish Need Fresh Water.
Your fish can't live forever in the same old water. Twice a week remove 20% of the water from your aquarium and replace it with fresh safe water, which is discussed in (5) below.

For example, a 10-gallon aquarium is usually about 12" tall with water that is about 11" deep. Removing 20% of the water would be about 2" measured down from the original surface of the water. Click here for more information on how to measure and calculate 20% of the volume of your aquarium.

Your aquarium may have quite a bit of evaporation. Do not just replace the water that evaporates. You must remove water from your aquarium and replace it with fresh safe water.

Click here to read more about changing water in your aquarium.


5. Safe Water for Aquariums
Most of the tap water flowing from faucets in the United States contains chloramines, which is a chemical that local water districts add to the tap water to reduce the amount of bacteria and other pathogens. This makes the water safe for humans to drink but dangerous for fish to live in. If you remove 20% or less of the water from your aquarium and replace it with tap water, your fish will usually not be harmed.

Changing more than 20% of the water in your aquarium with tap water is risky even if you add Water Conditioner. In many aquariums 20% is about 2" measured from the water's original surface. Click here for more information on how to measure and calculate 20% of the volume of your aquarium.

In a few areas you can't use the tap water in your aquarium. For example, some well water has chemicals or minerals that are toxic to fish. So you must be cautious, if you have doubts, talk with someone at your local water district or talk with someone who keeps fish in your area.

Click here for more information about Water Conditioner.

Click here to go to another page in this web site where this discussion about Warm Water Aquariums continues.
Click here to read some Customer Comments and our Replies about Warm Water Aquariums.
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This page was updated on November 13, 2015.


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