The most popular type of aquarium is a freshwater system. It’s probably the most practical system for a beginning aquarist for several reasons:
- A freshwater system is not quite as expensive to set up as a saltwater system. Saltwater systems require larger tanks and extra equipment;
- There are two types of freshwater systems being the coldwater system catering to gold fish varieties and the tropical freshwater system;
- The tropical freshwater aquarium is setup similar to the coldwater aquarium but requires an additional heating system to warm the tank water;
- Most tropical freshwater fish are inexpensive and pretty easy to keep which is why this is the best system for a beginning hobbyist;
- A freshwater tropical aquarium offers the greatest number of choices in livestock and plants out of all the systems;
- A tropical freshwater system can be setup as a community aquarium with a variety of species that can coexist peacefully;
- Freshwater fish are readily available at most aquarium shops and offer a wide variety of colourful species to choose from. There is a good variety of hardy species which are very forgiving of beginners’ mistakes;
- Many varieties of freshwater fish breed quite easily and may provide you with opportunities to sell your overstock and a chance to experiment with new breeds;
- You can keep significantly more freshwater than salt water fish in the same amount of space;
- You can purchase a system at many large pet shops or specialty aquarium stores in kit form. A kit generally includes a tank, hood, filter, net, food, instruction book, and heater necessary for a tropical tank, but often doesn’t include gravel, plants, or livestock;
- Many salt water fish are social time bombs waiting to explode all over the other fish in your tank. In fact, saltwater fish can be down right rude;
- Saltwater fish have lower tolerance to ammonia, (fish waste) than freshwater species do, and an inadequate filter soon leads to disaster in a saltwater tank. Saltwater fish can also be very expensive;
- It is wise to gain a little experience with freshwater fish before attempting a complete coral reef system.
No matter what system you decide to begin with, research your livestock variety (on the internet), availability in your local area and the price range of the stock. This will save you a lot of time, money and you will end up with a fantastic centrepiece for your home or office and some very cute little pets.