Aquarium Accessories – Our Guide On How To Set Up A Fish Tank

There can be lots to consider when setting up your first aquarium. There are a plethora of accessories from CO2 regulators to UV gravel. We asked fish tank experts, CO2 Art, to make a list of the main purchases and accessories a fish newbie needs to make.

Firstly we would recommend deciding on what type of fish you are going to keep. This makes it a much easier process to figure out what you need to go with them.


Although smaller tanks may seem easier, it is actually easier to maintain water balance in a larger tank. We recommend looking for at least 20g (“high” or “tall”) tank.


If you are planning on keeping tropical fish, you will need a heater for your tank. For most tropical fish, a temperature of 76F is ideal.

There are two types of heater. Submersible heaters that stay completely below the water and partially submerged glass tubes (which contains heating coils). We recommend a Submersible heaters, as they tend to keep the water temperature more uniform.


You will need a thermometer in the tank to make sure it is at the temperature that you have chosen.


Biological: This type of filtration breaks down the ammonia produced by the fish and is a necessity in all tanks.

Mechanical: traps small such particles as plant leaves, uneaten food, etc., allowing them to be removed from the tank before they decompose into ammonia.

Chemical filtration: removes ammonia and metallic elements from your tank.

A decent filter should perform three filtration types .They are not maintenance free and need to be cleaned to prevent clogging and poisoning the water with toxins.


Gravel serves as decoration, making your tank look much more attractive. However you must be careful that it does not affect the pH level of your tank. Test the levels of it in water one week before the fish are homed with it.


Light shows off your fish. A single low-wattage fluorescent bulb does a good job of showing a fish’s true colours.  Incandescent bulbs give off too much heat, fluorescent bulbs run cooler and use less electricity for the same amount of light.

Air Pumps

An air pump bubbles air through your tank maintaining adequate oxygen levels. However it is not a requirement if you have decent water movement.  It also can force water through a filter to make cleaning your take more effective.


We recommend that you buy decorative plastic plants for your first tank. It will serve as a hiding place for fish and are much easier to maintain. It is possible to grow real plants in an aquarium but may cause you complications on your first aquarium.


If you ever need to move your fish then a net is absolutely necessary. Do not put your fish in the net, guide it into a container, but do not actually touch it.

Are you looking for more aquarium accessories? Check out C02 Art’s fish tank accessories collection here.