Tools and Equipment for the Aquarium

Aquarium Tools

Some Aquarists prefer to have dedicated tools for their aquarium, particularly if it has live plants. Aquarium tools are useful for trimming and pruning the plants. They can also be used to arrange gravel, remove dead fish and scrape the aquarium surfaces to remove algae.

Different tools are available for different functions. Examples are tools such as bent scissors, tweezers, scraper etc.

Specialized Tools may be required while handling corals in marine aquariums. These tools make handling plants easy.

Aquarium Heater

Fish are cold blooded animals. They cannot regulate temperature on their own and are thus extremely sensitive to temperature. Hence, the temperature within the aquarium should be within the limits experienced by the fish in its original natural environment.

Today, fish which were once present in one part of the world are found in aquariums the world over. Hence, special attention should be given to learn about the temperature requirements of each fish and maintain the temperature.

In cold climates, fish may need a heater to increase the temperature.

Aquarium heaters are heaters encased in a ceramic tube. The tube is immersed either partially or fully in the water. The heaters have a thermostat which can maintain the heater temperature.

Some planted aquariums have a heating cable below the substrate. This helps heat the tank. Heating mats are another method of heating aquarium. The heating mat is placed below the aquarium. However, since glass is a poor conductor of heat, this method of heating is not efficient.

Chillers in Aquariums

Chillers are used in Aquarium to reduce the temperature particularly during hot seasons. When the temperature rises, the oxygen level in the water drops. Fish, being cold-blooded, are very sensitive to rise in temperature and may be come stressful.

The Deep Ocean is always cold. Hence, if you have deep sea species in your marine aquarium, you must have chillers.

Some aquariums need both heaters and coolers at different times of the day or at different seasons of the year. In such cases, there are temperature control units which have equipments for both heating and cooling.

Chillers reduce the temperature of the water by removing heat. Thermoelectric Chillers are used for small aquariums up to 55 gallons. For larger Aquariums, inline chillers need to be used.

There are also Drop in Chillers which are placed directly in the tank or in the sump.

Sump in Aquariums

A sump is a separate tank placed behind or below the main aquarium. The function of the sump is to house the equipment which may be unsightly. Equipments such as filters, sterilizers, heaters and chillers can affect the aesthetics of the tank.

Hence, in large tanks, a separate tank which is connected to the main tank serves as the sump.

Reef Tanks always have an sump as part of their design.


PowerHead for Aquariums

A Power head is a pump which sucks water from the tank and passes to to devices such as filters or UV sterilizers. Power Heads are available in a variety of formats from hang on types to submersible ones to externally fitted power heads.

Power heads can be used to create water flow patterns which simulate the natural flow in streams and rivers.

Power Heads come in various power ratings.


Timer for lighting in Aquarium

Fish need proper and cyclic lighting which simulate the natural day/night conditions. Switching on the Light the whole time or switching it off the whole time may interfere with the fish's daily cycle.

An Aquarium Lighting Timer automates the task of switching the light on and off. Light can be switched on for a pre-set duration and switched off. This is ideal for light control on a daily basis or during vacations.

Timers can be connected with any aquarium light. Some timers also enable the gradual dimming or brightening of the light to more closely light cycles in nature.


Air Powered Filters in Aquariums

Air Powered Filters are filters of small capacity which are ideal for small aquariums. These filters do not require any external power source. They are driven by the air flow from the pump.

The air is allowed to rise through a tube which drives the water upwards. This causes a suction effect in the bottom. The water from the surrounding areas enter the tube through a sponge which filters the water.

The sponge material also serves as a medium for the beneficial bacteria to grow. Thus, it also acts as a biological filter.


Selecting a net for your aquarium

Selecting a net to catch fish is important. A net should be big enough to catch the fish without injuring it. It should also be small enough for easy movement through the aquarium.

Nets are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes. There are square nets and round nets. There are nets which are fine and nets which are coarse. Coarse ones are ideal for big fish. Coarse nets can damage the fins of small fish which can get caught in the small holes.

If you have a rectangular or square tank, a rectangular net will be useful as it can fit better against the corners. If you have circular tanks, you can use circular nets.

When trying to catch the fish, position the net close to the fish without startling it. This will help prevent the difficult chases across the aquarium which can damage the plants and other fitments.

Some people lower the water level when they are catching difficult fish.

Another technique is to use two nets and drive the fish into one using the other.


Air Pump in an Aquarium


An Air pump is a critical and important equipment in indoor aquarium which are mostly enclosed. The Air pump helps keeps dissolved oxygen levels in the aquarium within limits.

The Air pump pumps air into the aquarium which is released through an air stone or through a filter.The bubbles which are released agitate the surface of the water and make the exchange of oxygen possible.

Air Pumps work on domestic AC supply. They are powered by an electromagnet motor which operates a bellow. Multiple connections can be taken from the same air pump depending on the capacity.

Keep the Air pump as close to the tank as possible. The Tubing should have a regulating valve to control the air flow.


Function of an Air stone in an Aquarium

An air stone is a special piece of porous stone through which air from an air pump is passed. The many holes on the porous surface of the air stone serve to release air as many small bubbles which is pleasing to look at.

The bubbles agitate the water in the surface and help in oxygenation.

There are wooden air stones as well which are made from special types of wood such as tila. Today, there are synthetic airstones as well which are made from fiberglass.

Air stones may need to be cleaned periodically for better flow.