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Fish Product Reviews

Introducing Your Child to their First Aquarium


If your kids have been begging you for an aquarium, of course you must comply. Introducing your child to their first aquarium is a great way to teach your kids responsibility. After all, fish are the gentlest of pets! The aquarium is silent and it even fosters a sense of calm. What more could a mom ask for?

What’s a mom to do when her little ones want nothing more than to study the gentle ebb and flow of freshwater fish swimming under lunar lighting as they drift off to sleep? You set up a fish tank!

Good news… Fish-keeping has come a long way since the days of glass tanks, daily water testing, delicate ecosystems and the trauma of fish being lost for no reason at all. Not to mention those traumatic burials at sea…

A nano-tank is a very easy way to get kids into the hobby of fish-keeping.  We have an easy way to introduce your kids to the hobby without a huge investment. The new trend in the world of aquariums is the “nano tank” and that means your life just got a lot easier…

Choosing Your Child’s First Aquarium

Starter kits aren’t new in the world, but the technology and science behind them is, as these nano-tanks make fish-keeping accessible to everyone. We recently had the opportunity to check out the new API aquarium kit, which includes their API® Perfect Start™ water starter and Stress Coat. (By the way, I can’t recommend the Stress Coat enough – it has saved so many of my fish over the past 20 years that I stopped counting).

Introducing a Child to an aquarium

Water quality is the most important part of fish-keeping. Without proper water quality, fish will not survive. The API Perfect Start ensures your water is perfect the first time.

What the Starter Kit Comes With

The starter tank comes with (almost) everything you need to set up your tank. First off, you can purchase a variety of start up tank sizes. They offer easy set up and minimal maintenance for their variety of aquarium kits.

Whether you are a beginner or experienced fish keeper, aquarium kits make it set-up a breeze. You’ll need at least these items for your new aquarium:

  • An acrylic aquarium – this unique design from BiOrb Life is ideal.
  • An easy-care filter system
  • a Power Filter with filter cartridge
  • and an LED light hood.

This is designed to be a fresh-water tank, which quite honestly, is what children should start with, as saltwater fish can be a bit more delicate and require a lot more work.

Supplies You’ll Need to Purchase

You’ll still need to pick up fish, fish food, plants, ornaments, gravel, and a heater. If you want to change out the lighting, it’s very easy to do with the LED light hood that’s included – just choose a different color bulb (we also recommend the moonscape lighting, which is fairly new to the market). Adding the Perfect Start to your API Starter tank ensures the water quality, temperature, filtration, and health of your tank.

A quick guide for parents shopping during the holidays:

  • Present the tank the morning of Christmas
  • Spend the day setting up the tank and letting the water adjust
  • Go fish shopping with your child the next day.

Let’s face it, setting up the tank is half the fun!

If you’re new to the world of aquatics, no need to worry. The API website simply guides you through an easy setup. This site also makes an excellent learning station for kids who want to explore the underwater world.

You can even track your water quality and receive expert advice with the API Water Care App (which is absolutely free). Download it here.

We’ll be talking more about selecting fish in a future post, but we highly recommend decorative goldfish. They are easy to maintain, live a long life, and are just beautiful to watch. The 3.5 gal is perfect for a goldfish (check out our Guide to Fancy Goldfish Care) or a Betta fish (read our Caring for Your New Betta Fish which will help you guide you through the life of a Betta).

In fact, it’s large enough that you can add a small school (2-3) of neon tetras, which are lovely to watch!

Remember the golden rule: 1” of fish per 1 gallon. (Remember to use the size of an adult fish when calculating this!)

The beauty of this tank is that you don’t have to worry about cloudy water, testing the water every day, or the health of your tank. There is still some maintenance, but it’s not the daily cleanings and water testing and filter changing that used to be required. Other than feeding your fish, you won’t be a lot of work.  It’s a perfect starter kit for a young child interested in starting an aquarium.

API guarantees you and your child’s success. You can trust the API system of products to help you build and expand a thriving aquarium.

The Fish Keeping Hobby and Your Child

Fish-keeping an important hobby for many reasons. In fact, our future depends on kids developing a healthy interest in aquatics. Fish farming is fast coming to the top of the career list, environmentalists help keep us responsible on Earth, and maintaining the health of our oceans is critical for our survival. 

Kids should absolutely be encouraged to learn this hobby and explore the possible careers in marine biology, fishery management, and much more.

If you’re exploring aquatics as a hobby, please take a look at the API aquarium kit. We think your entire family will love it!

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