Freshwater tanks are a lot easier to maintain than a saltwater aquarium. The fresh water fish may not be easy to keep but the set up is a lot less complicated, you do not have to be chemist to run one of these tank set ups.
Basically in your tank should be your filter, your heater and your lights. You will also need a thermometer. After the tank has been sitting for a few weeks getting the bacteria to cycle then it is ready for some freshwater fish!
There are different kinds of fresh water fish that you can get. There are of course large and small and different species of each. If you are just starting out and your tank is only for decorative purposes then stick with small fish, but if you see this as becoming a great hobby and you are going to stick to it then don’t bother with small fish as they are a waste of money, it is better to get the bigger fish! Bigger species of fish aren’t harder to keep than smaller ones, just different. When I say bigger species I don’t mean that they are bigger to start of with, but most of the “bigger species” can grow to at least half a foot long. Cichlids and Malawi’s are the usual favourites of fish enthusiasts, although they are both freshwater fish they both need different types of fresh water.
African Malawi’s prefer hard water, and a lower PH. American cichlids like to have a different temperature and PH level. Also there is a certain type of fish, known as Discus which is very, very expensive and hard to keep. There PH level has to be maintained almost exact throughout their tank life or it can result in death, they also like their temperature higher than most fresh water fish, nearly thirty degrees.
When choosing your fresh water fish make sure that they are fish that you like! Not to mention make sure that the fish that you choose are going to be relatively easy for you to keep, there is no point in purchasing hard to keep fish if you are not going to spend the time and take on the responsibility to look after them! Fish are living creatures to and they need a lot of looking after, so don’t purchase them if you are not prepared to do so.