Getting started in fish-keeping as a student in Tampere

Fish tank.
My tank’s front view. My fish are resting behind plants and rocks because they are shy.  

Hei Hei everyone! I’m Yen Tran – a final-year student in Software Engineering at TAMK. I have been a freshwater fish aquarium hobbyist since I was at the university in Vietnam. Fortunately, I brought up this hobby in Finland.

In my hometown, I have a 2m x 0.8xm x 35cm (length x width x height) outdoor tank on the second balcony floor. I love to maintain a low-tech tank that is as close to nature as possible. Have a look at my outdoor tank video link 

When I moved to Finland to study, I was afraid of not being able to continue this hobby anymore. However, after settling down during my first year in Finland, I felt like having a small fish tank would be a great idea. It turned out to be a great decision because it has helped me through many stressful circumstances and depression during my stay here.  

I think fish-keeping is a relaxing hobby for a small apartment room in Finland. Therefore, if you are interested in keeping your own freshwater fish tank and not sure where to start. This blog was created to share and connect all fish lovers, and I hope it can be a helpful tip for your fish-keeping hobby. 

Video caption: I used to have a lot of hornworts and my male Dario was exploring his new place. 

My 30-litter aquarium tank

In Finland, due to the weather, I think it’s roughly impossible to have an outdoor tank, so we have to maintain an indoor tank instead. It is required to be equipped with: 

  • Water filtration: to me, it’s very important and depends on your tank size. For my small tank, which is 30 liters, I have a filtration with a flow rate of 200l/h (at least 4 times my tank size each hour). 
  • Lighting: I recommend equipping a suitable LED in order to decorate and help in nurturing the aquatic plants. It depends on how dense your plants are but for a small tank with low-light aquarium plants like waterweeds, 18W LED could be enough. 
  • Heater and thermostat: very important equipment for your fish too. My tank temperature has been controlled very well with a 50W heater. 
  • Oxygen pump: it’s optional if you have a big tank and a crowded community fish tank. 
Black tiger dario (female) – Myanmar’s little gem which is 2.5cm maximum. I have a trio of 1 male and 2 females from Faunatar.

Where to get tank equipment and fish?

  • Faunatar: they are a big pet store chain in Finland. They sell different kinds of pets like birds, bunnies, hamsters, reptiles, and fish. They have a good range of fish and fish equipment. They are a bit pricy but quite worth of money.  
  • Tampereen Akvaariokaloja: a local fish store in Finland near Tammelantori (market square in Tampere). I brought my tank in this store. They have cheaper prices than Faunatar. However, they have fewer exotic fish than in Faunatar but standard fish like guppies, mollies, and bettas are always in stock. Fish equipment is cheaper here so I recommend buying these in this store. 
  • many good deals and cheap stuff. However, the fish quality is not guaranteed, and fish species are limited. I have made friend with a Finnish lady from Tori and in the summertime, I always buy fish and plants from her. She is really nice and always gives me extra 😊  
  • Aliexpress/Amazon: good way to find affordable fish equipment I brought my LED light, heater, and fish food here. 

Fish and plants for an amateur?

It quite depends the tank size. For small tanks like I have, nano fish and betta are most suitable. If you have a bigger tank, you can create a community fish tank with guppy, molly, angel fish etc. These fish types are quite easy to keep and easily found in the stores. 

My interest is towards aquatic plants and nano fish. Currently I have 3 Dario fish and a Nerita snail. They live very happily with me from the summer of 2022 till now. So far, they have been one of my most favorite fish species I have ever kept. I also recommend buying pet snails for your tank since it would be the most powerful way to clean your tank’s algae and fish leftover food.  

My Nerita snail loves to keep the tank clean.

Alright mates, that’s all from me, thanks for reading this blog post, and welcome everyone to this super addictive hobby.  

If you are interested in my fish-keeping activity, follow me on Instagram and YouTube 


TAMK student standing at a corridor.
About the author: Yen Tran is a Software Engineering student at TAMK from Vietnam. She has a huge interest in IT technologies and backend development. Besides that, she is also an aquarium keeper and explorer.

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