Thursdays are a fun day to take a look at some of the older handbooks that I have collected through the years. This edition is my favorite. It was my Grandfather's when he was a scout leader and an employee at a Scout Camp in Iowa.
From the 1980 printing of the Boy Scouts of America Handbook
An aquarium, as the wood tells you (aqua is Latin for water), is a watery mini-environment. For this you need a fish tank or bowl with a layer of clean sand on the bottom. Fill the tank with pond water. Anchor a couple of local aquatic plants in the sand. Then introduce a few water snails and a couple of minnows or other small fish.
If you can't get pond water, use tap water and let it stand a few days to lose its chlorine. And if you can't collect your own plants and fish, get them from a pet shop. Here you can also buy aquarium fish food. The main point in feeding is: Don't over feed. Feed once a day and only enough to last the day.
Most aquarists buy exotic fish for their aquaria. You will have more fun if you stick to native fish you have caught yourself. Shiners, minnows, darters, killifish, sunfish, sticklebacks, daces do well. Include a few snails. Snails are scavengers - they will keep your aquarium clean.