How to Set Up a Freshwater Aquarium

Setting Up New Aquarium

So, you have decided to buy or you have already got your new fresh water aquarium! that is great, setting it up needs not to be a hassle. All you need to do is to get yourself the right supplies and follow these simple steps. In the end, you’ll have a great looking tank with the right ecosystem for your fish.

First of all, you will need the right attitude. You need to be ready to use some money for care and maintenance of the fish and the tank. You’ll have the one-off cost to set it up, and you’ll need regularly buy supplies and fish food. You’ll also need to maintain it on a daily basis at least to feed the fish, and then do water cycling and cleaning every two weeks or every month. It’s like having any other pet, the better care you take of them, the more rewarding it is. Fishes are living things and you as the owner are responsible for their well being.

Equipment that you’ll need for setting up your fish tank

You’ll have to buy most of this especially if you are a beginner, of course, you may be able to improvise for one or two items. If you are going to buy an aquarium kit, then it some of these might come with it. You will need:

  • A fish tank, that will take the number of fish you want.
  • A substrate and a substrate vacuum.
  • An filter and filter replacements for future maintenance.
  • Possibly a heater,  if you are going to get tropical fish that require higher water temperature than your ambient room temperature is.
  • A thermometer.
  • Plants, these can be real or fake, but if you can get real ones, they are much better for your freshwater setup.
  • An test kit to help you test the pH of the water.
  • A bucket.
  • A net and a big-holed strainer.

Freshwater aquarium setup

The size of tank that you choose will be determined by the number and size of fish that you want to keep. You don’t want fish that are overcrowded, or that grow too big. The best way to start is to get a 10-gallon tank and then stock it with small fish that don’t grow too much. When you become a bit more experienced, you can experiment with other species and a bigger tank.

Look for a place to keep your aquarium that is stable and safe. It needs to be away from children and other pets that can upset it. If it’s near a window that lets in the sunshine, this could raise the water temperature. Too much direct sunshine means that you have to deal with increased algae. Think of the weight as you choose a stand for it. To know how much it weighs, multiply the number of gallons of water in it by 10.

Consider the equipment: aquarium filters are varied and come at different prices. Some fish also produce more waste than others, and they will need special kinds of filters. Think about the heater too in relation to the size of the tank. You also will consider substrate, plants and any other decorations that you will be putting into the tank.

The step by step guide

  1. Wash the aquarium with water. Rinse of all the parts that will go in there. Do not use soap as it will kill your fish. Set up your filter once your parts and tank are clean.
  2. Wash the gravel and the plants in clean water and any other decorations that are a part of your setup. The substrate needs to be washed thoroughly, and you can do this using your pasta strainer. Put it in the bucket and places it in the tank along with the plants and decorations.
  3. Once you have all this in place, you can now put in the water. To make sure that you don’t mess with the way you had arranged the gravel and plants, place a saucer in the middle and run the water on it and let it flow over into the tank. Water should be at room temperature but de-chlorinated.
  4. Install the heater and wait for about 15 minutes for the thermostat in the heater to adjust to the water temperature. Place the lid and make sure that the light is working properly and that the chords are not in contact with water. Plug it all the bits that will use electrical power and then turn on.
  5. It’s time to wait. You are waiting for a complete nitrogen cycle in your freshwater aquarium setup to take place. If you put in your fish before it does, they will likely die. You’ll know its cycling when you notice after a few days that the water is getting cloudy.
  6. Lastly, add your fish one or two at a time. You are adapting the filtration system slowly. You also need to acclimatize the fish before you put them in. When you bring them home in the bag, you bought them in, drop it into the tank for about 15 minutes. There is no need to feed them on their first day home.
  7. Don’t forget to feed them the next day, and be ready for your bi-weekly or monthly spring cleaning. It’s lots of fun going through a setup. Make it easy on yourself by making sure that you have all the things you need to hand. If you are not very sure, start off with hardy fish – you are more likely to be successful.

Watch video about setting up a freshwater aquarium

Hopefully, this was the helpful article. If you have any questions or comments, please post them below. Be sure to read also other fish tank set-up instructions and find out more info about aquariums.

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