How To Set Up An Aquarium Fish Tank Guide

how to set up a fish tank
Care & Maintenance

Aquarium Setup Guide – How to set up your Freshwater Aquarium

Certain important factors need to be taken into consideration when learning how to set up a fish tank properly. They are the selection of aquarium location, use of sand stones and ornaments, and the significant addition of appropriate plants.

Tank Location

In general, a tank should have at least 8 to 10 hours of illumination a day (12 to 14 hours is not too long) and should not receive more than about 2 hours of direct natural sunlight, less with a small tank in summer, which may otherwise seriously overheat. Drafty locations must be avoided, and so must the tops of radiators, which heat the sand and cause the plants to wilt and can overheat the tank far too easily. Thus, the popular window location over a radiator is not to be commended.

Use of Sand

sand for freshwater aquarium

Sand packs tightly and prevents the roots from penetrating; it also promotes the growth of anaerobic bacteria – those that thrive in oxygen-free surroundings and turn the sand gray or black. If it is too coarse, the plants get a little grip and ride free, and unconsumed food and other detritus get down into the sand and are not easily removed.

Thus, coarse river sand, preferably with a variable grain size for pleasant appearance, is the best. It should be deep enough to provide adequate root space for the plants provided, which will vary from 1 to 3 inches.

In all but the smallest tanks, 2 inches of sand at the back and less in front is about right, but it may be banked up much more than this if desired, for decorative effects. However, a great depth of sand tends sooner or later to become foul, and it is best to avoid it or to pack the deeper areas with rock beneath the sand.

Stones, Rockwork, and Ornaments

ornaments for aquarium

These items are almost purely a matter of personal taste. There are occasions when stones are needed by the fishes, as in spawning some of the cichlids, but they usually have no essential function in other tanks, except to look nice. Judges in shows have various theories about the relationship between stones and the sand they lie in, and about the direction of rock strata. These are mostly highly debatable, and of little interest, one feels, to the serious aquarist.

It must be recalled that large rocks take up water volume, but the tank would have to be extraordinarily full of them before this would be likely to matter except when judging some chemicals to add to the treatment of disease.

Ornaments, such as treasure chests, divers, sea shells, and mermaids are best forgotten. Fortunately, they usually become covered with algae in a flourishing tank and mellowed into a more acceptable state – i.e., unnoticeable.


plants for aquarium

Select young, healthy-looking plants for setting up a tank, and, unless they come from an impeccable source, disinfect them or quarantine them. If you wish to use them immediately, a rapid wash in salt water is best followed by a thorough wash in fresh water is good.

Setting up your first tropical fish tank should be relatively easy. Hobbyists from all over the globe have been keeping aquariums like these for some reasons.

Reasons for selecting Tropical Fish tank

The foremost reason would have to be because tropical fish are quite amazing. They come in almost any color, shape or dimension that you can imagine, and will prove to be both a beautiful and entertaining addition to any room.

The second most reason has got to be the inexpensive nature of getting started in acquiring freshwater life. Especially as compared to the inhabitants of other sorts of aquariums, like marine and brackish creatures.

Even the more exotic species of tropical fish are relatively less expensive than their other counterparts. And these freshwater species thrive better and longer with minimal care.

However, that does not mean that you can skimp on feeding and maintenance. And you also need to do your share of research as to what kinds of different freshwater plants and creatures can successfully cohabit in one tank.

Tips on how to set up a fish tank

Here are some tips on how you can set up your very first tropical fish tank.

  • Acquire the necessary “hardware” before buying any living thing. One of the most common mistakes that first time fish keeping hobbyists make actually buying the fish first before setting up a running “environment.”
  • You should set up the aquarium first before you can put the fish in. Wash the fish tank first with warm water. Do not use detergents or any chemical cleaners as these might leave residues that can harm the freshwater life forms later. Wash the gravel under running water until the water turns clear.  IF you dont wash them thoroughly the first time, water in fish tank might soon turn cloudy or other problem might appear such as green aquarium water or white cloudy water, so make sure you clean them thoroughly.   Bedding or fish task gravel should be placed first, followed by the other “tank floor” decor you might want to have, like driftwood, coral bases, and even rocks.”
  • Once you do have the gravel and the decor in, you now need to install the air pump, the filtration system, and the heating system. Again, the advice of your pet shop attendant will be invaluable here, especially when it comes to knowing the heat requirements of your tank per volume of water. Place the fish tank thermometer someplace where you can easily monitor it.
  • Once the hardware is in place, you can add water to the tank. You need to treat the water first before you put it into the tank. You can do so by placing tap water in a clean bucket and adding the recommended amount of de-chlorinating agent.
  • Wait at least two days before you buy aquatic plants and fish to put in. This will give the hardware time to run, especially the filter, making the internal environment ready for whatever fish you might want to buy. Only then can you get the pets you want from the pet

As can be seen, an aquarium is easily set up and maintained if you follow the above tips in setting up your one. Following the above simple instruction should give you hours of pleasure. Good luck!

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