How to Set Up A Freshwater Fish Aquarium
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How to Set Up A Freshwater Fish Aquarium
Setting up an aquarium requires certain responsibilities. Just like keeping any other pets, you get out what time and effort you are putting in to keeping your aquarium maintained. Setting up an aquarium does cost money and there are also recurring costs involved such as feeding and replacing filter media.
Here are the basic steps to setting up a freshwater aquarium:
STEP 1: AQUARIUM SIZE
Before you purchase your aquarium take the time to decide what type of fish you are looking to keep and take into consideration the size that they can grow to. If it is your first time keeping an aquarium it may be better to start with a smaller tank stocked with harder species of fish.
STEP 2: LOCATION OF YOUR AQUARIUM
A large change in temperature can affect your aquarium so it is ideal to keep your aquarium out of areas which may cause this. Areas like conservatories, garages and next to a heat source should be avoided if possible.
STEP 3: DECIDE ON THE EQUPMENT YOU ARE GOING TO USE
Now is the best time to purchase all of the necessary goods that you require from the list of equipment needed. If you cannot fund all of the equipment hold back until you can before you start to setup your tank otherwise you will have to start again which can be very time consuming.
STEP 4: SETTING UP THE TANK AND STAND
Before you setup your tank make sure that your have cleaned it out with water. Make sure that you don’t use any detergents or soaps as they will have drastic effects on your live stock. If you are using an under gravel filter it is an idea to put this in its place when you have cleaned the tanks as it is more difficult to do this at a later stage.
STEP 5: PREPARING THE REST OF THE TANK CONTENTS.
Now that your tank is clean, make sure you wash your gravel and the other accessories that you will be adding to the tank. This can sometimes be a messy job so it should be done either outside or in the bath to reduce the mess made.
STEP 6: ADDING WATER TO THE AQUARIUM
Now that you have prepared the aquarium with the sand, filter and accessories, it is time to add the water. It is best to put the water in a small tub or saucepan so that you can add the water without splashing as this in term will disturb the gravel you have just put in place. Make sure you use room temperature water when filling the tank. You may need to use a chemical chlorine remover such as aquasafe. If you are unable to get your hands on this easily then you can always leave the water to stand in a bucket for a few days before you add it to the tank. Before filling it to the top make sure your plants etc. are in the desired location as it will be a lot more difficult to do once the tank is full.
STEP 7: SETTING UP YOUR EQUIPMENT
Fist thing to do is to place your heater in the tank but make sure you don’t turn it on until the thermostat has reached the same temperature as the water. Prime your pump / filter and turn them all on. Once they are all on you can add the last of the water to take the water level to the top of the rim.
Add the hood and the lighting to the tank making sure that there is a drip loop to prevent the water running into the plug/power supply. Once this is done and you have tested that all the appliances are working make sure that the cables are tidy and out of the reach of children.
FINAL STEP, WHICH IS THE MOST TEDIOUS:
You have to wait until your aquarium has gone through the nitrogen cycle before you can add any fish. This cycle can be spotted by the appearance of white cloudy water. Once this is done your aquarium is ready to start adding fish slowly.
Make sure that you only add a small amount of fish at a time so that your filter can get used to the biological load that new fish introduce.
Make sure that you acclimatise the fish by floating the bag on the water to bring the temperature of the fish to the same as that of the aquarium water. Slowly add some of the aquarium water into the bag to get the fish used to the pH levels in the aquarium. You won’t need to feed the fish on the first day as they will need to get used to their new home.
Now you have got to look forward to the regular maintenance of your tank. You have to keep on top of the cleaning and water changes to keep your tropical fish happy and healthy.