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How To Set Up Your Own Aquarium

Fish make great pets and if done correctly an aquarium can bring something special to any room in the house.


It’s like having a snapshot into a tropical world and aquariums are actually really easy to maintain, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when setting up your very own aquarium.

Shopping List

This list covers everything you will need to get your aquarium up and running:

•             Aquarium
•             Gravel
•             Filter and a replacement filter
•             Heater
•             Plants and decorations
•             Test kit to monitor the aquarium environment
•             Food
•             Fish net
•             A decent size bucket

Choose The Location:

It’s important to first of all choose a location for you aquarium so you know what size will fit best in your home. Once you have decided which size aquarium is best make sure the location of the tank is:

  • Out of direct sunlight
  • Away from any drafts or vents
  • Close to a power source
  • On a strong structure that will support its weight

Setting It Up

Now your aquarium is in place we can start adding to it.

First of all make sure it’s clean and then add a background – this will make it look nice and also hide all the wires running down the back.

Now wash the gravel thoroughly so it is completely clean of any dirt or dust. Once this is done add the gravel to the tank. A useful tip is to slant the gravel down from the back as this adds the appearance of depth.

Add water up to about half way using a bucket. To stop the water causing a dent in the gravel, lay a plate on the bottom to tip the water on too.

Then add any decorations or plants, be sure to leave plenty of space by not overcrowding. For a beginners aquarium artificial plants are best to use.

Add more water to make it 3/4 full and then you can go ahead and add the heater and thermometer. Make sure to place the thermometer on the opposite side of the heater so that it gets an accurate reading of the water temperature.

Go ahead and fill the water all the way to the top, you can then add the chlorine remover after reading the instructions on the bottle.

Carefully install the filter – this should be plugged in and left on for 24 hours so that the temperature becomes stable.



Cycling the aquarium

Cycling the aquarium allows the beneficial bacteria to grow which all fish need and it also allows you to get rid of any nitrates or ammonia that are in the water.

Too much ammonia in water will sadly kill fish that are added to it, so be sure to successfully complete an aquarium cycle to get the balance in the water right.

Add an ammonia remover and then allow the tank to cycle, test the water with a PH testing kit after 24 hours. Do not add any fish until the level of nitrate and ammonia are both zero.

Finishing touches

You are now ready to add the fish! Make sure to add them a few at a time, for example add a few fish one day and then wait a few days to add some more. Be sure to always ask for advice on which fish live best together before you buy them, all good pet stores will be happy to help you with this.

Also remember to check your water levels every single day to make sure the environment is ok for your fish.

All that’s left is to sit back and enjoy your beautiful aquarium.





Published October 11th, 2013 by Jordan. Article ref 1250

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