Aquarium setup is easy as long as you have a good plan. This page will help you plan for your new hobby and setup your aquarium for you to enjoy for years to come. Just make sure you don't rush yourself so take a few hours out of your day and take your time and do it right. I know if I rush myself I tend to make alot of mistakes and it just makes the job harder. So with that said, let's get started.
Location, Location, Location
Choose a spot that has a solid floor and is away from any windows, doors and high traffic areas. If you put your aquarium by a window, it would be hard to regulate the temperature because of the sun or drafts. Make sure you have access to an electrical outlet and a water supply.
Set Up Your Aquarium Stand
Place your stand so it doesn't wobble around. Make sure the stand is level. If it's not level, the water will not be level. If your stand is not level use some shims and place them under the legs. Also, make sure you leave enough room behind your stand to hang your equipment and for you to do regular maintenance on your aquarium.
Clean Your Tank
When you get your tank, clean it with water and a washcloth or sponge. Don't use any soap. It's toxic to fish. To avoid streaks, dry the outside of your tank with paper towels.
Place Your Aquarium On The Stand
You might want to get a friend when doing this. Make sure the tank fits properly on the stand where the edges don't overlap the stand. Take a step back and make sure this is the right spot for your aquarium.
Add A Background
If you plan on adding a background to your aquarium setup, get the tape out and tape it to the back of your aquarium. Some aquarists like to paint the back of the aquarium. Just be careful not to splash any paint inside the tank.
Install The Filter
Now is the time to install your filter. Just like your tank make sure you wash it with water and no soap or chemicals. Depending on the filter of your choice, just read the directions of the box for proper installation.
Click Here For Filter Types
Add Your Gravel
Before adding your gravel make sure you wash it with clean water. Try using a spaghetti strainer to help eliminate some of the dirty smaller particles in your gravel. Put about 2 inches of gravel in your aquarium.
Fill Your Tank With Water
Now is the time to add water. Fill your aquarium about 3/4 full. This allows you to arrange the gravel the way you like it and add decorations and plants. Place a small coffee plate on the gravel and pour the water on the plate. Poring water on the plate doesn't disturb the gravel when you pour in the water. After you put in all your decorations and plants fill up the rest of the aquarium to about an inch from the top of the tank.
Install The Heater
If you are using a submersible heater in your aquarium setup, place it along the rear of the inside glass preferably in the corner. If you are using a non-submersible heater, attach it to the rim of the tank. Don't plug the heater in yet. Let it adjust to the temperature of the water for about 20 minutes or so. It's also a good time to ad the thermometer to your tank.
Add The Dechlorinator To The Water
Now's the time to add dechlorinator to the water. This is very important in your aquarium setup. Read the instructions carefully on the back of the bottle. Check the PH using a PH tester and adjust in accordingly. Put the canopy or hood on the aquarium.
Plug In The Heater, Filter And Lighting.
Now's the time to plug in all your equipment. Make sure everything works. Whatever you do, don't add fish for at least 48 hours. Check to make sure the temperature is between 75 and 80 degrees. Adjust the heater in very small increments.
Add Your Fish
After you have waited about 48 hours, the temperature is right, you can add your fish. Only start with about 2 starter fish and wait about a week to add anymore. Then add a couple of more. You need to start good biological bacteria to establish life in an aquarium so start off slow. If you put in to many fish at once, your fish will probably die. Now your aquarium setup is done.
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