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Home Aquarium Supplies Index - Fish Tank Set Up

How to Set Up a New Fish Tank

Perhaps you have seen a beautiful tropical fish tank at a relative's house or maybe at the dentist's office. Now you are thinking that having one in your own home would be fun. If you are thinking something similar to that then you are right! Owning a tropical home aquarium can be fun and fish tanks add tranquility to the room. However, setting up a new fish tank can seem like a daunting task. There a many parts that are needed to keep a healthy home aquarium. There are also certain steps that should be followed to prepare a new tank for the fish that will live inside of it.

Click Here To Learn How To Set Up The Perfect Freshwater Aquarium!

The main parts required for a freshwater home aquarium are the fish tank, the fish tank stand, the hood or lighting fixture and lights, a heater and a filtration system. These parts are critical to maintaining an environment in which tropical fish can survive. In addition to these parts you will also need to add substrate and aquarium decor. Once you have purchased all the parts you need for your aquarium you can set up the new fish tank.

Before you even consider buying your tank you will need to find a place in your home that has open space for the aquarium, is close to an electrical outlet and not too far from a sink or tub. Regular maintenance is much easier if the tank is close to a sink or tub. The tank should also be kept of direct sunlight to avoid promoting algae growth. If you are in an apartment building or the tank will be on an upper level of your home, you will need to find out how much weight the floor can support. A large tank full of water and substrate can weigh a lot.

After you have placed your new fish tank and stand the location you have chosen for it, you will need to add the substrate. New substrate should be rinsed off before being placed inside the aquarium. You can rinse it by using a strainer and running water through the gravel. After the gravel is rinsed off you can put it inside the tank and you should landscape it with less at the front and more at the back of the tank.

The next step is adding water to the tank. Pouring water directly on to the substrate will displace the substrate so the best option is to find a bowl or dish, place it on top of the aquarium substrate and pour the water into the bowl to fill up the tank. This method will prevent the gravel from being pushed away from the force of the water being poured into it.

Once the tank is half full, you should place your filter and heater inside it (If you have an undergravel filter you will have already placed it in the tank under the aquarium substrate). Depending on the type of filter you might place a canister inside the tank, run lines from the canister into the tank or hang a power filter on the back wall of the tank. Place your heater in one of the back corners of the tank.

With the heater and filter in place, you can add your aquarium decorations. If you have chosen to use live plants you will probably want to keep the roots of the plants inside their own little container under the aquarium substrate to protect the roots. If you are using plastic plants be sure to not place any too close to the aquarium heater.

After placing all of the decorations in your new fish tank you can finish adding water. Fill the water right up close to the top of the tank (Most tanks have a frame on top which holds the cover). A good rule of thumb is to fill the water up till it is to the bottom edge of the frame. Check your tank for leaks shortly after filling it up. Use a water conditioner to treat the water after filling the tank and let the tank run for 24 hours.

This is how to set up a new fish tank for most standard tanks. There may be some minor variations depending on parts and aquarium you have. Complete aquarium systems often include built-in parts like the filtration system. Those types of aquarium systems will come with instructions for setting up the built-in parts. The process will still be very similar.

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