How to Set up a Tropical Aquarium

Many people want to set up healthy and happy fish tanks. This article will show you how.

Steps

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    Place your tank and stand where you want them to go. Keep in mind that tanks in direct sunlight are prone to algae problems.
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    Start by filling your tank with your substrate, about 5 cm from the bottom.
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    Install your filter and heater, but don't turn them on yet.
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    Fill the tank halfway with treated tap water. You can pour the water over a saucer or other small dish to avoid messing up your substrate.
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    Put in your decorations and plants.
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    Fill the rest of the tank about 5cm from the top of the tank.
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    Turn on your equipment and make sure everything is working properly. Set your heater somewhere between 78 and 80 degrees F.
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    Put on the hood and check that the lights work.
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    Cycle the tank before adding any fish. The tank must be left set up for several days in order to complete its Nitrogen Cycle. Make sure your pH and temperature are steady, and nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia are at 0ppm. If you don't have a water test kit, your local fish shop will likely run the tests for you.
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    Add only a few fish at a time to let your biological filter catch up.

Tips

  • Always research the fish before you buy. You never know if the shopkeeper is telling the whole truth about it's needs - often they don't know about the fish themselves!
  • Rinse your tank and gravel before adding water, but don't use soap!
  • Fill your aquarium outside first to check for leaks, especially when setting up a used tank.
  • Aquarium backgrounds can add depth and interest to your aquarium.
  • Set up your aquarium near electrical outlets.
  • A good rule for stocking is 1 inch of fish per gallon. This works with small fish of 3" and under, and must be used with common sense - IE minimum tank size, fish compatibility etc.
  • You can buy different colours of gravel and create patterns on the "ocean floor" of your tank.

Warnings

  • When using appliances such as filters and heaters, use caution. Always follow all instructions your equipment came with.
  • Treat your tap water with a dechlorinator before adding it to your aquarium!
  • Make sure the tank is on a level surface before filling. Any in balance over time can cause the tank to crack and fracture.

Things You'll Need

  • An aquarium. Research the fish you plan on keeping to determine the size you will need, and don't buy anything smaller than 2.5 gallons (9.5 L)!
  • A filter and a heater
  • A fishnet
  • Water conditioner
  • Substrate
  • Decorations
  • A hood with lights
  • Plants (soft bendable plastic, silk, or live)
  • A liquid test kit

Article Info

Categories: Aquariums