The following article “Fish Tank Setup For Beginners” is a simple guide to those who are planning to keep a fish as a pet in their home or workplace. If you are planning to keep a fish-tank and you have all the gears and fish-tank accessories, you are ready for your new aquarium setup. You are making a great decision that you will never regret, however, if you do it correctly. Keeping a fish-tank at home or workplace is enjoyable and is a way to get closer to aquatic world and also keeping fish-tank is beneficial in many ways which I have already discussed in previous article Benefits of Keeping a Fish Tank At Home
It is important that you carefully choose a suitable place to keep your fish-tank. Make sure the aquarium stand will support filled tank’s weight and if the ground is even, else the slanted floors can result in undue stress and crack the tank.
Fish Tank Setup For Beginners: Step-by-Step
Now that you have all the equipment, you are just a few steps from becoming a fish keeper, if not please do visit my previous article about the basic equipment required to set up the fish tank: article “Before Setting up Your Aquarium”.
Step 1: Choose a fish tank.
Before getting an aquarium you need to do some research on the fish that you want to keep. Every fish is different and different fish requires a different environment for them. You cannot simply keep a bunch of them into a tank, and feed them a couple of times per day. So, choosing a fish tank is very important. A 55-gallon tank that holds approximately 208.2 liters of water is a standard size that allows you to have a wide variety of fish as a beginner. You can also go with a 20-30 gallon tank and keep certain hardy species like (guppy, swordtails, tetra mollies and so on). here you can calculate the volume of your tank.
Step 2: Get the aquarium stand.
A 20-gallon aquarium holds 75.7 liters of water weighing around 80-90 kilograms. That is quite heavy, so the bigger tank you get, you require stronger stand that holds your aquarium. I recommend you to buy a stand that is designed for the dimensions and shape of your tank. [Note: it is not safe to have an edge of the tank sticking out over the side].
Step 3: Placement of your tank.
There are few things you should consider when choosing the right spot for your fish tank. If you don’t select the right location for your fish tank, it doesn’t matter what the size of your fish tank, you could end up struggling to maintain the water quality of your fish tank and it could become more stressful environment to your fish. A little sunlight is beneficial for the tank but placing the tank near the window with a lot of sunlight is harmful to water since it increases phosphate levels in water and increases algae problem. Place the tank near a wall socket.
Step 4: Cleaning and Placing Gravel.
Once you have selected the tank’s placement, it’s time to begin setting up the aquarium. It is essential to wash the gravel well because unwashed gravel creates cloudy water in your tank. Place the gravel in a bucket and wash your gravel using your hand after few minutes drain the water and repeat this process 4 to 5 times until wastewater is visibly clear. This cleaning process is beneficial in removing dust from storage and transportation of the substrate. Now that your substrate is clear, slowly pour substrate in the bottom of your fish tank with the help of small bucket. This is the time your creativity plays a vital role. Use your creativity to scape your tank as you prefer.
Step 5: Choosing the right heater, filter, and lightings.
Maintaining you fish water quality and water is an important factor in the comfort and well-being of your fish. I recommend you to get an automatic heater for your fish tank then shuts down once your minimum temperature is reached using a simple formula to buy the heater (1 watt per gallon of water). While choosing a filter, make sure that you get the filter that has a turnover of at least 3 times the volume of water per hour. Choose an appropriate light for the aquarium. Place the light on or above the tank and set a timer for no more than 8 hours a day.
Step 6: Filling up the Tank.
Fill up the aquarium with hose pipe this makes it easy to fill up the tank and change the aquarium water. Use water de-chlorinator after filling. [Note: always use de-chlorinator every time you do a water change.
Step 7: Cycling your tank.
At this time you need to Cycle your tank water. Cycling your tank requires patients and consistent testing of the water so, Cycling is the most important part of setting up your new aquarium. This will help promote in building de-nitrifying bacteria and is essential to setup your new tank. Use Aquarium Test Kit to monitor the tanks water. This alerts you to toxic aquarium condition and saves your fish.