Setting Up Your Freshwater Aquarium
The pleasure of having aquarium fish is truly amazing and enjoyable. Both amateur and expert hobbyists know the great importance and bliss that these aquarium fish give us. But in the beginning, freshwater aquarium setup can be a difficult task. Of course, it can be especially difficult if you don’t know where to begin.
First things first! Gather all the necessary equipment that will help you start setting up the freshwater aquarium. What will you need? Be prepared by having the following materials ready before aquarium setup.
• Aquarium (of course!)
• Gravel and filter suitable for aquarium
• Fake or live plants
• Fish net
• Vacuum ( siphon desinged for aquarium use)
• Glass scrubber
• 5 gallon pail or bucket
• Test kits (for testing water parameters)
• Water heater (for a tropical fish set-up)
In order to setup your freshwater aquarium successfully you need to consider the points below:
1. Know what is involved and your new responsibility
Having an aquarium is like owning a cat or a dog. You have to exert effort to have a wonderful freshwater fish tank. At least each week or every other week, you must perform some maintenance. If possible, you should always change the water in the tank. In addition, you must feed your freshwater fish at least once daily.
2. Determine the size of an aquarium
It is important to know the type of freshwater species you want to raise before you buy an aquarium. All fishes have variety of sizes. Some tend to grow about 1 or two inches while others can grow as long as 12 to 13 inches. By knowing the type of fish you desire will help you in determining the size of fish tank you must purchase. If you are a novice hobbyist, consider a 10 to 20 gallon fish tank and start with smaller fish species.
3. Identify aquarium location.
Position your aquarium in an area where there is proper light and temperature. If possible, do not place it near a window since it will create great fluctuations in light and temperature and affect your fish detrimentally. It can also cause algae problems. It is also necessary to put the aquarium on a stand that is capable to hold its weight.
4. Purchase the aquarium and the equipment
Decide on the aquarium filter that you wish to use. Purchase everything that is mentioned above. Keep in mind that the gravel that you will need must be based on the gallons of water that you will place in your aquarium. Also, you can obtain used aquariums that are inexpensive, especially in the classifieds on and off the web.
5. Set up the aquarium
Clean your tank using only water. Do not use any kind of soap because its residue might be harmful for your fish. If detergent is required, make sure you rinse your aquarium thoroughly by leaving an outside hose in it and running for several minutes.
6. Clean the gravel, live or fake plants and other decorations
Make sure to wash the gravel before placing it in your aquarium. A simple way to perform this is by placing the gravel substrate in a strainer and rinsing with ample amounts of water. Thereafter, put the clean gravel in a pail or bucket for transport to the fish tank. When done place the gravel, plants and other decorations into your aquarium.
7. Put water in your aquarium
To prevent from disturbing the bottom of your aquarium, you can put a saucer or a plate at the bottom the tank and pour the water directly onto the saucer. Or you can just pour in the water and smooth your gravel later. Use water that is at room temperature.
8. Put in the equipment
Put in place the remaining equipment, most important are the water heater and filtration unit. Remove any residual chlorine, or run your filtration unit for a few days. It is also beneficial to let your tank stabilize for a few weeks, but not always necessary. That’s it! You’re done with your freshwater aquarium setup. Have fun!