So, you want an aquarium and FINALLY picked your wonderful selection of freshwater fish but now comes the hard part: Freshwater tank setup. There are a lot of parts to it, and it initially can feel daunting but there are a few things you can do to make the process easier for yourself. Keep in mind, you are building a habitat for organic life but it’s a rewarding experience and one you will be proud to have accomplished. Here are a few things you need to know when setting up your freshwater tank.

Freshwater Tank Setup

Keep a checklist

Freshwater tank set up has a lot of moving parts and keeping track of all that will take some organization. Making list (either on paper or digital) will help you keep track of everything you need to set up an aquarium properly. To get started, here are just a few things you may need to set up your freshwater tank properly: Aquarium gravel, aquarium filter, replacement filter medium, heater, water test kit, fish food, vacuum, fish net, glass scrubber, and a good bucket (depending on tank size). With a handy list ready, now it’s time for the work!

Prepare well

Preparation is hugely important in freshwater tank setup and doing it properly will not only give your fish an amazing environment but save you a lot of stress. First things first: Make sure that tank is clean. A simple cloth will do as you definitely do NOT want outside chemicals in your tank. Next make sure to check for leaks (add some water, wait an hour and inspect), that’s something to make sure runs smoothly before actually putting water and fish into the habitat. Determine the location and positioning of your tank and you’re ready for the next big step…

Follow the rules

Substrate, water, equipment and decorations all have their own rules for proper installation and sticking closely to them will ensure that you have the best freshwater tank setup possible. To go through all of them would make this a VERY long post but there are a few simple ones that are easy to keep in mind. For substrate remember that while it is supposed to come pre-washed, it can often also come in dusty so cleaning it outside of the tank before pouring is the best option.

When pouring water in, remember to add a de-chlorinator to the water. Fit your filter, heater, thermometer (on the opposite side of the heater) and install any additional equipment you have gathered for your tank. After setting up all the parts needed for your tank to be functional, get creative with the decorations!

Cycle that Tank

Make sure to do this without fish! After your freshwater tank setup is complete, you’ll need to get your tank cycled. Ammonia is cheaply available in most fish stores. Be sure not to deviate from the instructions (they’re there for a reason) and check your levels! When you reach the recommended ammonia and nitrate levels, you’re all set. After this you’re ready to slowly add your fish. This is a whole process in itself, check back in a later blog for more on this!

Freshwater Tank Setup

If this all seems daunting, why not hire an expert? Living Art Aquatic Design Inc. has mastered freshwater tank setup over the past few decades and will handle the process expertly. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more on the latest in Living Art!

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Saltwater aquarium maintenance may seem daunting at first, but there are certain things you can do to make get the most out of your special tank!  The allure of a saltwater tank is clear: vibrant colors, exotic fish and an oceanic look. There are, however, a few things to take into account to have a healthy, thriving ecosystem in your home or business. Take note of these helpful bits of knowledge when it comes to setting up and maintaining your own saltwater aquarium.

Get the Right Fish

One of the biggest things that trips up new tank owners is getting the healthy, compatible fish to populate your new tank. Saltwater aquarium maintenance is as dependent on the nature of the fish as much as it is the equipment that houses them. We have our own list of saltwater fish that would make great tank makes but beyond the known behaviors of your fish there are a few other things to take into account. Does the fish you are looking at have erratic swimming behavior? Are there any odd growths on the skin or near their gills? What condition are the fins of your fish? These things can be signs of bigger issues down the line so be sure to curate your fish correctly and bring some lively specimens to your tank!

Get the Right Equipment

Saltwater fish require a little more can than their freshwater counterparts. Depending on what you put in your tank, your equipment needs may be more specialized but there are a few basics that you will need for fresh, functional tank. First, understanding the temperature of your tank is hugely important, so making sure you have the proper heater and thermometer goes a long way in proper saltwater aquarium maintenance. Circulation pumps are also essential, so make sure to get ones suitable for the tank you have chosen. Filters and lighting are both important as well, so make sure to consult your aquarium professional in order to get versions that meet your needs.

Test and Replace Your Water Regularly

All the above equipment, and more, is essential when testing your water parameters. High quality water parameters go a long way in extending the life of your aquatic inhabitants but you also have to make sure to check these stats regularly. Make changing your water a habit! Once a week water changes should do the trick, with a filter change at least every two weeks. Make sure to consult your aquarium expert on what the proper Norma Sea Water (NSW) values are as well as the target water test levels.

There is so much more that goes into achieving proper saltwater aquarium maintenance. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but its rewarding work with beautiful results. Of course, this may not be for everyone but if you want a gorgeous saltwater tank and don’t want the hassle of maintaining it, you can always look to Living Art Aquatic Design, Inc. for your maintenance needs! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram as well for more examples of what your aquarium could look like. Remember to do your research and get the exact tank you want today!

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There are lots of reasons to own a home aquarium. In addition to adding great value to your home, it serves as a constantly shifting, changing piece of art. A tank can be changed from freshwater to saltwater, from reefs and corals to plants, and from endless possibilities of fish and design.

But in addition to all of that, a home aquarium can actually help you relieve stress.

Health Benefits

Every study that has looked at the relationship between humans and their environments has shown a deep connection between natural environments and happiness. No matter how far we build into the sky or bury ourselves in offices, our natural instincts will always be to return to nature.

In a recent study, scientists at the National Marine Aquarium proved that even an empty tank can be relaxing and calming.

While the National Marine Aquarium was changing out fish from a tank, they decided to study human reaction to the aquariums at various stages from empty to completely full. What they found was that every stage had positive effects, but some were far more dramatic.

Within the first five minutes, people’s moods were elevated and their heart rates and blood pressure significantly lowered. This was all just within the first five minutes! Continued watching past this period did not change heart rate or blood pressure anymore, but many people reported longer periods of viewing with having increasing effects of relaxation and happiness.

It turns out that some primal part of our brains finds pleasure in water and life, which would account for why humans are so often drawn to beaches and oceans. Even more interesting, the greater the biodiversity in the tank, the more pronounced these effects were. Although a tank with only plant life and lights caused soothing effects, tanks with thriving ecosystems and teeming with life had exponentially greater effects.

Here at Living Art Aquatic Design, we don’t just believe in these effects – we live them. Stop by today and we can help create a thriving aquarium for you to reduce stress and lower blood pressure!

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So you finally got your new freshwater tank set up in the perfect spot in your home, empty but full of potential. After reading up a few things and asking the right people, you realize that while you may have aquarium maintenance down you  still need one crucial ingredient: fish. Considering how much work goes into putting together your tank and maintaining the life existing within it, it’s best to start off with strong, hardy fish who can handle some of your (inevitable) early mistakes. Fish with a communal nature are also a huge plus as most first time aquarium owners like to stock their habitat with a plethora of colorful aquatic life. So let’s take a dive and see which are the best freshwater fish for beginners.


5 Best Freshwater Fish for Beginners

Danios are an energetic species of fish with a peaceful temperament and are most comfortable with a few other Danio companions. Due to their high level of hardiness the Danio make for one of the best freshwater fish for beginners. They are able to handle different types of water conditions and can enjoy a couple fish flakes here and there. These are low maintenance, active and social fish that are able to live in tanks as low as 20 gallons. So give them a shot, the Zebra Danio in particular is very striking!


5 Best Freshwater Fish for Beginners

Black Skirt Tetras and Neon Tetras make for some great looking, hardy beginner fishes. The colors on Neon Tetras in particular can rival that of their saltwater counterparts and they can maintain themselves off of fish flakes (though the occasional blood worm or brine shrimp will be great for them). These are group fish so get a few of them and make sure your tank is around 20 gallons. Tetras are high energy and can be fun to observe in large groups, further establishing them as one of the best freshwater fish for beginners.


5 Best Freshwater Fish for Beginners

Platies are another hardy bunch and are generally very peaceful! They give birth to live young, are easy to breed if you want more of them and are colorful. They are easy to maintain, being able to handle different water conditions (though favoring alkaline water). Platies do well in a community tank; subsisting off fish flakes with the rest of them is not beyond a Platy. These may be the best freshwater fish for beginners – so long as there are other non-aggressive fish in the tank.


5 Best Freshwater Fish for Beginners

Identifiable by their long, sharp looking bottom fin, Swordtails are quite low maintenance when it comes to striving in their aquatic environment. They should be kept with other community oriented fish – though males may become aggressive on occasion (should another male appear as a threat). Keeping a strong water flow somewhere in your tank is a great idea when having one or more swordtails: their natural habitat is in fast flowing water. They also primarily subside on a plant based diet so consider vegetable based flakes for food and you’re good to go!


5 Best Freshwater Fish for Beginners

Particularly, bottom-dwelling catfish like the Cory Catfish! These fish are communal and get along with almost any species of fish out there. They eat often and keep tanks clean – they have a love for vegetable matter but also indulge in the occasional bloodworm. Best of all these fish live a long time and can become a staple in your aquarium! Groups of at least three are advisable as they are social creatures but either way they’ll make a great addition to your tank. They look unique, require little work and are truly up there with the best freshwater fish for beginners.

For more amazing fish photography or information on starting your own aquarium follow us on Facebook and Instagram! Living Art Aquatic Design, Inc is here to help!

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When it comes to new commercial or residential construction, distinguishing your property is the name of the game. An aquarium installation is a great way of giving a new home the final touch of interior design it needs. Aquariums provide calm, relaxing atmospheres and can contribute to the look and productivity of any space they occupy. While an aquarium installation can be hassle free, there are a few important things to keep in mind before adding one to your interior decorating project.

What is the right shape for your space?

Aquariums come in a variety of shapes and sizes and determining the size and dimensions to fit a unique space can be fun and creative. In-wall (aka built-in) aquariums can be a classy alternative to the standard bookshelf, or maybe a freestanding aquarium in the middle of the room? If a rectangular aquarium seems too standard there are also options for cylindrical and bubble aquariums that are stylish in their own way. If you want to get really elaborate, there are even corner aquariums that can make the edges of your space that much more beautiful. It is important to determine this choice in the early stages of the design process so aquarium installation remains seamless.

Get creative with colors

An aquarium is going to stand out when put in a room but remember: there’s a whole other room to take into account. How you want to frame an aquarium is a great chance to flex your creative muscles. Do you want your aquarium to really stand out? Use contrasting colors on the walls surrounding your aquarium. You can also pick some calming colors that match your aquarium and allow it to blend with its surroundings. You can even decorate the aquarium itself with products that match the look of the room; it’s the perfect opportunity to use your imagination!

Size up or down, but know what goes with it

A large, pronounced aquarium will certainly bring attention to your space but there are certain things to take into account when choosing. Larger aquariums require more maintenance and additional costs. Smaller aquariums are generally less expensive when it comes to maintenance and aquarium installation can be done quicker but this comes at the sacrifice of fish variety and visual impact. There’s a lot that can be done with big, small or medium sized tanks and ultimately it’s up to you as the designer to see what aquatic features fit with your design goals.
It is important to take all these factors into account in the early planning stages of your project to avoid the hassle of unnecessary construction that comes with last minute alterations. Aquarium care and maintenance are long term factors that will also add to the cost but it’s hard to deny the value of a well built aquarium installation. Your commercial or residential space will stand out above the rest and those who reside in the space. Even people passing by the space will walk away mesmerized.

Aquarium Installation done right!

Looking to offer your clients a unique interior design project on your next remodel or new construction project? Living Aquatic Art Design, Inc works with Interior Designers, Construction Companies, Contractors, Residential Developers and Architects to build custom aquariums for their clients. As a home or commercial property is being built or remodeled, we can partner with your company to build an aquarium the property owner will absolutely love. As many of the fixtures are being installed, our crew can work with your team side by side to build an aquarium into the walls, cabinets, or fixtures prior to the home being completed. This cuts down additional expense for your clients since the aquariums are being built as the property is being built or remodeled.

Looking for more information regarding these services? Give us a call at 310-822-7484. You can also contact us right here or visit us on Facebook!

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