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.
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!
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!
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!