Fish Tank. Want to Set Up Your Own? Here’s How

An aquarium isn’t just for aesthetic purposes. It helps distress your mind and calms your emotions. No wonder why more and more people like to put a fish tank in their living room or home office.

With so many fish tank sizes and a host of tank friendly creatures in different forms and species to choose from, it can be quite mind-boggling to determine your preferred fish tank.

In this article, you will know what things to consider in planning your home aquarium and how to set it up.

Aquarium - Fish tank from below
Aquarium. Image Source:

How To Set Up Your Aquarium?

Organizing your fish tank at home is not a difficult task nor is it something that would only entail buying an empty tank and carelessly cramming all of your bought fish inside. It needs some kind of planning and a set of meticulous preparations to safeguard the life of the marine life you want to recreate inside. Take heed of these steps to ensure that you are building your fish tank right.

Pick The Right Fishes For Your Fish Tank

Before anything else, you have to decide what type of fish you want to take care of in your aquarium. The number and species of fish and invertebrates would decide the size of your tank and the equipment and accessories that come with it.

If you don’t have ample space or location to place your tank, you might want to get the size first then decide on the species. You need an aquarium calculator for that to gauge its capacity and determine what fish can thrive in that space. You would also need to make a sketch of how you will organize your plants and decorations inside to ensure that you have enough room for all of them.

Clean The Fish Tank

Once you have purchased your aquarium, the next thing to do is clean your tank properly.
If you’ve bought a new fish tank, you would only need to wipe it with a damp cloth to remove all the accumulated dust. Never use detergent or soap in cleaning it. That will be the death of your fish. However, if you purchased a used fish tank, you have to give it more attention. Remove all the debris from around and inside it, and use vinegar and kitchen roll to clean the fish tank.

Position Your Fish Tank Properly

Find a suitable place inside your living room or home office where the tank is out from direct sunlight and near a power source. Of course, you would need to ensure that the stand of your aquarium is sturdy enough to hold the amount of water in the tank and that it is level. To check the correctness of the tank, you can use a spirit level or pour an inch of water into it and see if the water is in equal height. If not, find ways to level it as water is very heavy that it might make your tank slide.

Aquarium - fish tank drawing
Aquarium. Image Source:

Add Your Substrate

The type of substrate you will comes down to preference but might also be determined by the species of fish you would want to keep in your tank. Its amount will depend on your elected thickness. A good rule of thumb is 1lb of substrate per gallon of water, this will give you an inch of substrate. If you want it thicker, you can use 2lbs per gallon. Wash your substrate before laying them inside the tank. Start with a thin layer then gradually add some more to your desired thickness. You can make the substrate thickness thicker in areas where you want to plant something.

Add Water

Now, you can add water into your aquarium. To make sure that you don’t disturb your newly laid substrate, you can use a saucer and put it inside the tank. Pour water directly into the saucer and then add a dechlorinator after. This method is suitable for freshwater aquariums.

If you need saltwater into your tank, prepare the solution first. The water that you need must have undergone reverse osmosis then add a dechlorinator into it. Use a salt mix to prepare your saltwater and follow the instructions in the packet to ensure that you add the right amount.

Install the Equipment

Filters and heaters are the most important equipment for your tank. Every filter type, internal or external, has its own installation process. Check with the pet store you have bought it to know how to properly install your filter. Heaters are quite self explanatory to set up and have an indicator as to how far you need to submerge it into your tank. Always put your heater on one side and then a thermometer on the other to ensure that you’ve got a consistent temperature all throughout the tank.

Beautify Your Tank

Now is the time to get your aquarium all spruced up. Follow your plan made beforehand and rinse your plants and decorations well before placing it inside the tank. Be sure that you have followed the instructions as to how each species of aquatic shrubs are planted. Some might need to be attached to driftwood before putting it in.

Cycle The Tank

If you have done your research, cycling means you will treat your aquarium for days to let it grow bacteria that will help your swimming friends live inside the tank. Cycling your fish tank would depend if you have freshwater or saltwater in it. The bottom line is, you have to make the nitrite and ammonia levels at 00pm to complete the cycle. It would take about 6 to 8 weeks to complete it so you have to be patient.

Transfer Your Fish

After all the preparations are done, you are now ready to transfer your fish in the tank. Just do it in regular intervals for a period of weeks or months. Don’t transfer them in one blow. You would also need to acclimatize your fish into the tank before finally placing them in. The process of acclimatization will take about an hour depending on how many fishes you would want to put in.

There you go. It might take months before you can enjoy the scenery of your mini marine life but it’s all worth it. Just be patient.

Author: Martin William

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