Firstly there are some important things to consider before setting up a Freshwater Fish Tank, introducing an aquarium into your home can be an exciting project but the steps listed below will help create a perfect setup that you and your fish will enjoy.
Choosing the Best Size Fish Tank
The size of a fish tank is an important step when keeping fish.
Firstly you need to establish how many fish you would like to keep and where you are intending to put them in your home.
A smaller fish tank is not always the correct choice in fact a smaller tank is harder to maintain than a larger fish tank or Aquarium.
The fish tank needs to be situated out of direct sunlight and you need to allow at least 5 inches around it to accommodate a filter.
Fishkeeping is a fun and relaxing hobby, make sure you don’t purchase a fish tank too small for your fish, bigger is better and will allow you to add more types of fish later if you want to.
Setting up a Freshwater fish tank
When you have purchased a fish tank
it is always advisable to rinse the tank thoroughly do not use any type of detergents to do this!
Placing your fish tank
The fish tank will need to be placed onto an aquarium stand or unit in your chosen position, make sure that is strong enough and wide enough to support the weight of a water-filled tank, never let your tank overhang as this could cause the tank to crack when filled with water.
Adding your base layer
The fish tank needs to be set up from the bottom up, you will need to determine if you want live plants or artificial plants
in your tank.
Live plants will oxygenate the water naturally and also provide a natural habitat for your fish, live plants also help with keeping nitrate levels down which can be harmful to fish.
The only difference in setting up your tank for live plants will be a plant substrate under the gravel where your plant’s roots will grow this is similar to gardening when you would give outdoor plants compost, also aquarium lighting
is important to help them thrive.
Starting from the bottom of your tank sprinkle your plant substrate into the area you would like to put your live plants, ignore this if you are using artificial plants.
For live or artificial plants cover the bottom of your fish tank with aquarium gravel
, making sure you rinse the gravel with clean water before placing it in the tank.
Aquarium gravel is available in different colours, types, and sizes, which can determine the overall look of your tank’s decoration, the gravel bed wants to be at least 2 inches deep if keeping live plants.
Filling a Fish Tank with Water
Filling your fish tank with water for the first time simply use tap water and a clean plate from your kitchen making sure it has no detergent on it rinse it thoroughly first, Pour the water onto the plate inside your tank doing this will prevent dispersing your gravel as you fill the fish tank.
Tap water has chlorine in it which is harmful to fish so you will need to add a water de-chlorinator
to remove any chlorine from the water before introducing fish to the tank, follow instructions on the bottle to determine how much to add for your chosen size fish tank.
Fish Tank Filter and Heater
Don’t Plug into the electricity socket until fully installed into your fish tank!
Fish tank filters can be internal or external, usually, an internal filter is used for smaller fish tanks and an external filter for larger aquariums, so determine which filter is best for your tank.
Depending on the filter you choose simply follow the instructions provided with your filter to install it into your tank.
The fish tank filter
is an important part of keeping fish healthy it filters the water of your tank removing excess food, decaying organic matter, free-floating particles, and fish waste products from the water.
The Fish Tank heater
heats the water in your tank to a set temperature which is most suitable for your fish and easily attaches to your tank by sucker cups which you place onto the glass, a good position for this is within the range of the water circulating from your tanks filter this helps circulate the heated water around your fish tank.
A good temperature for freshwater fish is 25 to 27 degrees Celsius and you can set this by turning the temperature setting on top of the fish tank water heater, some filters are regulated to the correct temperature and don’t require adjustment.
Adding Decorations to a Fish Tank
Decorating your fish tank is great fun and allows you to create a beautiful look to your Fish Tank Aquarium, before adding any decoration make sure you rinse any items thoroughly with clean water.
There are many types of decorations for a fish tank
artificial plants to add colour, bridges, shipwrecks, driftwood, rocks, and so on.
Make sure you don’t overdo it with the decoration as your tank could look cluttered, place the items in one by one until you are happy with your fish tank’s appearance.
Plugging in filter and heater
After completing the steps above you are now ready to turn on your heater and water filter, make sure any electric sockets are kept away from the fish tank and not anywhere that you may get water into them.
Let your fish tank’s temperature stabilise before adding any fish to the tank this can take some time at least 24hrs.
Adding Fish To the Fish Tank
When you purchase your fish you can’t wait to see what they will look like in the new fish tank, but don’t simply add them to the tank.
Firstly you need to acclimatise the fish, place your new fish in their polythene bags into the top of your fish tank with the bags opening out of the water and simply let them float, this will allow the water they are in to slowly reach the same temperature as your fish tanks water, every now and again let a small amount of your fish tanks water into the bag so they can adjust to your water.
This process can take an hour or so to complete but your fish will be much happier when released into the fish tank.
If possible use a small fish tank net
to transfer your fish from the bag to the tank, if you do not have one then try to let as little water from the bag into your tank when releasing the fish, this is a preventative method to avoid any disease that may have been present in the fish stores aquarium water.
Fish Tank Lighting
A fish tank light is a light that will bring your tank to life there are many different types but I would recommend an LED type light which shines white in the daytime and shines blue at night replicating the sun and moon, this helps the fish feel they are in there natural environment and if you have live plants in your fish tank it will also help them to grow.
Some larger aquariums are supplied with lighting in the hood, if they are white lighting only then these should be turned off at night time to replicate day and night for the fish.
Thank you for reading this article “setting up a freshwater fish tank” I hope you found it useful, if you would like to let us know any tips you have when setting up a freshwater fish tank, please leave a comment below it will be great to hear your thoughts.