Set Up a Freshwater Aquarium
Having an aquarium inside your home is a great way to bring in a bit of nature, color and uniqueness. Whether you decide to have a freshwater or a saltwater aquarium, it is absolutely important to know what you are dealing with, what are your future responsibilities, how to maintain it and most importantly, which types of fish you should put together.
Let’s take, for example, the freshwater aquarium and its characteristics. The reality is that, once you have managed to buy all the accessories and components, installing it is much easier than you can imagine.
Before going to the pet shop and being buying different components, take a minute and think carefully about what you are doing. Keep in mind that having an aquarium involves the same responsibility as having a pet around the house. You will need to clean it periodically, change the water, wash all the accessories, feed the fish on a regular basis, and replace the filters.
Once you have taken an informed decision and you are confident that a freshwater aquarium is what you need, there are two other aspects to take into consideration before beginning your shopping spree: the size of the aquarium and its location in your home. The aquarium you buy must be big enough so it holds enough water to house all the fish you intend to own. Get informed about each fish’s required space and preferences related to decorations and plants. When it comes to location, think about whether or not you need a stand. In case your aquarium is over 20 gallons, you will definitely need one, and it’s important to make it according to the aquarium’s dimensions.
Now that everything is carefully planned, it’s time to go out and buy the aquarium and all the other necessary accessories and decorations. Here is a list of everything that you need to buy in order to start installing your freshwater aquarium:
- Gravel, real or fake plants
- Test kits for the water in the tank
- An aquarium vacuum
- Special cleaning products for aquariums
Once everything is bought, it’s time to start installing everything and enjoy our piece of heaven in our home. Here are the most important steps to follow if you want everything to go smoothly:
- Prepare and set your aquarium in its place
The first thing you need to do is carefully wash the inside of the aquarium, but be careful not to use any type of detergents because any remaining residue will harm your fish. Once you’ve finished, place it in its final position, keeping in mind that you will need a bit of space to do the necessary maintenance procedures.
- Wash the gravel, accessories and plants
It is important that all the decorations and accessories are thoroughly cleaned before putting them in the aquarium so that any all substances or dirt that may be on them so not affect the fish. You need to wash the gravel first and then all the other accessories, because the gravel is the first thing that must be placed in the tank.
- Add the water in the aquarium
Add simple tap water into the aquarium, but not all the way to the top, because you will need space to add different devices, it is important to remove the chloramine and chlorine. To do this, you need to use special products that you can easily buy from the pet store. This is extremely important as your fish will not survive swimming in normal tap water.
- Install the equipment
It is recommended for first time aquarium owners to choose a power filter instead of an under-gravel one, as it is much easier to install and maintain. The heater is the next item that needs to be installed, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t plug it in until your water thermometer or thermostat fully adjusts to the water temperature. It is recommended to wait for about 20-25 minutes. Always check the installation manuals of every device you install so you don’t cause any damage to the aquarium or the devices.
Once everything is in place and you are confident that you’ve added all the necessary decorations and accessories, it’s time to add extra water until the level almost reaches the hood lip. Place the hood that also contains the water for the aquarium, plug in all the cords and check everything to see if it functions properly.
- It’s now time to wait
Even though you are now eager to add your fish, it will be a while until you are able to do so. The reason is very simple as the aquarium needs to complete its cycle, meaning that you will have to check all parameters including the pH level, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels, as well as water temperature. You need to control these levels by adding different types of chemicals that are specific to aquariums and that will not harm your fish. The cycle is completed once the test you doregister that the levels are low or even 0. Check the labels of all chemical products you are using as they contain important information.
- Add your fish
You need to decide what types of fish you would like to have, get informed about their needs, what food they eat and how frequently, and most important, if they tolerate with the other species you like to have.
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary information and you decided which species to buy, it is extremely important not to add all the fish at once, but add only one or two at a time so that the water manages to maintain its normal parameters.
Another important aspect is that you need to keep the bag with the fish inside the aquarium so that they get used to the new temperature. After a few days, add another set of fish, and so on until you’ve reached the number you wish.
- Prepare for maintenance
It is important to know that having an aquarium involves constant maintenance. Once every one or two weeks, it is important to clean the tank, change the water and wash the gravel and other accessories. These actions will help you fish happy and healthy.
Don’t worry about all this, as it will soon become more of a habit rather than an obligation. Enjoy your aquarium and take care of your fish.