Setting Up an Aquarium

So you’ve decided to buy a single or multiple fish. Aquatic animals are beautiful and relatively low maintenance. An aquarium full of fish can be soothing to look at and require less attention and effort than a dog or cat.

The low requirements don’t mean less effort in the initial setup, however. Choosing the right fish and proper setup can make the difference in your the health of your aquatic pets and save you trouble in the future. Keep reading for some simple guidelines.

What aquatic pets do I want and how do they get on with others

The first choice in planning will be the species you intend to house. Do your due diligence when making this decision and if you have any holes in your understand be sure to ask questions at the pet shop. All freshwater creatures aren’t compatible.

Aggression between specific species is common and your choices of marine life will also affect how your aquarium will be set up. Water condition and aquarium vegetation are also dictated by your choice of species. Note: There are charts online detailing which fish go together available online.

How to properly set up my new aquarium

Before you rush off to the shop to buy your new aquarium, it’s imperative you’re positive about where you’re to place it. Make sure it’s an even surface capable of supporting the full weight of a filled tank. Anything less may result in stress and cracks to your aquarium’s glass.

The second consideration is proximity to an electrical outlet. Your lights, filter and any other necessary accessories need power. Something important to keep in mind is that you should be able to provide power without unnecessary exposure to the risk of spillage. Water an electricity is obviously a bad mix. Below is a general list of what you’ll need or should consider purchasing for your setup.

The checklist

Obviously, the first thing you’ll need is the aquarium itself. At least 20 gallons should be a good in the early going. A bigger aquarium would afford you more stability. Your choice of fish will likely dictate the size.

A proper water testing kit is paramount. Your fish will be living in this environment you give them so you should be able to know whether or not it’s conditions are toxic. They test for PH, ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite.

Your fish live in their environment in all senses of the word. You’ll need a quality filter. It should be rated to turn over at a minimum 3 to 5 times the aquarium’s volume every hour. There are volume calculators available to assist in determining the required GPH. Note: Be sure to keep a few replace filter cartridges around.

A heater is essential for fish that require specific climates. They have the added bonus of limiting disease. Be sure to know the temperature specifications needed for your fish before buying them. A little bit of research goes a long way in finding the best aquarium heater.

A vacuuming is key in maintaining your tank and the health of your aquatic pets. There are even no spill options for those of us who might be a little clumsy. A quality glass scrubber is also an essential. How else will you get a quality view of your aquatic beauties.

If you need to move your fish prior to tank cleaning a fish net is always handy. It doubles in purpose if you use it to remove excess food or dead plants. After that all that’s left is aquarium gravel, decorations and the appropriate food. Then you’re all set. Enjoy.