How to set up a freshwater aquarium
The aim of the article is to provide you with some material on How to set up a freshwater aquarium. Setting up your aquarium is fairly easy but there are some important steps which you need to take to insure your success with fishkeeping.
When you first bring your aquarium and supplies home, you need to find a suitable place for it. Do not place your aquarium in front of a window as the light will encourage excessive algae growth. Also make sure that the floor structure is such that it will support the weight of your aquarium. Water is very heavy!
Rinse everything with PLAIN WATER. Do not use any soap, detergents or cleaning supplies on your aquarium or accessories. Even rinse the substrate (any stones or gravel for the bottom) in plain water.
After you have your tank positioned, you can add the gravel to the bottom. You can figure on one pound of gravel to each gallon of water your tank will hold. If using an Undergravel Filter, you will need to position this before adding the gravel.
Now you can install any filtration system you may have chosen. Position your pump and attach the tubing that you will be connecting to any airstones or ornaments.
Place any ornaments, decorations, plants or rocks into position. Do not use any natural rocks from your garden as they may contain contaminates that will give you problems later. If you want to use natural rocks, please research how to properly clean and prepare them. Ornaments and rock caves are important as fish need hiding places and they will also amuse themselves (and you) swimming in and out of them.
Add the water. A good tip is to place a bowl in the bottom on top of the gravel so that the water will not make a hole when you pour it in.
Now you can turn on all of the equipment and make sure everything is positioned correctly and in working order.
Add your heater and thermometer. Most tropical fish like a temperature between 76 to 79 degrees. Cold-water fish (like goldfish) prefer a range between 50 and 70 degrees.
Allow your tank to run for at least a week before you add any fish. During this time you can get used to testing your water, making sure your chemical levels are suitable, and watching your equipment for any defects.
Congratulations! You are all set up and ready for one of the most enjoyable hobbies ever.