A Beginners Guide to Setting up a Home Aquarium

Lots of us like the idea of having an aquarium full of fish and other creatures in our homes. Not only are fish extremely relaxing to watch, but evidence has shown that people who watch fish are happier and less stressed. If you’ve purchased an aquarium or are thinking about buying the equipment to set one up then keep reading below to find out how to go about it:

The Equipment You’ll Need

There are a number of pieces of equipment you will need to successfully set up an aquarium in your home. These include:

  • An aquarium – a 20-gallon aquarium is recommended for beginners. Aquariums that are larger in size and capacity are usually more stable.
  • Gravel – you will need to choose gravel for your aquarium which is fine enough to encourage nitrifying bacteria but coarse enough to allow water to flow. Coarse sands, creek stones, and glass gravel are brilliant choices. 
  • Heater – heaters are essential in aquariums to limit disease. Having a heater in your aquarium allows you to keep tropical fish. You will need to work what wattage you need in order to find the best aquarium heaters for your tank. 
  • Filter – you need a filter that can turn over 3-5 times the tank volume every hour. 
  • Replacement filter cartridges – filters need to be replaced regularly to help keep the water debris-free and clear. 
  • Decorations – you may choose to add plants or other items to decorate your aquarium
  • Water test kit – you should test the water before adding fish to your tank.
  • Food –good quality food will result in brightly colored fish.
  • Vacuum – the vacuum will clean debris and feces from the gravel.
  • Glass scrubber – this will help keep your aquarium sparkling clean. 

Finding a Home for Your Aquarium

Before you get started, you need to think about where you are going to place your tank and make sure that it’s placed on even ground. Floors that aren’t level may place undue stress on the tank and lead to the aquarium glass cracking. 

If your aquarium is large then you should choose a surface that is flat and hard, like a cabinet. For smaller aquariums, a reinforced piece of furniture that has a flat top can work well. 

You will also need to make sure that the aquarium is placed near to an electrical socket so that the heaters and the filter will work. Remember, electricity and water are not a good mix so keeping your setup simple with a single power outlet is advised. Feel free to check out this review on the best betta tank

Setting up the Aquarium

Once you’ve found a place for your aquarium to live, you’ll want to start setting it up. Before starting, you need to wash the gravel. This will help stop the water from turning cloudy. It’s a good idea to wash the gravel up to five times to remove any dirt from the surface. When the gravel is clean, you’ll need to gently place it at the bottom of the aquarium. Smooth the gravel out with the palm of your hand to create an even base. 

Next, you need to fill up the tank using a hosepipe or tap. When it’s full, you should use a water de-chlorinator to get rid of any chlorination that has built up over time. Add heaters, filters, and lighting to your tank. In large aquariums, two heaters are recommended. Place the heater on the glass in an area where there is low visibility and good water flow. You should set the temperature 74-80-degrees Fahrenheit. 

Once your tank is set up you will need to “CYCLE” it. This will help increase the de-nitrifying bacteria and is an important part of setting up your home aquarium. You need to monitor the aquarium after each cycle by using a freshwater test kit. And that’s it, all you need to do now is choose your fish. 

Setting up an aquarium in your own home may sound hard, but it’s pretty straight forward if you have the right equipment and know how to set it up correctly. Follow our advice above and you’ll soon be able to enjoy spending time relaxing in front of your aquarium. 

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