How To Set Up An Aquarium
Knowing how to set up an aquarium, is knowing how to relax. An aquarium is a little slice of serenity that is known for lowering blood pressure and encouraging mellowness. There are different types of aquariums available for different types of fish. But to keep things simple, this article will provide instructions on how to set up a ten gallon freshwater tank. You can buy your tank components separately, but the kits are the economical way to started.
To set up an aquarium, you will need:
- A ten gallon aquarium kit that contains a tank, heater, back filter and light
- Ten pounds of aquarium gravel
- Thermometer sticker
- Amquel or other water conditioner that removes chlorine from tap water
- Timer and power strip
- Rocks for decorations
- Low light plants (java fern, java moss, anubias or pennywort are low light plants) or fake plants
- Setup. First, find a spot to set up your aquarium. A gallon of water weighs more than eight pounds so make sure the table is sturdy. Try to choose a spot where not too much direct sunlight hits the tank and you can sit comfortably nearby to stare. Now take a five gallon bucket, put the gravel in it and wash off the dust with a hose. Stir it up with your hand and then let the water pour into the bucket until the overflow is clear. Put the washed gravel in the tank. Read the assembly instructions for your back filter and heater and place them in the tank. Put the heater near the bottom of the tank so you can hide it later. Do not fill up the back filter or plug in anything in yet.
- Assembly. Put in any rocks you have. Try and hide your heater the best you can but make sure nothing is touching it. Instead of just dumping rocks, try and makes some caves or other types of shelters for fish to explore or hide in. Now fill up your five gallon bucket about halfway and add some water conditioner. Carefully pour this into the tank. You can use a plate to break the water force up or you can just go slowly. If you bought plants, now is the time to plant them. Now gently fill the tank all the way while remembering to use the water conditioner. Put your thermometer sticker on the side of the tank.
- Power on. Follow the instructions on the back filter, fill it with water and plug it into the power strip. Now plug in the heater. Attach your timer to the power strip and plug the light into it. Set your timer for ten hours of light a day and have it go off when you are asleep. Now you just have to wait until the water clears up and the water temperature warms up to around 75 degrees.
- Fish. You will need to start out slowly with fish due to the nitrogen cycle your tank will go through. Fish waste creates ammonia that will foul the water if the proper levels of beneficial bacteria are not present. So in the beginning, it is a balancing act. Start off with two cheap fish like danios or platys. Feed them a tiny bit once a day for about a week to ten days. Now take some of your tank water in a bag and go to your pet store. Tell them you just started a ten gallon tank and ask them to test the water. Listen to their recommendations because some fish can grow ridiculously large.
- Maintenance. To speed up the nitrogen cycle, you can borrow a cup or two of gravel from an established tank and add it to your own. Also, change about a fourth of the water once a week to keep the tank healthy. Plants act as natural filters and if you can get some to grow in your tank you will be stoked. Plants keep the water clean and your fish will look more vibrant and colorful.