How To Set Up A Fish Tank
Tranquility can be yours if you learn how to set up a fish tank. With advances in water balancing kits and more sterile decorations, it's much easier to keep a fish tank going than in days of yore. With just a few items and some patience, you can set up a fish tank and have it running full speed ahead in two or three days.
To set up a fish tank, you will need:
- A fish tank. If you're setting up your first fish tank, it's better to stay relatively small, such as fifteen gallons. But, beware, very small tanks, such as a five gallon tank are actually harder to keep balanced and healthy.
- Fish tank gravel and strainer
- A filter
- Water heater and light (if wanted)
- Real or fake plants
- Optional: Fish tank decorations such as corny divers, sunken ships, or sea shells
Decide on whether you want to set up a marine (salt water) or freshwater fish tank. Environmentalist might want to stick with a fresh water tank as most salt water coral and fish are wild caught. However, if you do choose to set up a marine tank, there are organizations which will ship you aqua cultured coral, invertebrates and even fish. For the purposes of this article, we'll set up a freshwater tank.
- Wash your empty fish tank with just clear water. Whether you've purchased your new fish tank used or new, you need to thoroughly rinse the entire inside with just clear water. Do not use soap or detergent of any kind as, no matter how much you rinse, there will be a residue left on the tank.
- Place gravel in the strainer and rinse. You must ensure that there is no remaining dust or dirt in the gravel before you put it in the tank. Err on the side of caution and rinse the gravel under running water for at least five minutes, stirring to make sure it's all clean. If you've got other decorations, make sure they're rinsed thoroughly too.
- Once gravel is rinsed, place in the bottom of the tank.
- Set up the filter according to the package instructions and place in the tank. Affix water heater in tank.
- Fill your fish tank with clean water. If you have well water, you might want to consider filling with bottled water so that you don't have the copper and minerals of the well water to deal with. Smooth out the gravel once the water has been added.
- Place any plants in the tank and secure well by anchoring the bottoms in the gravel. Artfully place in any decorations by spreading them out. Fish will like the additional places to hide.
- Now, let tank sit for at least three days before adding fish. Your new tank must settle in before you add any swimmers to it. Test the water and balance as needed before adding fish.
Tips: Don't place your new fish tank near outside light as algae will form quickly. Additionally, there will be fluctuations in temperature if placed by windows and fish like a more constant environments. Consider buying a few snails or algae eaters to control any algae on the sides but, beware, snails breed fast and the population will have to be thinned periodically. Give any extra snails to your local aquarium store or barter them for new purchases.