How To Set Up Your Fish Tank


So, you’ve decided to keep an aquarium in your home. But don’t know how to construct it. In this blog, we’ll give you a quick tour on Building your fish tank from ordering the right sized tank for your fishes. Many people started fishkeeping as seeing fish from somewhere and got the thought of doing the same in their fish tank. But only a few succeed, most of the people failed in their tank setup and let their fishes die. By going through this blog you’ll be knowing how to overcome these failure factors and starting a healthy fish tank as a beginner.

Ordering Your Fish Tank

Bought fish from your nearest shop…? It’s time to get your fish tank. These tanks play a vital role in fishkeeping, as this is the place where your fish will be living. So proper care must be taken before selecting your tank. You should choose a tank that not only fits in size for your fish it should also go well with your fish habitat. Another criterion you should consider before buying a tank, whether you’re going to buy a tank for freshwater fish or saltwater fish. Generally, freshwater tanks are lower expensive when compared to saltwater fish tanks and also it is easier to maintain when compared to saltwater tanks. We strongly recommend freshwater tanks for beginners as its easier to maintain. You could see two kinds of tanks based on the material one is Acrylic and the Glass ones. When compared between both Acrylics are tend to be more heat resistant and also comes in different shapes.

Positioning Your Tank

Positioning your fish tank, setup your fish tank
Positioning your tank is important as it directly affects your fish growth and it also could bring stress to your fish. As everyone says your fish tank should be placed in a position where sunlight reaches.
Make sure direct sunlight doesn’t reach your tank. As this can warm your fish tank’s water. And this direct sunlight can also frighten fishes. So, Fishes need to be kept in constant water conditions in order to live a healthier life.
Choose a position from where it shouldn’t be replaced in the future because handling a fish tank with water could be dangerous. Many say that fish should be placed near windows where they can get ventilation and sunlight.
But for sure when placed near windows, it will affect the temperature of the tank and can cause stress to these fishes. When it comes to stand part a proper stand which is made for keeping fish tanks should be used, not any other normal household furniture.
Because that furniture may or may not withstand your tank’s weight, if it is not so,  your fish tank could be broken into pieces. According to the general rule, an item of household furniture can’t withstand a weight of over 10 gallons of water.
So, when it comes to positioning attention must be taken towards weight.

How’s the weight of the tank is calculated..?

  • First, calculate the empty weight of the tank.
  • And then add with the weight after filling water in it.
  • Make sure you measure the water in gallons.
  • Now, multiply your gallon with 8.34 which gives you the value of water in pounds.
  • Then finally add your weight with the ornaments that you’re going to add to your fish tank.

It may seem like just weight but it could majorly affect your tank. Wherever you place make sure you place it where its position won’t be changed. So, now you know the total weight of the aquarium tank so now you can place the tank in a place where it can bear its weight.

Fill Your Tank

After positioning the tank next thing you need to do is setting up your tank for living. After arriving of your fish tank clean the tank thoroughly because any other product residue can affect your water’s quality which can harm your fishes.  Never use soap or detergent to clean your fish tank as these soap residues can cause significant problems. After cleaning with the products made for cleaning the fish tank let the tank dry.  Then fill the tank with tap water with the help of a hose, as it’s not good to handle a tank filled with water. Let the water be in the tank for 5-6 hours or overnight, then replace the water as it’s a new tank. 

Do I Need a Water Conditioner..?

If you go with your tap water, then a water conditioner is mandatory. Because your tap water may be treated with chlorine which may contain some unwanted metals. So to dissolve and neutralize them a water conditioner is required. 

Tank Decorations

Fish Tank Decoration, Setup your fish tank
For many people, their most favorite part in fishkeeping is decorating their tank. These tank decoration doesn’t only add beauty to your fish tank it also gives a healthier environment to your fishes. Decorative means not only artificial plastic objects you can creatively use your household objects to decorate your tanks. Whatever you induce into your tank first clean it and disinfect them. Whatever you use in freshwater as a decorative can’t be used in saltwater. As some organic decoratives that are used in freshwater won’t survive in saltwater. Other than that all plastic-madematerials can be used in both types of tanks.

Some Common Tank Decorative

  • Plastic plants, rocks, etc…
  • Ceramic castles
  • Gravel, Sand, Artificial corals
  • Live plants
  • Live Algae in saltwater tanks

These are the commonly used tank decoratives by people all over the world.

Electrical Equipment Required for a Fishtank

There are some electrical equipment that are required for a fish to live in their concerned tank and there are some equipment that are used for its comforts.

A Fishtank Filter

Fish tank filter setup
A Fish can’t live in a tank without a fish tank filter. It may live normally for 5-6 days without a filter but eventually dies after. So make sure you install a filter in your tank. The filtering rate varies with fish tank size, so confirm that you bought the right size filter for your tank. You may have a question that,” Why this filter is so important, and How it works?”

How Does a Filter Work?

First of all, A filter is an electrical equipment that removes unwanted chemical material and other substances from the water which harms fishes.This Filter draws water from the tank to one side and filters and then filters the water using its own filtration process and makes the water again flow through the tank. This happens like a loop. Check out Why is my filter doesn’t work if you have any mess with your Fish Tank filter. This filtration happens in three different stages

Mechanical filtration

You may have guessed the process by seeing its name. This process captures solid wastes by passing the water through poly-fiber pads.

Chemical filtration

This works the same as mechanical filtration but the thing is there we’ll have poly-fiber pads but here activated carbon which attracts the waste and captures it.

Biological Filteration

This type of filtration happens with the help of beneficial bacterias. The chemical removed from the fishes like ammonia and nitrite can’t be removed by mechanical or chemical filtration. These oxygen-loving bacterias convert ammonia and nitrite into nitrates. These nitrates can be removed by regular monthly water change.

What Filter Removes?

You got the process of Filter, But What it removes…? We all know that fish’s excreta highly contains ammonia. When this ammonia mixes up with water that makes a compound that is very harmful to fishes in their fish tank. To remove these chemicals, we use a filter. This is the main cause why we install a filter but not only this there are also some reasons why we need a Filter. We’ll see them in the upcoming facts.

Types of Filters

  • Internal filters 

These filters will be attached to either side or back of the fish tank using suctions or any other sort of attachment. These kinds of filters come along with the tank so they are named internal filters. You can either leave it as it is or if you think it’s not enough for your big-sized fishes you can remove it and can add an alternate filter. They are made of either sponges or ceramics. 

  • External filters

As the name says these kinds of filters are placed out of the fish tank. Generally, these filters are placed under the fish tank to help the circulation of water with the help of gravity. These filters have hoses attached to them one for getting water from the tank for filtration and the other for sending back the filtered water into the tank. People also use Thermofilter which falls under this category which follows the same process but it has a heater attached. This heater warms the filtered water which the filter sends back to the tank. The exceptional category of Internal filter users uses these external filters because their filter size can be altered according to the size of the fish. 

  • Air-Driven Sponge Filters 

This filter is used in places where we can’t use these both external and internal ones. Because small fishes like Neon Tetra can be Sucked through the Suction pumps. To avoid this case we use Air-Driven Sponge Filters.  These filters consist of an inverted air passing tube in which the end attached to the sponge is dipped inside the tank. So when air passes through the tube only excretion materials and wastes will be absorbed not the fishes. But we may not consider this filter because this filter is only used in large-sized aquariums and not in small-sized tanks 

  • Undergarvel Filters 

This filter also works like Air-Driven filters. But the thing is they have Sponges as filterers but this one has the grid that located under the gravel acts as filtered. All the others are they too have upward facing pipe with air circulation for filtering. This method of filtering is a kind of older method.

Fishtank Heaters

Fish Tank Heater, setup your fish tank
Fishes are very sensitive to cold and they can’t withstand below their idle temperature. These heaters are very helpful during winter seasons as these fishes can’t live at that temperature. Because most of the fishes live in temperatures between 72°F to 75°F (approx). But some fishes are exceptions like White Cloud Mountain Minnows, Goldfish, etc… they don’t need any kind of heaters. Different sized heaters are available for different sized tanks. To keep the temperature of the tank at a constant level the heater must be Turned On all the time. Visit Heaters post if you have any uncleared doubts regarding working os heater.

Can we turn on the heater all the time?

Yes sure If you have a thermostat that fitted into your tank you can leave it to run the heater 24/7. As the thermostat identifies the temperature and automatically turns off and turns on whenever required.

Adding Lightings and Canopy

So you all know what we use lights for. We use lighting in a fish tank for the same purpose, to give light to your fishes and plants (if you had planted any). As plants need lights(Photosynthesis) for their living we use lighting. Generally, these lights are attached to the canopy of the fish tank. Canopy is mandatory in a fish tank as it prevents the fish from jumping out of the tank. Overall the lighting is not a necessary thing for fish tanks. As the plants are satisfied from sunlight. We use lights only to add beauty to our fish tank by enhancing the color of fishes.

Add Fish to Your Tank

After doing all these procedures let the tank be in a stable state for 2 days. This phase is called stabilizing phase. After this phase, your tank may or may not seem to form cloudiness. If it happens so, it’ll take some time to move. After all, this completed you can add fishes. For the first time go with inexpensive fishes to test the water. Make sure you buy healthy fish from the shop. Add only a few fish to your tank like two or three and let them complete a cycle to produce vital bacterias. And then go with you favourite fishes.

Final tip to beginners

So now your tank is ready for fishes. Set up all your equipment noted above and let your fishes swim through it.  Sometimes your fish may not adapt to the temperature of your tank at an instant. The best way to overcome this is to make your fish bag float on your fish tank for some time so it can adapt to the temperature.

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