How to setup a basic tropical freshwater fish aquarium
Here’s a list of the supplies that we recommend for long-term success with most aquariums:
Aquarium (obviously), stand, lids, light, filter, heater, thermometer, gravel, gravel vacuum, background, decorations, water conditioner, water test kits (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate), algae cleaning pad/magnet, and a net.
10 Steps for setting up a basic tropical freshwater fish tank:
- Thoroughly rinse the gravel and decorations
- Locate aquarium near a bathroom or sink to make cleaning more convenient.
- Make sure the tank/stand are stable and positioned where you want them then pour in the gravel.
- Fill aquarium with water (room temperature tap water is fine in most cases)
- Connect filter and check to make sure it’s functioning properly.
- Connect heater and set between 76-78 degrees (monitor tank temperature periodically to be sure it stays within range).
- Wait 24 hours to ensure there are no leaks, and to be sure the filter is working fine, and the temperature is within range.
- At this point you visit Living Art Aquarium to pick up some easy/cheap starter fish and fish food. The starter fish are used to establish the aquarium, which generally takes between 3-6 weeks. This is the time to think about/research what you ultimately want to keep in the aquarium.
- Use aquarium test kits after 3 weeks to check nitrogen levels (ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate) or bring in a cup of aquarium water to Living Art Aquarium and we’ll check them for free. If you’re levels are good, then it is time to add your dream fish. We generally recommend around 1” of fish per gallon (ex: 10 inches of fish for a 10 gallon aquarium).
From here on it’s all about maintaining your fish tank.
- Regularly check filter to be sure it’s working properly and make sure the heater is heating accurately.
- Scrub algae as needed
- And finally most important of all, WATER CHANGES.
In an enclosed aquarium fish waste levels tend to build up over time and the only true way to reduce waste is to remove it with a gravel vacuum. We recommend minimally a 30% water change every 3 weeks, but it is best to do small, more frequent water changes. Oh, and don’t forget to clean or replace your filter cartridges as needed.
If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to ask us.
CLEAN WATER MEANS HAPPY FISH