Installing a new aquarium in your home can add a focal point to any room. And while there are certain things you have to do to ensure that your fish are healthy, you can have your new aquarium set up in no time.
Rinse Your New Aquarium
The first thing you will need to do is rinse your new aquarium out with fresh water to remove any dust or Styrofoam from the packaging. Don’t use soap because will contaminate the tank; no matter how much you try to rinse it out, there will always be remnants of soap left.
Before adding any accessories such as plants, rocks and gravel to your new aquarium, you should rinse them out fresh water. Gravel should be rinsed until the water runs clear. This will make sure that any excess dye does not contaminate your tank.
When adding gravel to your tank, make sure that it is least 2 inches deep and spread consistently across the bottom of the aquarium. If you plan on using an under gravel filter, it will need to be put into place before the gravel is added. When choosing ornaments for the tank make sure you consider hiding places for the fish ahead of aesthetic appeal. While plants and decorations will make your tank look nice, certain fish will appreciate a well placed flower pot or cave more.
Set Up Your Filtration System
Next you will need to install your filtration system. If you decide to go with an under gravel system then you simply have to install your attachments at this point. The under gravel filter will pump air into the piece you buried and up through the tube attached to it. If you are going with a waterfall pump filtration system make sure it is sized for your tank and includes a means of both mechanically filtering your water and biologically filtering. You typically want a pump strong enough to pump 100% of the tanks contents every hour.
Adding Your Heater, Thermometer, and Bubbler
The heater will need to be in the filled tank before it is turned on, because if you turn on the heater and then submerge it in the cold water, it will crack. The thermometer will need to be installed on the side of the tank somewhere that easy for you to check on a regular basis. Water bubblers should be placed horizontally along the back wall of the tank and not turned on until the tank is filled.
Add and Treat Water
Add water to your tank. Treat the water with a water conditioner before adding any fish. The chlorine from tap water can severely burn and injure your fishes’ gills. Follow the directions on the side of the bottle for the size of tank you have selected.
Develop a Water Cycle
Turn on the pump after priming it by filling it with water. Turn on the water heater, setting it to 75 degrees. Turn on air bubbler as well. You will need to let the water cycle for 24 hours before adding any fish. Ideally, you should let the water establish a healthy cycle for a week before introducing your fish to your new aquarium. If you are anxious to get your fish into the tank, there are a couple of things you can do to speed up the cycling process.
If you have water from an established and healthy tank, adding some will speed up the cycling process in your new aquarium.
Another way to help the nitrogen cycle along is to add a single fish to your new aquarium. One fish can survive in a tank without an established cycle and will actually kick start the cycle in the bio filter so that in a week after filling the tank you can add the rest of your fish. If you add a full population of fish before the cycle has been established ammonia build up will put your tank in danger.