Choose exactly where you would like to place your fish tank; as it will determine what size you purchase, and if you'll have to have a stand to go with it. 20 gallons and up will require a stand no matter what. As appealing as it is to purchase a small fish tank they actually are not as easy to maintain beneficial water quality. Purchase a 20 gallon fish tank for your starter tank and keep only a few fish. This will help you decide if you enjoy the hobby. Contemplate not subjecting any fish to a "fishbowl". They have a tendency to suffocate the fish either by insufficient oxygen or by their own waste materials. The main things to make note of when selecting the position for your fish tank:
- A lot of sun light will result in substantive algae growth and a upkeep problem. An interior wall, clear of bright light, is advisable.
- It's also critical that you take into account the ability of the floor to support the load of your fully loaded fish tank. Ensure that there's sufficient structural support under the floor.
- Select a position close to a power outlet, and bear in mind how far you'll have to carry water for your weekly fish tank maintenance!
Choosing a Fish Tank
Choose a fish tank that will fit the area you've decided on. This is the identical for whatever size aquarium you choose. Also take into account the kind of fish you want to keep, you'll need a fish tank large enough for their adult size. Thinking about live plants? Consider a higher fish tank which will give them the height to grow, but take into account that suitable lighting for various kinds of plants may be pricey (particularly if the fish tank is tall).
- Get a fish tank stand that is made for the size of your tank. Search for complete aquarium kits at those big pet retailers. Utilized setups from internet sites like Craigslist tend to be readily available for great prices, be sure that you check for leaks and clean it very well before use. Do not underestimate the load of a full aquarium! Ensure that the stand is either rated for the dimensions of your fish tank or that it's been custom made to be very sturdy. Such things as dressers or TV stands are not robust enough.
- If you do not purchase a complete setup, be sure the equipment you pick is rated for the size of your fish tank.
Filtering the tank
Determine which filtration system you intend to use, the most typical and least complicated are either under gravel filters or power filters that hang on the rear of the fish tank. Do not get swept up in technology. Penguin and Whisper power filters provide both mechanized and biological filtration and are simple to clean and use.
- Should you decide on an under gravel filter, be sure that the air-pump or powerhead you purchase with it is strong enough for the size of the fish tank. In cases like this, bigger is far better. Remember that in case you do not consistently vacuum the gravel it is going to clog up the under gravel filter and transform it into a killing zone. Remember that you can not make use of an under gravel filter if you are considering having sand or some other fine substrates. The substrates that you use, will be determined by the fish you will keep, and this in turn will help determine the filtration system.
- If you opt to go with a power filter, choose one which will move sufficient water for the size of your fish tank. Preferably, itought to move five gallons of water per hour, per gallon of your fish tank capacity. As an example: a ten gallon. fish tank will need a filtration system that circulates at the very least 50 gallons per hour.
Heating the tank
Make sure you get a heater if one does not already come with your fish tank, the fully-submersible types are definitely the simplest to utilize. Look for one with a variable thermostat, given that different fish prefer different temperature ranges. An excellent rule of thumb is 3-5 watts of heat for every gallon of water.
Pick gravel or sand for the bottom; This is essential for a healthy fish tank (approximately 2-3 inches). Cheap gravel and sand can be bought from home improvement stores. Sand is ideal for fish that like to dig but it must be stirred regularly to stop dead spots that will create havoc on your fish tank.
Search for leaks
Fill the fish tank with about two inches of water, and then wait for thirty minutes. If there are actually any leaks, it is far better they show up now, instead of when you've filled the whole thing.
If all is well, open your bags of gravel, and give them a very good wash under running water in a colander. The less dirt in the water, the quicker it'll clear once the filtration system is started up. This phase is particularly critical if you're using sand rather than gravel.
- For undergravel filters, position the filter plate in, and ensure the lift tubes are fitted. (For those who have a submersible power-head, you should only need one; using a traditional air pump, two are ideal for most fish tanks less than 40 gals, one at each end.)
- Distribute the rinsed gravel in an even covering over the top of the filter.
- Fill the fish tank with water to just underneath the rim of the fish tank, usually a gap of 1 "will do.
- If you've decided on an external power filter, arrange it on the back of the fish tank in a location in which theflow will even disperse the water. Some aquarium lids have spaces designed for you to place your equipment.
- Fill the reservoir of the filtration system with water, and turn it on! Water should smoothly circulate after a few minutes.
- Connect your pump air-lines or power-head to the appropriate lift tube (s) now, if you've got an undergravel filter.
- Turn on the powerhead / pump. Water should begin moving vertically within the lift tube (s).
- Mount your heater on the inside of the fish tank. The majority of the thermostats on new heaters now come pre-set at a suitable temperature range of 70-77 degrees Fahrenheit (21-25 degrees Celsius). Turn on the heater and install your thermometer.
- Put in place any plants or decorations. Plants are practical decorations. It is not easy to get mechanical filter handle plankton or algae bloom. Vegetation makes it easy. For a few fish, plants are compulsory. With tall aquariums, position plants with the fish tank only half full, so that you do not have to immerse your whole arm.
- Wait for an hour or so, and check that the temperature is still within the safe range, that you have no leaks, and that the water is circulating correctly.
- Add the water dechlorinator, in accordance with the directions on the bottle (in case you have not used purified drinking water)
Cycle Your Aquarium The cycling of the aquarium can be done in various ways. One way is to add one or two inexpensive fish, suitable for the water conditions, to the tank, and watch for the amonia and nitrite levels to ensure they do not spike.
Talk about what sort of fresh water, tropical fish you want to have with the sales person. Enlighten yourself in fish forums on the web about your favorite kind of fish. They bought to give you tips on who can and can not get along, and so forth. Watch out though, some sales staff may not have experience with aquariums and as a result can provide very poor advice. See if there is a locally-owned fish store in the region, they have a tendency to offer the most accurate information and facts as well as high-quality fish.
Start out with two or three fish the first ten days, then get two or three more, wait another ten days, and so on. If you place too many fish at one time into a new fish tank, the water will not be able to properly cycle, and will quickly turn harmful. Patience is the key for the first six to eight weeks. That mentioned, a significant error people make is to purchase schooling fish but only get 1 or 2 of them. This is stressful and cruel for the fish. A school implies that a group of 5 is the bare minimum.
- Always research the requirements of any living thing (fish, plant, or invertebrate) going into your fish tank. Make sure they are suitable with what you currently have and that you can satisfy their maintenance needs. It is best to get your information and facts from many sources, do not instantly rely on what the store staff tells you!
- Under gravel filters are becoming less and less preferred for a number of factors; they do not perform as effectively as a Hang on back / power filter, they can be noisy, and they will need more upkeep.
- If you decide on an under gravel filter, the gravel will need to be vacuumed regularly to get rid of built up organic material. Failure to do this thoroughly can result in excessive ammonia or nitrite levels and fish death.
- Over time, valuable microorganisms develop on the surfaces within the aquarium that assist to process ammonia and nitrite. Introducing a large quantity of fish at once can overcome these microorganisms, challenging your filtration system heavily. An aquarium with only a few fish will typically cycle in approximately 30 days, which means the microorganisms will become nicely established and can "keep up" with the fish waste products. Introducing more fish does not speed up this process.
- If you are having a challenging time keeping the fish tank clear, think about making use of live plants. They keep the fish tank from getting murky and look good. Just make sure that you purchase them from a pet store so that they will not harm the fish.
- 5 gallons of water weighs in at nearly 42 lbs. This should help you determine whether or not you have anything that the fish tank will safely sit on. Anything over 15 gallons will almost certainly require a special stand.
- If you have a choice of light bulb in the light fixture, go with fluorescent – it shows off fish colors much better, and yields much less heat.
- Research, research, research !! Try to find out what the conditions of your municipal water are. There are different kinds of fish qualified to live in "hard" or "soft" water, and fish living in the correct water conditions will live longer and be more healthy. Unless you are willing to treat all the water going into the tank (can be expensive and / or time consuming), choosing a setup adapted for your local water can really make your life easier!
- Do not put the tank in or close to a window as this will cause the water to overheat, and also encourage algae to grow. This is not a problem for a fishless tank.
- Resist the urge to buy a lot of fish as soon as you set up your tank! The conditions in a recently established aquarium can vary a great deal, which can be fatal to fish.
- Real sea shells that you discovered on the beach could have poisonous to your fish – remember this is a fresh water aquarium.
- Never clean the tank sides with a spray bottle, and certainly not ammonia.
- Compare the rate of staff turnover at the shops available inalls with stores in which you can actually get to know the owners. As that rate descends, the level of quality of information and facts from your staff ascends.
- Try to avoid lifting an empty aquarium by its rim – the rim might break or come off, which will endanger the structural integrity of the aquarium. Large aquariums typically require a compression pad underneath.
- Some models of heater will become dangerous when they are dry and on.
- Under NO Circumstance should you buy fish by how cute they are. That sweet little fish may well be the terror of the seas when it gets bigger.
- Think about breeding feeders and danios before you purchase carnivores like cichlids, sharks or oscars.
- Pay attention to staff with regards to liveliness. By no means buy fish if they have any sores, spots or other defects.
- Do not tap on the glass. The fish will become scared and irritated.
- Ammonia, nitrate, and phosphate build-up in a fish tank should tell you to change your water and plant your aquarium. pH (alkalinity) testing is pretty much required. Take in a water sample when you go to the pet store.