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Fish Tank Set Up – The Easy Way
Stop researching the subject and get started! Starting an aquarium doesn’t have to be difficult. There is a tremendous amount of information on the World Wide Web about setting up aquariums and it might seem like a bit too much when you start looking into it. There are probably half a dozen things you need to think about when setting up your aquarium. If you succeed, you can learn the rest as you go, so stop worrying, make some decisions, and start enjoying your first aquarium.
First of all, as tempting as it is to start with marine fish, I advise against it. Fish are much more expensive, so any mistake can be very costly. Second, eighty percent of people who start the aquarium hobby quit within twelve months. With marine fish, there is a lot more to think about, more to learn, and the cost of equipment is higher. Make it easy for yourself and start by setting up a freshwater tropical fish aquarium.
Why set up a tropical fish aquarium as opposed to a cold water aquarium, simply because it will give you a much wider choice of fish for virtually no extra effort. First, select your aquarium. Start with something between 20 and 40 gallons. A great size for beginners, big enough to be interesting, small enough to be easy to maintain. When you figure it out, you can always buy a bigger tank or get a second one. make sure you get an aquarium with a power filter that comes standard. (You need|All you need to do is} make sure it can pump five times the tank’s contents every hour, so if it’s a 20 gallon tank, it needs to pump 100 gallons per hour, if it’s a 40 gallon, then its 200 gallons per hour. Simple but important math. If you have a pump that’s too small, your fish will die.
Think about where the tank is going to go. Avoiding direct sunlight is crucial and a place where you can enjoy it without rearranging the furniture too much. Get it right the first time. Moving a full aquarium and stand is not an easy task and you should avoid it as much as possible. Each gallon weighs ten pounds!
Get extra heating. If one fails, your fish will still be OK. It is surprising how quickly a tank can cool down in the event of a power outage or heating.
Now think about the fish you want, don’t buy them but think about the fish you want. Is this going to be a species tank or a community tank. I love community aquariums simply because I love seeing how fish interact with each other. Choose medium top and bottom feeders to balance the tank. Make sure they all get along together. A little research and planning will avoid potential problems later. Most aquarium stores will give advice on fish compatibility.
I say think about the fish because it will affect the next two decisions. What substrate and plants. The substrate is the gravel or sand that goes over the base of the tank. If you opt for fish that feed on the bottom of the tank, the substrate must be suitable for them as well as for the plants. Sand or fine gravel is recommended for bottom feeders. Choose the easy-to-maintain fish to start with. They tend to be cheaper and more likely to survive if you make mistakes.
You will need enough sand or gravel to cover the bottom of the tank. An inch and a half to two inches deep in the front of the sloping tank to about four inches in the back for larger plants. Get some laterite that you can mix with the bottom layer of the substrate to help feed the plants. You won’t need much. Choose plants that don’t need extra light or carbon dioxide. You can always switch to more difficult-to-store varieties later if you catch the bug.
It’s time to start. Place the aquarium in its final position, install all equipment like light filter etc., but do not plug anything in yet. Clean the tank with clean water. Do not use soap or chemicals. Wash your gravel or sand until it is clear. Mix the laterite with about a third of your substrate and spread it over the base of the tank. Add the rest of the substrate, evenly covering the base coat and laying it out as desired. Put a plate at the bottom of the tank and add your water by pouring gently on the plate so as not to disturb the laterite. Add your water conditioner to remove any chlorine. Once the tank is full, turn everything on and let it run until the water is up to temperature. Now add your plants, putting the taller ones at the back and giving them room to grow.
Now is the time for patience. The biggest mistake most people make with an aquarium is not operating it properly. Your fish will live in their own toilet. Their waste and any uneaten food will rot and create ammonia which is toxic to them. You must therefore allow the nitrogen cycle to fully establish before adding fish. There are several ways to speed this up, but I find the household ammonia method to be the quickest and easiest.
Once your tank is cycled, you can safely start adding fish and start enjoying it. Installation of the aquarium completed and not too difficult!
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