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What to Know When Setting Up a New Fish Tank

Posted by on Mar 23 2020

When buying and setting up a new fish tank, there are a number of things to consider. Whether you are setting up your first fish tank or have been keeping fish for years, there are some key things to know when preparing your new tank. From tank size to taking care of your fish, here are our top things to know when setting up a new tank.


What Size Tank Do You Need?

Will you be buying a small fish tank or a wall-to-wall masterpiece? Whatever type of fish tank you buy, you will need to bear in mind two key things. Where will you be keeping your fish tank and how prepared are you to deal with looking after the fish in your chosen tank size? It is important to know that a smaller tank size doesn't always necessarily mean less work. On the contrary, a tiny tank will need a water change much more frequently than a standard home aquarium might.


You'll also need to know the correct size fish tank to store your type of fish in. A few neon tetras may get lost in a very large tank unless you will be keeping large numbers or mixing with other fish types. However, if you are thinking of buying large marine fish, for example, a larger fish tank will give your fish the space they need to breathe.


How Do You Treat Your Fish Tank Water?

When setting up a new fish tank, it is important to think about how you will be preparing the fish tank water before looking at adding fish to your aquarium. If you have kept fish before, you will know that adding fish straight to tap water is a quick step to disaster so these are some things to consider when setting up a new fish tank.


When adding water to a new tank, you should first fill the tank one-third of the way full from the tap. Then, add de-chlorinator and water conditioner to your tank water following the instructions on the packet. This will help prepare your water for the fish. Once this has been done, install and turn on your fish tank's water filter so that it starts pumping the water through and building your aquarium's eco-system. You should also be sure to wash any new aquarium ornaments you buy in warm water before you add them to the new tank.


To help your new fish tank's bacteria along, add a small amount of fish food to the tank and, if you have any, used pebbles from an already established fish tank. 


Let Your Aquarium Stand

One of the big questions that might come to mind when setting up your new home aquarium is, 'how long should I let the fish tank stand before I put any fish in?'. In the world of aquariums, this stage is called cycling. Once your new fish tank has been cycled a few times and you have tested the nitrogen levels of your tank, leave your tank for at least 24 hours before buying fish, more if possible.


How Do I Add Fish to My New Fish Tank?

When adding new fish to your fish tank, it is important not to simply empty the bag into the tank and leave them to it. First, check that the temperature of your fish tank is appropriate for your new fish. If it isn't right, wait until it is. Then, turn off the lights to your new fish tank. Once this has been done, lower the bag your new fish came in from the shop into the water and leave them floating there for around 30 minutes.


You can use this opportunity to test the PH balance inside of the bag and ensure your new tank matches it as closely as possible. Adding your fish straight into a drastically different PH level tank can harm them. If the PH level in your new fish tank is different to the PH level in the bag from the fish shop, add small amounts of water from your fish tank every 15 minutes until the PH levels match.


Once your fish are ready to be added to the tank, gently lift them out of the bag with a small net and add them to the water immediately. Your new fish tank is ready to go.


Looking for some supplies to help get your new fish tank started? Take a look at our aquarium supplies here.

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