While visiting your friend you couldn't avoid noticing a beautiful fish tank standing in the living room. You want to have one too? In this freshwater setup article I would like to help you to setup your own freshwater tank, starting with the necessary fish supplies. Equipment list: 1- Aquarium- bigger tanks will be easier to maintain then smaller tanks. In small tanks any water parameters change or drop in temperature will lead to disaster while large tank is more tolerating. 2- Aquarium gravel. 3- filter- internal, hang-on or external filter it all depends on your fish stock, fish type and tank size. 4- Filter media. 5- Fish net. 6- Fish food. 7- Heater. 8- Other decorations such as rocks, fake plants, woods etc....9- Aquarium test kits- ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate....10- Aquarium vacuum- very important stage while changing water. 11- 4-5 gallon bucket- use to change water. 12- Water conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramine.
First thing before entering the hobby is the need to understand that fish are animals just like a cat or a dog and responsibility comes along, responsibility expressed by the need to perform water changes once a week, feeding the fish on daily basis and spending money on them (food, media, and medicine). Before you purchase an aquarium you should do your homework and make your self a list of fish that you desire; if you will know what kind of fish you want it will be easy to match a tank. Some fish (small ones) need tiny tank while others can grow to 10-12 inches or even more and will need big tank.
After deciding what size tank you will need it is time to think where to place it, you should place it away from windows because you don't want temperatures and light affect your tank. Sunlight that enters the room can cause to algae problems and affect the temperatures it will be smart to avoid it. It is also recommended to place your tank on a massive stand that will be able to hold the tank weight, to know your total tank weight you just need to multiply gallon tank 10 times, For example 100 gallon tank will weight 1000 pounds (including water), and 20 gallons tank will weight approximately 200 pounds. Wash out your tank with water only, using chemicals or soap can poison your tank, same thing with your gravel. Be sure to wash it with water only in order to remove dirt, do the same with other decoration such as rocks and fake plants. Now it is time to place your gravel in the tank, after everything stands where it's suppose to stand it is the right time to fill your tank with water. Place a plate on the gravel while adding water in order to avoid messing the gravel, direct the water flow onto the plate carefully. While adding water add your water conditioner, after the tank gets near to the top water level you can place your plants and other decorations. Now it is time to hook up your filter and other equipment, check your tank lights and install your heater without plugging it in till the thermostat has adjusted to the water temperature, this process takes approximately 20 minutes and then you can plug it in.
The last step before adding fish is maybe the most frustrating step-waiting till the water is "ready", in order to success and to setup the tank as it suppose to be you must wait until your tank has cycled before adding any fish, check your tank water with test kits in order to know when the process is done. The big moment has arrived, the smart move is to add fish slowly in order to let filtration system to built up, only add one or two strong fish from your fish list, Then wait a week and add 2 more fish, Do the same process all the time to avoid filtration crush. When you bring the fish home let the bag float in the tank for 15- 20 minutes so that the fish can become acclimated to the temperature of the aquarium water. After 15 minutes you should add some of your aquarium water to the bag to acclimate them to your PH and temperature water, you can use a cup to do so. Repeat this process after 5 minutes, now it is time to take the fish out from the Bag with your fish net do it carefully to avoid any stress to the fish, sometimes stress can lead to disease, there is no need to feed them on their first day in the tank. Now it is time to lay down and enjoy your fish tank, but never forget, if you want your tank to look good as it looks right now you need to perform water change at least once a week, Along with that you also need to test your water once a week.