Freshwater Aquariums: Basic Setup Guide

Freshwater Aquariums: Basic Setup Guide

Fish are the most inexpensive pets you can own. They are easy to manage and their particolored look makes them a treat for the eyes. However, to keep these little beings happy and healthy, you need to be extra careful in setting up a safe and comfortable abode for them. 

In this guide, we will share a few easy steps on how to setup a freshwater aquarium and manage your fish. 

Step 1: Place and Set up

The most important thing is to select the perfect spot to place your aquarium. Make sure to place your aquarium away from direct sunlight. Direct exposure to sunlight can promote algae growth and heat up the environment excessively – both harmful effects for the health and safety of your fish.

Make sure that your aquarium is placed firmly on level ground. Use shims to support and stabilize the aquarium if necessary. Taking precautions to ensure the stability of the aquarium can help prevent avoidable mishaps like stumbling against the aquarium and knocking it over.

Step 2: Gravels and Ornaments

After making sure that the aquarium is not wobbly and it isstanding firmly, go ahead and decorate it. Ornaments like artificial corals, rocks, driftwood, and other items not only make your aquarium look spectacular, but they also give your fish places to hide, rest, and even play.

As a good pet owner, you should make your freshwater aquarium as comfortable and cozy as you can so your fish stay happy.

Note: Before adding rocks, gravels, and other ornments rigorously wash them with warm water. Avoid using any type of soaps or detergents as they are extremely toxic to the fish. 

Step 3: Water Level 

Fill the aquarium with clean water at room temperature until the level reaches two-thirds of the tank. To keep the gravels and decors in place, you can place a saucer or plate over the gravel and pour the water directly on it. This dampens the impact of water on the things  

Regular tap water contains chlorine that is harmful to the fish, which can hurt or even kill your fish. Therefore, make sure to use a water conditioner to de-chlorinate the water before filling your aquarium with it. 

Step 4: Fish Filter

The filter is a must-have in any freshwater aquarium. It not only keeps your fish’s water clean but also aerates the aquatic environment so the fish can breathe comfortably.

There are three types of filtration commonly found in aquariums:

  1. Mechanic Filtration: The first level of the filtration process. It is used to remove the buildup of toxic waste from the aquarium.
  2. Chemical Filtration: It is used to maintain the water quality by removing dissolved particulate matter through resins and activated carbon.
  3. Biological Filtration: Certain microorganisms and bacteria break down harmful ammonia, converting them into less toxic products and thereby reducing the overall toxicity levels of the aquarium.

To install filters: 

  • Load them with filter cartridges or material. 
  • Station them as per instructions.

Step 5: Aquarium Heater

An aquarium heater is vital to have in freshwater aquariums. A heater ensures that the aquarium has a comfortably warm temperature throughout the day and night. 

The Ideal location to place an aquarium heater is near the maximum water flow. Place it horizontally towards the back of your aquarium, some inches above the gravel to ensure optimal heat dispersion throughout the water.

Step 6: Air Pump

An air pump in the aquarium is essential to keep the water oxygenated and help your fish breathe easily. It also helps ensure that the water is evenly heated. 

Place the air pump closer to the top of your aquarium (water level). This way you can prevent the water from running back into the air pump, in case of a power outage.

Step 7: Monitor Water Conditions 

Make sure to check the water temperature and conditions at least twice a day. There are several important components in aquariums, such as filters, heaters, pumps etc. and any malfunctions can have an adverse effect in the water conditions.

It is also prudent to check pH levels and hardness of the water via a testing kit to make sure your fish are living in optimal conditions and safe from harm. 

And Ta-da! Your aquarium is now safe, equipped, and all ready for fish.

Share the Post:

Related Posts

Want More Koi Advice & Tips?

Subscribe to our newsletter for even more information and updates as well as the occassional special offer.