How To Set Up A New Aquarium

fresh decorSo you want to know how to set up a new aquarium. Assuming that you have chosen whether the new tank is going to be freshwater or saltwater, it’s time to put it together and get something alive in the aquarium. This article will attempt to guide you so that the set up will go along smooth and without too many hiccups. Contrary to some people that use additives and bottled bacteria, this site will avoid using any of those products. Many of those products will cause false readings on water test kits thus giving you a false sense of security when adding new inhabitants.

Once you have decided the type of tank that you want to set up, the equipment needed, and where it is going to be placed, it’s time to put it all together and get it running. Before you start, make sure that you have everything that you need. If you have an undergravel filter, make sure you have the air pump and air stones or the powerhead(s) to run it. If you have a canister filter, make sure that you have all of the materials that go in it as well as enough tubing for the height of the stand and tank for the intake and returns. If you have a wet dry filter, make sure that you have everything that you need to plumb the prefilter to the filter and from the filter pump back to the tank.

Once the set up of the equipment is complete, it’s time to add the substrate (gravel , sand or crushed coral) and water. If saltwater fishyou are concerned about chlorine or chloramine in the water, it’s a good idea to use the proper amount of Dechlor in order to immediately neutralize the problem. When it comes to starting a new aquarium, the cycle time can be substantially less if you “seed” the tank with substrate from an established fish tank. Even if the substrate isn’t the same type or color as yours, you can place the established substrate in a nylon bag and hide it behind a decoration for a week or two or even place it in the filter until your tank has finished cycling. This will ensure a natural progression of the nitrogen cycle and will also guarantee proper readings from your water tests. After the tank is done cycling, the “seed”, if it’s the wrong type or color, can be removed and discarded.

The nitrogen cycle will not complete without something providing ammonia to feed and increase the numbers of the beneficial bacteria. Starter fish for either freshwater or saltwater aquariums should be put in as soon as possible so that the waste they produce can encourage the establishment of the bacteria bed that will ultimately be needed to sustain a nitrogen cyclehealthy tank. These starter fish can handle the slow and steady rise of ammonia and nitrites until the nitrogen cycle is complete. It is not unusual to even lose some of these fish during cycling. Because the ammonia and nitrites are building up in the tank, it is impossible to add more fish until the cycle is done. Any new fish added during this time would die from the toxins. Be patient. If starter fish die, remove them from the tank. If the last starter fish dies, bury it in the substrate so that it can continue to produce waste while it breaks down. Test often until the ammonia and nitrites are gone and then do a water change and start stocking your tank slowly over many weeks or months.

If you are setting up a new reef aquarium, let the live rock cycle the tank. Though the majority of the live rock will be dead when first placed into a new reef, there are enough bacteria on the rock to begin and complete the cycle. Some stores will try to charge more for “cured” live rock. Unless you need rock for an established tank with living fish and corals, etc., don’t pay for “cured” rock. It usually only takes seven to ten days to complete a cycle with live rock. Once the cycle is complete, do a water change and start stocking slowly.

This article on how to set up a new aquarium is not intended to answer every question that may come up on a new setup but to give the confidence to the new aquarist that setting up a fish aquarium for the first time doesn’t have to be the hassle that some people make it out to be. Be patient. The worst thing you can do is to rush getting fish or corals into the tank before it is ready. Once the tank is ready, don’t let the employees at the local stores talk you into anything that you don’t want or don’t feel comfortable with. Do some research and plan on what inhabitants you want. Enjoy your new tank.

Summary
Article Name
How To Set Up A New Aquarium
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Description
There are many ways to set up a new fish tank. Some tips are included in the above article.



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