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How To Setup A Freshwater Tropical Fish Tank


This is an 11 step guide to setting up a freshwater aquarium in your home.

Equipment you will need:
Aquarium
Aquarium gravel
Aquarium filter
Replacement filter media
Heater
Other decorations (such as plants)
Chemical test kits
Fish food
Aquarium vacuum
Fish net
Glass Scrubber
5-gallon bucket
Pasta strainer

STEP 1: Realize the responsibility involved. A tropical fish tank is just like having a dog or a cat when it comes to the amount of effort on your part. In order to have a successful fish tank you will have to work at it. Once a week, or at most once every two weeks, you will need to perform some kind of maintenance on the tank. Most of the time you will be performing water changes. You will also have to feed your tropical fish at least once a day. If you are up to the challenge, please proceed!

STEP 2: Decide on an aquarium size. It's a good idea to have in mind what kind of tropical fish you want to keep before you purchase an aquarium. Some tropical fish only grow to be an inch or two, whereas other types of tropical fish can grow 12 or 13 inches in length! Knowing what kind of tropical fish you want will help you decide the size of the tank they will need. If this is your first time with an aquarium, I would recommend going with a 10 or 20 gallon aquarium for now.

STEP 3: Decide on the aquarium's location. Place your aquarium in an area where the light and temperature of the tank won't be affected by external sources such as windows and heater vents. You will want to place your aquarium on a stand that will be able to hold its total weight. A good rule of thumb for determining the total weight of a full aquarium is 10 pounds per gallon of water. For example, a 55-gallon tank will weigh approximately 550 pounds when filled with water!

STEP 4: Buy your aquarium and equipment. Now is the time to decide on the type of filtration you will want to use. You will also need to purchase a heater capable of heating the tank size you have. Buy the gravel, plants, a power strip and other decorations. A good rule of thumb for the amount of gravel that you will need is 1 to 1.5 pounds of gravel per gallon of water.

STEP 5: Set up your aquarium and stand. Wash out your tank with water only! Do not use soap or detergents. Soap residue left behind will be harmful for your tropical fish. If you are going to use an under gravel filter (not recommended) now would be the time to set it up as well.

STEP 6: Wash Gravel, plants and decorations. Be sure to wash the gravel thoroughly before adding it to your tank. An easy way to do this is to put some of the rocks in a pasta strainer and wash them out in your bathtub. Then place the clean gravel in a clean 5-gallon bucket for transport to the aquarium. After adding the gravel you can place your plants and decorations.

STEP 7: Add water to the aquarium. To avoid messing up your gravel and plants, you can place a plate or saucer in the middle of your aquarium and direct the water flow onto the plate. Use room temperature water when filling. To remove the chlorine and chloramine, use something like Tetra AquaSafe for Aquariums. Don't completely fill up the aquarium until you are sure of the layout of your decorations. Otherwise, when you place your arm in to move stuff around water is going to spill over. Doh!

STEP 8: Set up equipment. Install your heater but don't plug it in until the thermostat in the heater has adjusted to the water temperature. This usually takes about 15 minutes or so. Hook up your filter and any other equipment you have, then top off the aquarium water to just under the hood lip. Place your hood and light on the aquarium and then check your power cords to be sure that they are free of water. I would also recommend using a drip loop on all of the power cords to be extra cautious. Plug all of the equipment into a power strip and then "turn on" the aquarium.

STEP 9. Wait, wait, wait and then wait some more. I know, you want to add some tropical fish. But, in order to do this right you must wait until your aquarium has cycled before adding any fish. There are ways of speeding up this process. Check out the nitrogen cycle page to learn more. If you must use fish to cycle, try to get a hardier species like the zebra danio or cherry barb.

STEP 10. Add tropical fish. Only add one or two fish at a time. Adding a couple tropical fish at a time gives your filtration system the time needed to take on the increased biological load that the new fish introduce. When you bring the fish home let the bag float in the tank for about 15 minutes so that the fish can become acclimated to the temperature and pH of the aquarium water. After 5 minutes of floating the bag you should add some of the aquarium water to the bag so that the fish can become acclimated to the pH level in the aquarium. This will help reduce the amount of stress imposed on the tropical fish. Stressed tropical fish often leads to dead tropical fish! Don't feed your tropical fish on the first day. They probably wouldn't eat any food on the first day anyway. Let them get acquainted with their new home.

STEP 11. Get ready for regular maintenance. Be prepared to spend some time once every week or two to clean your tank. Performing regular water changes will reduce the nitrate levels and keep your tropical fish happy and healthy.

For more tropical fish and aquarium information, please visit FishLore.com - Tropical Fish & Aquarium Information.

Mike is an editor at FishLore.com. Designed for beginners, FishLore.com provides tropical fish information, how-to guides, articles, fish profiles, FAQs, forums and more! FishLore.com - Tropical Fish & Aquarium Information


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Mon. June / 24 / 2024

Are We Loving Our Pets to Death? - The New York Times
Are We Loving Our Pets to Death?  The New York Times

‘We’re Still Paying’: How Pets Became a Big Business - The New York Times
‘We’re Still Paying’: How Pets Became a Big Business  The New York Times

Keeping pets safe during Fourth of July celebrations - Yahoo Life
Keeping pets safe during Fourth of July celebrations  Yahoo Life

Pet networks help place Houston strays in homes across the country - Houston Chronicle
Pet networks help place Houston strays in homes across the country  Houston Chronicle

Paws-itively Montana: Foster a pet this summer with the Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter - Q2 News
Paws-itively Montana: Foster a pet this summer with the Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter  Q2 News

Pets of the week: Texas Holden wants to enjoy your company. Charlie is independent - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Texas Holden wants to enjoy your company. Charlie is independent  MLive.com

Pets make force you to be more mindful about your spending, study shows - Fortune
Pets make force you to be more mindful about your spending, study shows  Fortune

32 Things That Pet Owners Who’ve Rescued Pets Swear By - HuffPost
32 Things That Pet Owners Who’ve Rescued Pets Swear By  HuffPost

Las Vegas nonprofit provides free vaccinations to valley pets - KLAS - 8 News Now
Las Vegas nonprofit provides free vaccinations to valley pets  KLAS - 8 News Now

Dewey loosens dog restrictions, so what beaches allow pets? - The News Journal
Dewey loosens dog restrictions, so what beaches allow pets?  The News Journal

Dog Treat Recall Prompts Nationwide Warning to Pet Owners - Newsweek
Dog Treat Recall Prompts Nationwide Warning to Pet Owners  Newsweek

US pet food recalls: More than 40% due to Salmonella - PetfoodIndustry.com
US pet food recalls: More than 40% due to Salmonella  PetfoodIndustry.com

Inaugural ‘Super Pets Day' event sees big turnout in Menlo Park - NBC Bay Area
Inaugural ‘Super Pets Day' event sees big turnout in Menlo Park  NBC Bay Area

The Costs of Caring for Pets - The New York Times
The Costs of Caring for Pets  The New York Times

Pets of the week - Davis Enterprise
Pets of the week  Davis Enterprise

National Pet Choking Prevention Day highlights ways to keep animals safe - KLTV
National Pet Choking Prevention Day highlights ways to keep animals safe  KLTV

AVMA and Street Dog Coalition team up to aid homeless pets and owners in Austin - KEYE TV CBS Austin
AVMA and Street Dog Coalition team up to aid homeless pets and owners in Austin  KEYE TV CBS Austin

Pets of the Week: Meet Popeye and Wilken - Brainerd Dispatch
Pets of the Week: Meet Popeye and Wilken  Brainerd Dispatch

July 4th Fireworks: Fun for Us, Traumatic for Some Pets - San Diego Jewish World
July 4th Fireworks: Fun for Us, Traumatic for Some Pets  San Diego Jewish World

Keeping Pets Safe in the Summer Heat - Excelsior Citizen
Keeping Pets Safe in the Summer Heat  Excelsior Citizen

Pets of the Week - Index-Journal
Pets of the Week  Index-Journal

Veterinarians provide health care services for pets of the unhoused population in Austin - KVUE.com
Veterinarians provide health care services for pets of the unhoused population in Austin  KVUE.com

Pets of the week - Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Pets of the week  Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

Bear spotted in Cape Coral, no pictures, bring in pets, police say - News-Press
Bear spotted in Cape Coral, no pictures, bring in pets, police say  News-Press

Pet of the Week for June 23 - Colorado Springs Gazette
Pet of the Week for June 23  Colorado Springs Gazette

Tulsa Animal Welfare shares tips to prevent lost pets this July 4th - KTUL
Tulsa Animal Welfare shares tips to prevent lost pets this July 4th  KTUL

Florida residents warned to bring pets inside after bear spotted heading toward river - Yahoo! Voices
Florida residents warned to bring pets inside after bear spotted heading toward river  Yahoo! Voices

Veterinarians provide health care services for pets of Austin's unhoused population - KVUE.com
Veterinarians provide health care services for pets of Austin's unhoused population  KVUE.com

‘Pet Palooza’ makes a return to the World Equestrian Center - WCJB
‘Pet Palooza’ makes a return to the World Equestrian Center  WCJB

Oklahoma City tattoo shop's drive nets $10,000 and supplies for local pets - KOKH FOX25
Oklahoma City tattoo shop's drive nets $10,000 and supplies for local pets  KOKH FOX25

Pet of the Day: June 23, 2024 - WRAL News
Pet of the Day: June 23, 2024  WRAL News

Pets of the Week! (6-23-24) - Southern Standard
Pets of the Week! (6-23-24)  Southern Standard

THE BOOKWORM SEZ: Manhattan pets and vets are the stars of "The City" - Goshen News
THE BOOKWORM SEZ: Manhattan pets and vets are the stars of "The City"  Goshen News

Northampton man charged will killing his 82-year-old mother, abusing her corpse, killing her pets, stealing her car - The Reporter
Northampton man charged will killing his 82-year-old mother, abusing her corpse, killing her pets, stealing her car  The Reporter

Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) - Pima County
Pima Animal Care Center (PACC)  Pima County

WHAT’S THE MOST UNUSUAL PET YOU’VE EVER HAD? (PART THREE) - FOX 28 Spokane
WHAT’S THE MOST UNUSUAL PET YOU’VE EVER HAD? (PART THREE)  FOX 28 Spokane

The Best Pet Insurance for Multiple Pets (2024) - MarketWatch
The Best Pet Insurance for Multiple Pets (2024)  MarketWatch

Rule change for pet travel in Canada and beyond - The Valley Reporter
Rule change for pet travel in Canada and beyond  The Valley Reporter

Las Vegas nonprofit provides free vaccinations to valley pets - Yahoo! Voices
Las Vegas nonprofit provides free vaccinations to valley pets  Yahoo! Voices

Lewisville and TCAP to Host Affordable Vaccine Clinic for Pets on July 6th - Hoodline
Lewisville and TCAP to Host Affordable Vaccine Clinic for Pets on July 6th  Hoodline

How to keep pets safe from summer heat - KPLC
How to keep pets safe from summer heat  KPLC

Wellness End of Life Care Pets - Albuquerque Journal
Wellness End of Life Care Pets  Albuquerque Journal

How to keep pets safe and cool in summer heat - The Herald-News
How to keep pets safe and cool in summer heat  The Herald-News

Summer heat safety; Experts offer guidance for handling pets, children in hot cars - LehighValleyNews.com
Summer heat safety; Experts offer guidance for handling pets, children in hot cars  LehighValleyNews.com

Are we loving our pets to death? - West Hawaii Today
Are we loving our pets to death?  West Hawaii Today

Wellness End of Life Care Pets - Albuquerque Journal
Wellness End of Life Care Pets  Albuquerque Journal

Ramsey couple sells biodegradable burial coffins for small pets - ECM Publishers
Ramsey couple sells biodegradable burial coffins for small pets  ECM Publishers

PET OF THE WEEK: Easton - Odessa American
PET OF THE WEEK: Easton  Odessa American

Pets of the Week: June 23, 2024 - Marshall News Messenger
Pets of the Week: June 23, 2024  Marshall News Messenger

Protect your pets from bird flu circulating throughout Michigan - Detroit Free Press
Protect your pets from bird flu circulating throughout Michigan  Detroit Free Press

How to keep pets safe from summer heat - KPLC
How to keep pets safe from summer heat  KPLC

Dr. Cynthia Maro: Protect pets and all animals from heat stroke and stress - The Times
Dr. Cynthia Maro: Protect pets and all animals from heat stroke and stress  The Times

Domestic Rabbits: From Pets to Wilderness Survivors - Mirage News
Domestic Rabbits: From Pets to Wilderness Survivors  Mirage News

Health department distributes hundreds of vaccines to pets - WYMT
Health department distributes hundreds of vaccines to pets  WYMT

West Des Moines woman pleads not guilty to animal neglect charges - KCCI Des Moines
West Des Moines woman pleads not guilty to animal neglect charges  KCCI Des Moines

Pet Scene: Summit County’s adoptable pets for the week of June 23 - Summit Daily
Pet Scene: Summit County’s adoptable pets for the week of June 23  Summit Daily

Know these symptoms to avoid heat-related illnesses in humans, pets - WBAL Radio
Know these symptoms to avoid heat-related illnesses in humans, pets  WBAL Radio

Pet cremation service to open in Leetonia, offering water cremations - Mahoning Matters
Pet cremation service to open in Leetonia, offering water cremations  Mahoning Matters

Discover Pet Health owner turns passion into business - Observer-Reporter
Discover Pet Health owner turns passion into business  Observer-Reporter

10 Bath Time Products for Pets! - One Green Planet
10 Bath Time Products for Pets!  One Green Planet

Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) - Pima County
Pima Animal Care Center (PACC)  Pima County

26 Things To Help Run A Multi-Pet Household As Smoothly As Possible - BuzzFeed
26 Things To Help Run A Multi-Pet Household As Smoothly As Possible  BuzzFeed

Man arrested after 2 dogs, pets found dead in Staunton home in 2022 - The News Leader
Man arrested after 2 dogs, pets found dead in Staunton home in 2022  The News Leader

WATCH: Palm Bay Man Escapes Vehicle Explosion, Saves Pets Inside Burning Home - SpaceCoastDaily.com
WATCH: Palm Bay Man Escapes Vehicle Explosion, Saves Pets Inside Burning Home  SpaceCoastDaily.com

Florida Gov. DeSantis Signs PETS Act, Paving The Way For Veterinary Telehealth In The State - Tampa Free Press
Florida Gov. DeSantis Signs PETS Act, Paving The Way For Veterinary Telehealth In The State  Tampa Free Press

Pet portraits event honors Lackawanna County man by raising money for animal shelter - WNEP Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Pet portraits event honors Lackawanna County man by raising money for animal shelter  WNEP Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

FWACC reminds owners to protect pets from heat following 7 recent pet deaths - 21 Alive News
FWACC reminds owners to protect pets from heat following 7 recent pet deaths  21 Alive News

Pet Simulator 99 Good vs Evil Event: Good vs Evil World, New Limited Huge Pets, and more - Sportskeeda
Pet Simulator 99 Good vs Evil Event: Good vs Evil World, New Limited Huge Pets, and more  Sportskeeda

Opinion | Grieving over your beloved pet who has died is perfectly OK - South China Morning Post
Opinion | Grieving over your beloved pet who has died is perfectly OK  South China Morning Post

Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) - Pima County
Pima Animal Care Center (PACC)  Pima County

Pets of the week - Greenfield Daily Reporter
Pets of the week  Greenfield Daily Reporter

How to keep your pets calm, relaxed during July Fourth fireworks, thunderstorms - The Columbus Dispatch
How to keep your pets calm, relaxed during July Fourth fireworks, thunderstorms  The Columbus Dispatch

Pet Spot: Sailor sticks to owner like Velcro - Leader Publications
Pet Spot: Sailor sticks to owner like Velcro  Leader Publications

Pets Page: Columbus Animal Care Services - The Republic
Pets Page: Columbus Animal Care Services  The Republic

Sonesta International Hotels welcomes pets this summer - KUTV 2News
Sonesta International Hotels welcomes pets this summer  KUTV 2News

Pet of the Week: Spencer - The Bristol Press
Pet of the Week: Spencer  The Bristol Press

Make summer travel with pets enjoyable, seamless - Davis Enterprise
Make summer travel with pets enjoyable, seamless  Davis Enterprise

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Conspiracy of Ravens - The New York Times
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Conspiracy of Ravens  The New York Times

Easy Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe During 4th of July Fireworks - K945
Easy Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe During 4th of July Fireworks  K945

Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) - Pima County
Pima Animal Care Center (PACC)  Pima County

Here’s where you can take your pets experiencing extreme heat in Lexington - Fox 56 News
Here’s where you can take your pets experiencing extreme heat in Lexington  Fox 56 News

3 pets killed, fourth unaccounted for after fire causes $150K in damage to West Side home, SAFD says - KSAT San Antonio
3 pets killed, fourth unaccounted for after fire causes $150K in damage to West Side home, SAFD says  KSAT San Antonio

Important to make sure pets are cool in hot weather - - CBS19 News
Important to make sure pets are cool in hot weather -  CBS19 News

Give a Shelter Pet a Snuggly Summer - countynewscenter.com
Give a Shelter Pet a Snuggly Summer  countynewscenter.com

7 Warning Signs Your Pet Is Overheating - Good Housekeeping
7 Warning Signs Your Pet Is Overheating  Good Housekeeping

Protecting your pets' paws during the summer heat - 25 News KXXV and KRHD
Protecting your pets' paws during the summer heat  25 News KXXV and KRHD

The Case Against Pets - AOL
The Case Against Pets  AOL

Pet care: Cat redirects its angst to the nearest warm body - Albuquerque Journal
Pet care: Cat redirects its angst to the nearest warm body  Albuquerque Journal

Keeping your pet's paws safe from the heat - WCTI12.com
Keeping your pet's paws safe from the heat  WCTI12.com

Meet Kevin Bacon and Roscoe, this week’s CVAS pets of the week - Franklin County Free Press
Meet Kevin Bacon and Roscoe, this week’s CVAS pets of the week  Franklin County Free Press

Nationwide drops 100,000 pet insurance policies. Here's why. - CBS News 8
Nationwide drops 100,000 pet insurance policies. Here's why.  CBS News 8

C.A.R.E. Animal Rescue hosts safety event for pet owners - KY3
C.A.R.E. Animal Rescue hosts safety event for pet owners  KY3

Pet Peeves: Adopt-A-Highway - Laguna Beach Independent Newspaper
Pet Peeves: Adopt-A-Highway  Laguna Beach Independent Newspaper

Indiana heat wave affects pets, too. Here's how to keep them safe - IndyStar
Indiana heat wave affects pets, too. Here's how to keep them safe  IndyStar

Pets on Set: Humane Society of El Paso explain how to keep pets safe during summer heat - cbs4local.com
Pets on Set: Humane Society of El Paso explain how to keep pets safe during summer heat  cbs4local.com

Two adults and multiple pets rescued from burning home in Fort Pierce - WPBF West Palm Beach
Two adults and multiple pets rescued from burning home in Fort Pierce  WPBF West Palm Beach

More than 4,000 additional robotic pets to be given to seniors in New York to combat loneliness - ABC News
More than 4,000 additional robotic pets to be given to seniors in New York to combat loneliness  ABC News

Pet dies, firefighter has minor injuries from Muskegon house fire - WZZM13.com
Pet dies, firefighter has minor injuries from Muskegon house fire  WZZM13.com

Pets of the Week - SCNow
Pets of the Week  SCNow

Social Media Campaigns and Partnerships Fuel Nationwide Adoptions for Houston's Homeless Pets - Hoodline
Social Media Campaigns and Partnerships Fuel Nationwide Adoptions for Houston's Homeless Pets  Hoodline

Pet photo fundraiser honors barber, benefits animal shelter - Scranton Times-Tribune
Pet photo fundraiser honors barber, benefits animal shelter  Scranton Times-Tribune

Best Pet Insurance Companies for June 2024 - NerdWallet
Best Pet Insurance Companies for June 2024  NerdWallet

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