Guide for setting up a fish tank

Aquarium Location

When you choose a location for your new aquarium in your house it is important to remember the following points:

Keep it away from sources of noise. This could include TVs, radios, washing machines and fridges. Fish don’t like loud noises and constant exposure to noise will stress them out and eventually influence their well being negatively.

Do not place the aquarium near items which could influence the temperature of the water temperature such as radiators and fires. Most fish need to be kept at a certain temperature and water that is too warm could make them ill.

Strong light can have a large influence on algae in the aquarium, so try to avoid placing it near strong natural light sources such as windows/skylights. A little natural sunlight is perfect; too much will cause you problems with your water quality in a short space of time which in turn will have a negative effect on your fish’s well being.
We strongly recommend that the aquarium is placed on the recommended Aqua One aquarium cabinet. This is essential as a 54 litre aquarium will weigh around 80 kg when full.

Also, make sure that the floor is perfectly level surface that is strong enough to support the weight of the aquarium. If the floor is not level, it could cause the water in your aquarium to leak over the top on one side. It can also put an invisible but remarkable stress on the tank itself and might cause the glass to crack eventually.

Filling the Aquarium

Before you start filling the aquarium we recommended that you wipe the inside of the aquarium with a clean cloth and lukewarm water. Preferably use a new and unused cloth and bucket. It is important that no detergents or grease cleaners are used or have ever been used with the cloth or bucket that you use.

Next its time to fill the bottom of your aquarium with the substrate of your choice. This could be gravel or sand. Make sure that you buy only special aquarium types as others may affect the water quality. Ensure the substrate is thoroughly rinsed in clear running water before you add it to the aquarium. For this purpose put some of the substrate in a bucket and add plenty of water, stirring it with your hand all the time. Let the substrate settle, empty the dirty water out and repeat this process until the water stays fairly clear. (Tip: Don’t put the dirty water down your kitchen drain. The sand can easily block it up!) Then carefully add the substrate to the aquarium by adding a handful at a time.

When it comes to choosing your décor, there are many different options available nowadays. The décor can be made up of resin ornaments, natural stones, tree roots and plants all of which need a quick wash in some warm water before you add them to the aquarium. If you use natural rocks and tree roots make sure they come from an aquatic shop because they are fit for the purpose, whereas the rocks and tree roots you picked up from your garden will affect the water quality.

If you want to add plants to your aquascape it is always best to use a mix of real and artificial plants. The natural plants will help to maintain the natural balance in the aquarium by helping to absorb excess nitrates. The artificial plants will always look good because they don’t perish and do not get eaten by the fish. There is a wide variety of plastic and silk plants available at your specialist aquatic retailer which will look hardly different to ‘the real thing’.

Aqua One Top Tip: Add the plants to the aquarium after you have installed the electrical equipment and filled the aquarium with around 50% of the total water. This will avoid damage to plants.

Adding the Electrical Equipment to the Aquarium

What you need:

A filter. This is essential for really every aquarium to maintain clear and healthy water

A heater. The heater will maintain a consistent temperature within the aquarium. The ideal temperature for basic community tank 21-28 °C. Ask your retailer what temperature is right for your fish.

Lighting. A suitable aquarium light should be switched on for 8-10 hours a day,. This is essential for natural plant growth and makes fish’s colours stand out.

An airstone, airpump and check valve. This provides the necessary oxygen for both fish and plants, helps with the filtration process by aerating the water and adding decorative touch with bubbles to your aquarium.

A thermometer. This will allow you to keep an eye on the water temperature at all times. Aqua one offers a variety a different thermometers from glass, LED and to digital.

Once all the décor and equipment have been added to your aquarium, it can now be filled with water. This is best done by placing a bowl/saucer on the bottom and slowly adding room temperature tap water using a jug. Once the aquarium is filled up completely, make sure your hands are dry and switch on the electrical equipment.

Aqua One Top Tip: Make a drip loop in all equipment cables, to prevent water dripping into socket. That is done by forming a small loop in the cable around 15-20 cm below weight of socket.

Preparing the Aquarium for First Fish

Once your Aqua One aquarium has been filled with water and switched on, you now need to add some water treatment. The water treatment adds the necessary bacteria for the aquarium’s biological balance. It is essential that these bacteria are introduced to your aquarium. They will help to establish a natural balance and maintain a good water quality. Water conditioner is available from all specialist aquatic retailers. Over the next few weeks check temperature and ensure that there is a good water circulation around the aquarium by adjusting the flow direction of moving airstones.

Once the bacterial starter treatment has been added add a few flakes of food. This will help the filter to develop until your fish arrive. Aqua One strongly recommends that the aquarium is left to run for the bacteria to establish for 2-3 weeks before adding the first small introduction of fish.

This article was taken from Aqua One.

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