There are a lot of options for setting up aquariums, with many different sizes and lots of different equipment that can be used. An ideal beginner aquarium is one of the new‚ all in one‚ aquariums made by a number of manufacturers. These come with lights and filters built into the aquarium and are easy to set up. If you are going to keep tropical fish then you will need to purchase a heater as well.
Basic Equipment List :
Here is what is needed to set up a freshwater Aquarium.
Buy your fish last‚ you need to allow time for your tank to‚ before you can introduce your first fish. Where to put the aquarium A low traffic, quiet area out of direct sunlight is best. Do not put your tank in front of or near a heater or cooler, as it leads to temperature fluctuations which will stress the fish. Your tank should be placed near an electricity point so that you can plug in your heater and filters easily. Your power point should be on an Earth leakage circuit breaker. Ensure that your tank is sitting on a suitable tank stand or base and floor that will support the weight of the tank. Make sure that the stand is level, with a sheet of polyfoam or similar under the base.
Any easy way to do this while avoiding messing up your ornaments, is by placing a plate into the bottom of the tank and pouring water over the top. Add water conditioner to remove toxins in the tap water, and adjust pH and water hardness to suit your fish's needs
Cycling a new tank:
No matter what type of filter you use, bacteria will need to colonise it, in order to remove toxic waste products such as ammonia from the water. This process is called nitrification or biological filtration. New aquariums and filters will not have these bacteria and it can take several weeks to establish a fully functioning biological filter. During this time ammonia or nitrite can build up to toxic levels causing stress, disease or death. Therefore it is important that you do not overstock the tank. Problems can be reduced by: Gradually building up the population of fish over 4 to 5 weeks.
The Nitrogen Cycle:
Ammonia is the main waste product from fish or uneaten food that will poison fish. Ammonia will damage gills and is a toxin affecting the brain. Special bacteria called Nitrifying bacteria are able to manage this waste via a process called Nitrification or the Nitrogen Cycle. It is essential to establish this process in an aquarium to prevent ammonia building up to toxic levels. In a newly established aquarium, it may take up to a month to establish this cycle and care must be taken during this time to prevent toxic levels of Ammonia and Nitrite building up. Managing ammonia level to prevent deaths during this time can be achieved by doing a number of things.
Turn off lights on the tank, bright lights can add to the stress of fish. Gently place the sealed bag in your tank and let it float for 10 -15 minutes (no longer).
Place fish in the tank: Using a fish net, capture the fish. release the fish from the net into your tank, and discard the waste water appropriately. Do not place the water from the bag into the tank.
Overcome Transport Stress: Do not feed for the first 24 hrs, and leave the light off for at least 3 hours, to help the fish overcome the transport stress.
Observe with Care: Observe your fish carefully for the next few days. If there are any signs of disease (frayed fins, rash or blood spots) check with your dealer for the appropriate medication. A preventative treatment of the tank with a Whitespot or broad spectrum medication can be useful in preventing any outbreaks of White spot and other disease brought on by stress.
The above information is only meant as a guide, and you should not hesitate to contact our helpful staff if you have any concerns. Info above does not replace your vet advice.