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March 2024

Setting Up Your First Aquarium

Sunday, May 8, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

BEAUTIFUL FISHWhen I was a kid, I was fascinated by aquariums. It all started when my grandmother, who would visit us every Sunday brought me a few guppies in a fish bowl. My dad later bought me a small, plastic 3 1/2 gallon aquarium. I was hooked on tropical fish and it became my number one hobby. There are ups and downs when keeping freshwater fish. You just can’t dump fish in water and expect them to live. Certain steps must be taken to make sure that your tank and fish stay healthy.

  1. Once you have your aquarium and aquarium stand, choose the location.
  2. Wash the tank with water only! Do not use soap or detergents. They leave harmful residues behind.
  3. Wash the gravel, plants and decorations with water only. An easy way to wash the gravel is to place it in a strainer and rinse it in the bathtub. Gravel must be washed thoroughly before it’s added to the tank.
  4. Add water to the aquarium. To avoid the plants and gravel getting messed up when you add the water, place a plate and direct the water to fall on the plate leaving the gravel and plants in place. Use room temperature water. Add water conditioner to remove chlorine from the water.
  5. Set up the equipment. Place the heater in the tank but don’t plug it in until the thermostat in the heater has adjusted to the water temperature. This takes about 15 minutes. Hook up the filter and other equipment that you may have.
  6. Top off the aquarium water to just under the hood lip. Place your hood and tank light on the aquarium and then check your power cords to be sure that they are free of water.
  7. Now just wait. Before adding fish, you must wait until the aquarium has gone through the nitrogen cycle.
  8. Add only one or two fish at a time. This allows the filtration system to adapt to the increased biological load that the new fish introduce.
  9. After brining new fish home, always float the bag for about 15 minutes. This will allow the fish to become acclimated to the temperature and PH of the water. Add a little aquarium water to the bag in five minute intervals. Remove the fish from the bag with a net and place them in the aquarium. Dispose of the bag and voila…..your all set up!

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