So, after much deliberation, if you finally decided on keeping Ornamental Fishes as pets, this post is going to be of immense use for you. In this post, we will discuss the most fundamental part of Fish Keeping – setting up an Aquarium.
An Aquarium is the glass container that houses your fish. How healthy and happy your fish are going to depend on this very important step. So, without further ado, let us discuss the steps in setting up your Aquarium.
1. Choosing the Aquarium and the Stand
The first step is choosing an Aquarium and a Stand based on the space that is available to you and the type of Fish that you want to keep. If you want to keep small fish, then a minimum 20-gallon tank will do. The bigger the fish you want to keep, the bigger the aquarium you have to get. The rule of thumb is to get a standard 55-gallon tank as a beginner tank. The larger the tank, the easier it is to maintain the right conditions for your fish.
2. Installing the Filters
After setting up your new tank and stand in the place that you desire, the next step is to install the Filters. If the fishes that you are going to buy are not very small, then you should go for Top Filtration or Power Filtration. On the other hand, if the fishes that you want to buy are small or weak swimmers, then you should go for Undergravel Filtration. In most cases though, power filters that hang off the tank are the right choice as they filtrate good quantity of water and are also very easy to use. Although exceptions are always there.
3. Setting the Gravel
After installing the Filter, you should first wash the gravel thoroughly under running water. This step should be repeated 3 – 4 times until no visible dust is coming out of the gravel as such. DO NOT use soap or any other type of detergents. This will be detrimental to your fish. Use only normal tap water to wash any aquarium accessory. After washing the gravel set it carefully inside your tank. If you want, you can also put artificial plants inside for decorative purposes. Now you are ready to add water inside.
4. Do a Fishless Cycle
After adding water inside the tank, start the aquarium filters. If you live in cold weather but intend to keep tropical fishes, then you will also have to install a thermostat in your aquarium. Add de-chlorinator in the tank water and keep the filter running for the Fishless Cycle (Nitrogen cycle) – wherein the harmful Ammonia and Nitrites are converted to Nitrates. You can add 3-4 pellets of fish food to accelerate the whole process. You can use a test kit to determine how much time is left for the cycle to be completed. When ammonia and nitrite levels, after an initial spike, return to zero, you can go ahead and add your fish.
5. Time to Add your Fish
After completing the Fishless Cycle successfully, now it is time to add the fish in your tank. Do not buy all your fish at once. After bringing your fish home, first, acclimatize it to your water conditions by floating the container pack in the tank water for 15 minutes, before setting it free inside your tank.
Now that you have successfully set up your own tank, it is time to sit down, relax and watch how the fishes enjoy swimming around in their new decorated and healthy home. Fish Keeping is indeed a very relaxing hobby.