Aquatics Tank Set Up Guide
This is a simple step by step guide to starting up your first tropical or coldwater fish tank. It is good to be aware that it will take a least a week of running for the filter to able to support any fish.
Before you buy a fish tank there are many considerations to take into account. The first and foremost being where the aquarium should be placed. There are a few things to take into account when making these decisions:-
•Make sure the tank is out of direct sunlight all year round
•It is away from sources of loud noise; such as speakers or busy rooms
•Located near plug sockets, these will be needed for powering the filter and lights
Be aware that when tanks are filled with water they are very heavy! Make sure that the tank won’t need to be moved at a later date and that the surface it is on is able to support the weight.
The next step is to position all the equipment, such as filters and heaters in the tank. These will come with suction cups so that they can adhere to the aquarium glass. A heater is only required for the keeping of tropical fish.
1.The filter should be placed in the corner of the tank so that the outlet from the filter is level with the surface of the water.
2.The heater should be added in a position in which it will be fully submerged. For best heat dissipation into the tank have the heater in a slanted position.
3.A thermometer should be used to monitor the temperature of the water once the tank is setup.
4.All electrical equipment should use ‘drip loops’ to stop water damage. This means that there should be a loop in the wire, or the wire should go below the plug socket, to stop water and condensation running into the socket. A cable tie can also be used stop water travelling down the outside of the wire
Warning: Do not turn on heaters and pumps until they are fully submerged! Also removing heaters from water while on may cause them damage.
Before being added to a tank, some ornaments and decorations may need to be washed or rinsed.
•Rinse all gravel in cold water to remove any fine silt or dust that may have accumulated through storage. Take care not to be abrasive with the gravel especially if the gravel is coloured.
Do not use household detergents or bleach!
•Let any wood that is being placed in the tank soak in tap water for at least 24 hours before being placed in the tank. This will allow some natural chemicals to be removed, which may cause the water to discolour if left unchecked.
Spread the gravel evenly across the bottom of the tank, at a depth of roughly 1-2cm. Make sure to choose the correct type of gravel for the fish you intend to get, as catfish and other bottom dwellers prefer smaller substrate.
Once the gravel has been added ornaments and decor can then be positioned in the tank.
•When buying decor it is a good idea to get some natural wood and stones as this is the most similar to the fishes natural environment.
•Position ornaments so that there is a large amount of swimming space but enough small hiding spaces for small fish and catfish that prefer to hide.
•Make it an inviting place for fish and interesting to look at!
Once everything is in place it is time to fill the tank. It is important to remember to add water declorinator and friendly bacteria to help the system start up.
1.Fill a bucket or washing up bowl with an amount of water roughly three quarters of the volume of the tank
2.Add the correct dosage of aquasafe. More may be needed if your local area uses large amounts of chlorine in the water supply.
3.Pour the water into the tank, it is a good idea pour it over an ornament to stop the gravel being disturbed.
Once the tank has been filled the filter and heater should be turned on. If the filter does not start at first it may need filling with water, as air bubbles will impede performance.
Plants can be added at this stage, if the tank has a light. It is also a good idea to add some friendly bacteria or some of a friends tank water to help kickstart the aquarium.