Step 1: You Will Need
- a fish tank with a cover and a light
- a filtration system
- an air pump
- aquatic plants
- your fish
Step 2: The Tank
There are many different types and sizes of tanks available, and these days they are often sold as complete all-in-one packages that include all the accessories you will need.
Seek advice from your fish retailer about which tank to buy, as this will determine the type and number of fish you can keep.
Start by washing out your tank with clean, warm water, without detergent. Position it on a surface that will not buckle, and that is sturdy enough to take the tank’s weight when full. It is usually best to use a stand or cabinet which is purpose-built for fish tanks, especially if you have a large tank.
Step 3: Adding Gravel
Always use aquarium gravel from a pet shop, as this will be safe for your fish. Wash the gravel until the water runs clear. Then spread it evenly in the tank.
Step 4: Decorations
There are a variety of decorations available for aquariums. Rocks, driftwood and novelty decorations can all add to the visual appeal of a fish tank. Rinse the decorations in tap water, and then place them into the tank. You can also attach a plain or printed backdrop to the back of your tank.
Step 5: Install equipment
Install a filtering system into your tank. Fish produce a large amount of waste, which needs to be filtered out of the water otherwise it will become toxic.
There are several different types of filtration systems available. They can be located inside the tank, outside the tank, or under the gravel. It’s also important that the surface of the water is agitated so that oxygen can enter the tank water. In most cases, the filtration system will be able to do this, but sometimes it’s necessary to install a separate air pump which will produce air bubbles in the water. Your retailer will be able to advise you which equipment is the most appropriate.
Step 6: Add water
Fill your tank up with cold tap water. TOP TIP : Place a bowl onto the gravel and pour the water into the bowl. This will stop the gravel displacing from the force of the water.
Most tanks will have a water line indicating where you should fill it to. Add some dechlorinator to the water, as per the instructions on the bottle. This will make the water safe for your fish.
Step 7: Wait
Switch on the filter and then wait for about 2 days before adding plants or fish. This will give the tank time to settle and adjust to room temperature.
Step 8: Plants
After a couple of days, your tank is ready to be planted. There is a wide variety of aquatic plants available and your retailer will advise you which are appropriate for your aquarium.
Rinse new plants under tap water, and then plant them into the gravel in your tank. It’s a good idea to remove some tank water before planting the plants, to prevent spillage, and then return the water to the tank afterward. If the water is murky after planting, allow some time for the filter to clear it before adding fish.
Step 9: Adding fish
You are now ready to go out and buy your fish.