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Setting Up Your Freshwater Aquarium for the First Time Featured

Knowing the proper way to set up your freshwater aquarium tank will make your job easier and your new hobby more enjoyable.

new aquarium Setting up a new tank

After purchasing an aquarium and bringing it home, many novice aquarium hobbyists mistakenly believe that the most difficult task is behind them. It can be very hard, after all, to choose just one tank from among a wide variety of choices in aquarium sizes and shapes. Once you get your new aquarium home, however, the real work begins. If you take time to make the necessary preparations and research the proper procedure, setting up your first freshwater aquarium will be less of a hassle and your job will be much easier down the line when it comes to routine care and maintenance.

Selecting a Location

Place your aquarium on top of a sturdy cabinet or aquarium stand and position it somewhere you will be able to enjoy it. When selecting a location for your tank, keep in mind that if you place it in direct sunlight you will have problems with algae growth. It is also important to consider accessibility when selecting a location for your tank so that routine cleaning and maintenance does not become difficult.

Basic Set-Up Tips

1. Rinse the aquarium along with any gravel, plants and decorations in warm tap water. When rinsing gravel or substrate, stir the gravel well and flush it with water until the overflow runs clear. 2. Attach your aquarium background to the back of the tank using clear tape. 3. Pour the clean gravel into the tank then fill it about 2/3 full with warm tap water. Place a flat rock in the center of the tank and pour the water in over the rock to avoid scattering the gravel. 4. Check the water temperature in the tank as you fill it using an in-tank thermometer, adding warmer or cooler water as needed to keep the temperature between 70° and 76° Fahrenheit. 5. Set up your power filter according to the manufacturer’s instruction, but do not plug it in. 6. Mount your submersible aquarium heater on the wall of the tank, but do not plug it in. Leave adequate space around the heater to ensure even distribution of heated water and do not rest any decorations up against the heater itself. 7. Install your decorations and plants in the aquarium. Position the tallest plants near the back of the aquarium and place smaller plants up front. 8. Fill the tank the rest of the way with warm tap water and add your choice of dechlorinating solution, following the instructions on the bottle to determine how much to use. 9. Plug in your heater and filter and adjust them to the appropriate settings. Read the instructions included with your filter to determine whether you need to fill the filter with water before plugging it in. 10. Wait at least 24 hours before adding any fish to your aquarium. This will give the tank temperature time to stabilize and the nitrogen cycling process time to begin.

Other Tips for a Healthy Aquarium

In order to keep your aquarium running properly you need to establish a base of beneficial bacteria – a process often referred to as cycling the tank. Adding a few fish to the tank at a time is one of the most common ways to begin building a colony of beneficial bacteria but installing an EcoBio-Stone to your tank can help you to jumpstart the process. EcoBio-Block products are made of porous volcanic cement block infused with beneficial bacteria that will multiply upon being introduced into your tank. These bacteria help to speed up the nitrogen cycle, keeping the water in your tank clean and clear for your fish to enjoy and reduce the frequency of necessary water changes.

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