What do you need to know before setting up your aquarium? 

What do you need to know before setting up your aquarium? 

What's the right size tank? 

Choosing the right-sized aquarium will depend on the amount of space you have, the kind of fish you want to keep, and your budget.

There is a natural tendency to want to start small, especially when kids are involved. For one thing, smaller aquariums cost less, plus it is easier to find a place to put them. It is natural to feel that a smaller tank will be easier and less complicated to take care of, but actually, the opposite is true. Larger aquariums are more stable and more forgiving of beginner mistakes. When things go wrong – as sometimes happens in the beginning – they tend to do so quickly and often with disastrous results in a smaller aquarium. That does not mean you should start your youngster out with a 200-liter setup (although they probably would not object to the idea), it just means that unless you are planning to have a Betta and nothing more, a 30-liter tank is a better choice than a tiny desktop aquarium. Also, if your budget and available space allow you to go larger, bigger is always better!

Glass vs Acrylic Aquariums?

Another consideration is whether to go with a glass or acrylic aquarium; each has pros and cons. Glass tanks do not warp or scratch easily, they are less expensive and do not discolor over time. They are, however, more vulnerable to breakage. Acrylic tanks are lighter and although more expensive, are less vulnerable to breakage. When choosing a stand, the entire bottom of an acrylic or frameless glass tank must be supported, not just the edges as with a framed glass aquarium.

How many fish can I keep in my tank?

A good guide for keeping fish in your tank is about 1” of fish per 1 gallon of water. For larger fish it is recommended only 1” of fish for every 3 gallons of water. Larger fish often have a higher strain on the tank's biological bacteria and filter media.

After gravel, rocks, plants, and decor there will be far less volume in the aquarium. Ensure you are aware of the adult size the fish in the aquarium will grow. This will help in understanding how many fish to stock at this stage. It is no use stocking a 30-gallon tank with 25” of fish and then finding out that the fish will grow to 2” each, leaving you with 50” of fish.

At what temperature should the aquarium be maintained?

On average, most tropical aquariums do best with temperatures ranging from 23 to 28 degrees Celsius (73-82 degrees Fahrenheit).

What kind of lighting is required?

The type of lighting depends upon what kind of animals you desire to keep. One of the most important factors is light intensity. A high color temperature is also important. Aquarium lights with color temperatures ranging between 5,000 to 7,000 degrees Kelvin would give excellent colors to a marine system. Another factor is the "Color Rendering Index" or CRI. The CRI of sunlight is 100 and a high CRI on an artificial light means that it is very close to replicating the colors of natural sunlight.

What is pH?

pH is an abbreviation for pondus hydrogenii which also stands for "Power of Hydrogen" or "Weight of Hydrogen." pH is a measure of the effective acidity or alkalinity of a solution. It is expressed as the negative logarithm of the hydrogen-ion concentration. Pure water has a hydrogen ion concentration equal to 10-7 moles per liter at standard conditions. The negative logarithm of this quantity is 7. Pure water has a pH value of 7. The pH scale usually is considered as extending from 0 to 14. As the scale drops towards 0, the solution becomes more acidic. As the scale rises toward 14, the solution becomes more basic. Small pH testing kits are available at most aquarium shops. These kits have color codes to indicate the approximate pH.

What is Nitrate?

When fish and other animals eat food and poop in the aquarium, their waste produces toxic nitrogen compounds like ammonia. Beneficial bacteria in the fish tank naturally grows and consumes the ammonia, purifying the water in the process and making it safe for fish to live in. However, one of the end products generated by the beneficial bacteria is nitrate. Nitrate is significantly less toxic than ammonia, but in large amounts, it can also start to negatively impact animals.

What kind of filtration is needed?

Three Types of Filtration: There are three major types of filtration used in marine aquariums -- mechanical, chemical and biological. A good mixture utilizing all three types of filtration would be advisable Biological filtration utilizes bacteria to break down waste material in the water. During mechanical filtration, small particles in the water pass through the filter media and get caught. Example of this would be rapid sand filters in large aquariums and simple foam pads in home aquariums. Chemical filters may utilize activated carbon to remove dissolved molecules from the water. Another example of a chemical filter would be a protein foam skimmer. All types of filtration are readily available in most aquarium shops.

Under-gravel Filtration: Under-gravel filtration is a simple way to filter the aquarium. It is usually made of a flat plate or screen which is set up off the aquarium bottom, leaving a small empty space below it. Filter media (usually gravel) is placed on top of the filter. there are at least two uplift tubes which are connected to the space below the filter and draw water up through them as a result of an air pump on the top of the tube. In this situation, the water passes down through the gravel and then back up to the surface of the aquarium through the uplift tubes.

How much gravel do you need?

Add 700 to 900 grams of gravel for every gallon of aquarium water. Be sure to rinse the gravel thoroughly (water should drain clear) before adding. The gravel bed should slope gradually to the front of your aquarium.

How Long Do You Have to Wait to Put Fish in a New Tank?

Preparations for starting a new aquarium can take about one to two weeks for gathering the proper materials, installing the equipment, and start the aquarium cycling process. Afterward, the aquarium needs time to establish a healthy ecosystem, and your fish should go through quarantine to prevent the spread of any diseases. Therefore, don’t rush this process by impulsively buying fish or prematurely ordering them online before the tank is ready.

How to disinfect tap water? 

To disinfect tap water, many water treatment facilities now use chloramine, which is deadly to fish and does not evaporate as readily as chlorine. Therefore, don’t forget to buy some water dechlorinator to make your tap water safe for fish. Of course, your fish need something to eat, so try some of our favorite, high-quality fish foods. An aquarium water test kit is also very useful for determining if poor water quality is making the fish sick.

How often should I change the water?

It depends on how many fish you have and the quality of your filtration system. In lightly stocked tanks, I would recommend changing 10 percent of the water once a week. You could probably get by with vacuuming the gravel once every two weeks depending on the population of your tank. Heavier stocked tanks will need larger (25% or more) weekly water changes and gravel vacuuming.

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