How to Set Up a Freshwater Aquarium

Setting up an aquarium is something that people of all ages like to get involved in. It is something that the children can do as a hobby but also something that many adults like to do so that they can brighten up the home with colorful fish and a beautifully designed aquarium.

The whole process of setting up a freshwater aquarium is pretty simple as long as you have the right tools and you do your research.

Once you’ve set the aquarium up, you can enjoy the calming yet vibrant effect of your finished aquarium to add a focal point to your room.

With a freshwater aquarium, you can quickly and easily bring a touch of nature and beauty to your own home. If you are setting up the aquarium for your children, do make sure that they are aware of the responsibilities that are involved, as they will need to ensure that they know what has to be done in order to keep the fish safe and healthy.

The step by step process

So, in order to set up a freshwater aquarium in your home, you simply need to follow these step by step instructions:

  1. Buy your tank: You first need to purchase your fish tank. You can get different sizes and styles so you should base your decision on personal preferences, the amount of room you have available in the location you have chosen for the aquarium, and the number of fish that you plan to have in there. Also, bear in mind that you will need to have space for decorations and plants. Unless you already have somewhere to place the tank, you may also want to invest in a stand. Make sure that the stand you buy is adequate for the size of your tank. 
  2. Purchase extras: There are a number of additional things you will need to set up the aquarium. This includes:
  • Bucket
  • Gravel
  • Decorations and plants
  • Water conditioner
  • Filter and heater
  1. Clean the new tank: Before you start, you should clean the new tank. Make sure you don’t use soap – simply cleaning with water and then allowing it to air dry should suffice. Once it is dry you are ready to begin.
  2. Install the filter: Once the tank is dry, you can install your filter. Make sure you read and follow the instructions carefully, as these can vary based on the type of filter you have. For instance, you can choose from under-gravel filters or or external power filters.  Make sure you do not turn the filter on at this stage.
  3. Put in the gravel: The first step is to put in the gravel that you purchased. The amount you need will depend on the size of the tank. However, as a rule of thumb you can go with two inches of gravel for tanks up to 55 gallons. For larger tanks, two or three inches of gravel should be fine.
  4. Add decorations and plants: At this stage, you can add any decorations and plants that you want for your aquarium. Take some time to place them the way you want them, as once the water and fish have been added it will become far more difficult to move them around. Here’s a short video tip on how to pick fish tank decorations:
  1. Add the water to the tank: You are now ready to add water to the tank. It is a good idea to just fill it with around two inches of water to start with so that you can check for any possible leaks. After half an hour or so, you can fill the tank the rest of the way. Make sure you use a clean bucket with no chemical residue. You can fill the tank to the top, leaving around one inch between the water and the rim of the tank.
  2. Filter and heating: You can now plug in your filter and wait for a couple of hours to ensure that the water is circulating properly. The heater can then be installed on the inside of the tank. The simplest option is to buy one of the heaters that can be fully submerged. At this stage, you can also add your water de-chlorinator, which will remove the chlorine and chemicals that can prove harmful to fish.

Selecting your fish

Once your aquarium is set up and ready for us, you can look at selecting the fish you want for the aquarium. If you are not accustomed to keeping fish, it is a good idea to speak to a professional for some tips and advice. Remember, not all types of fish are compatible so if you are planning to have more than one type make sure you do your research first.