Getting started!

Information, questions and useful tips on setting up a new Aquarium.

Getting started!

Postby fireboxchaser » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:58 pm

The first thing to do before setting up any aquarium is to find a really good local aquarium centre, who can give you the advice you will undoubtedly need especially in the early days of fish keeping.

I advise you to go and fish as many local to you as possible. You need to look at the following on your visit:

1. Are the tanks clean and the occupants happy. There should be no dead fish in any tanks. The fish should be healthy with erect fins. Are they swimming around happily or are they huddling in a corner. Look for blemishes, marks and see if respiration is normal.

.2. Do they stock a wide variety of fish of all types and sizes

3. Are the staff friendly and helpful, and do they have a good knowledge of the fish they have for sale. Do they quarantine their fish before sale.

4. Is the store well stocked with products, and are the staff interested in what you would like to set up. Many staff become good friends and end up knowing nearly as much about your new tank as you do.

Once you have decided on the type of fish you might be interested in then you should take the time to find out everything you can about them. Where they live in their natural habitat, what sort of water conditions they like (do they like soft or hard water, what sort of temperature etc) how big do they grow. Size of the eventual adult fish will decide the size of tank you will need to purchase. Also if you are intending having a community tank then you must ensure that your intended purchases will live together peacefully.

:) Once you have made these decisions then you can look at purchasing your tank. There are a bewildering array of these and you would be best advised to seek the help of your local store with this and the purchase of filters, lighting and heating etc to go with it.

Once you have brought your pride and joy home you need to set it up in its final home as once full of water it is surprisingly heavy. If you have bought a large tank then you need to place some polystyrene tiles or similar underneath it to prevent the tank from twisting and cracking the glass.

Once this is done then you can set up the filters, decor etc and add your treated water. Again the help and advice of your local store or an experienced fish keeper is vital here as you cannot put fish in tap water as the various chemicals, chlorine etc will quickly kill them. You also need to be patient as your new tank will need to 'mature' with filter bacteria before adding your new fish. To my mind no one should ever start a new tank using fish to achieve this. There is no substitute for a properly cycled tank, set up and ready to accept your fish in the correct way. Only this way can you make sure they are happy and healthy and will give you a lot of pleasure. Patience will have its ultimate reward.
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