So you are ready to set up a fish aquarium. You have your fish tank and you are itching to fill it up with all types of fish, but how many, do you clean it first, does the filter type matter? Loads of questions fill your mind while you are trying to think of all the types of fish you’d like to buy.
First things first you need to make sure to clean your fish tank before you start to fill it up. Do NOT use any type of chemical cleaners. Most people just use a clean sponge or rag and rinse the tank out with warm to hot water, scrubbing the inside and outside well, rinsing afterward to make sure any residue is washed out of your tank.
Second, make sure where ever you set your tank up it is on a stable, solid surface. You will have a lot of water in your tank and it will be heavy. If you set it up on a surface that is thin or wobbly you are likely to have a huge mess of water or worse a broken, smashed fish tank if it hits the floor, not counting what the tank may hit or break while crashing to the floor.
Once you have set your tank in a solid position, you are ready to start filling it up with both water and gravel. Start filling your tank up with warm to coolish water. If you have city water, I would suggest using a chlorine remover before putting any fish in the tank to help have any chlorine used in your municipal water, removed.
After you have filled your tank three-quarters of the way you are ready to start putting in gravel and decorations. Rinse the gravel, glass marbles and decorations well before you put them in the tank to rinse off any residual dust or dirt. Once you have your gravel in your tank, keeping an eye on the level on the water in your tank, you can continue to add some decorations. Keep in mind not to put anything in your tank that may have sharp edges so as not to hurt your fish if they were to slide past them.
Almost ready to fish in you have one last step to perform for your tank to be fully ready. You need an aquarium filter. Make sure you use one that is not too big, better suited for a small ten gallon tank. I prefer the bottom filters but I know many that like the type of filter that hang over the side of the tank. The bottom filters will need some form of cotton and carbon for you to have it completed (rinsing the carbon of dust) and the over the side will need the ‘instant’, ‘ready-made’ filters. Either one of them will need to be changed no less than once a month or at least rinsed well with warm water to be reused. After two months you should change all filter components for the health of your fish.
Finally, you are ready to add fish to your tank! If you buy small fish, start out with one male to two or three females and no more than two different species at first. Also make sure by the pet store owner or attendant can tell you that the fish you are purchasing, are compatible. There are so many different types of fish, both tropical, which need a heater, or fish like goldfish, which do not require a heater. There are live bearers, which have baby fish and then you have egg layers. You should not have both egg layers and live bearers in the same tank since one species might just eat the eggs from the other species, making you sad or angry and wanting to get rid of your fish. To avoid this I would suggest asking questions at the pet store, as many as you feel you need to, no matter how annoyed the store attendant seems to be. You are the consumer and you should be satisfied with the answers you receive before you make a purchase. If no one wants to help you, go somewhere else! I would never try to ‘knock’ a sale for anyone but if they are not helping you, go somewhere where they will!
Now it is time to sit back, relax and enjoy your fish tank! Have fun with it!