Setting up an Aquarium – Part 1

Have you ever been to a doctor’s office, hotel lobby or restaurant and noticed that they have a fish tank?

The aim is to make the environment more relaxing and friendly. Studies have been done that demonstrate that having a fish tank and watching the fish swim has a moderate effect on lowering blood pressure. Maybe this is the reason you have decided to set up a fish tank or perhaps it is that “first pet” for you to teach your child responsibility. Whatever the reason, it is important to be able to set up a tank easily and properly. Most people start out with a small aquarium because that is the easiest and least expensive when starting the hobby of fish keeping.

You need to get the following items for this cols water setup:

  • Aquarium, Stand and Canopy
  • Light fitting
  • Filter (biological/mechanical; powered or air driven)
  • Filter Media (carbon, amrid, phosphate remover, foams, sponges, ceramic rings, bio balls)
  • Air pump, Airline and One-way valve
  • Thermometer
  • Net
  • Backing
  • Gravel (planting soil, substrate)
  • Ornaments
  • Live plants
  • Chemicals
  • Test kits (PH, Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia)
  • For a Tropical Aquarium adda Heater

We stock all of the stuff you need to prepare for your new pet and will be glad to entertain any questions you might have.  Come in today to find the best deals on pet supplies!

The first and most obvious is the tank. Aquariums can differ in shapes, sizes and styles. It is important to find one that you like and will most suitably fit in with your decor. You will also need a canopy with lights. The canopy is needed so the fish don’t jump out, to prevent evaporation and also to house the lamps. The lights in the canopy are needed in case you decide to have live plants (light is needed for the plants to grow), and also so that you can see the fish. You can vary the timing of the light, either manually or with an inexpensive electric timer. It shouldn’t be on continuously because excessive light promotes algae growth. It is important that your tank not be in front of a window because sunlight can also cause an extreme amount of algae growth.

When setting up the tank, it is important to read all the instructions that come with the filter, the heater, and so on. Each filter or heater may be slightly different in set up and you want to make sure that you do these things correctly to ensure the safety of yourself and your fish. An air pump helps oxygenate the water via either a corner filter or an air stone. The air pump is connected to the electrical supply and usually sits outside, behind the aquarium. Please fit a one-way valve to your airline if your air pump is going to be positioned lower than the water level of your aquarium. This will prevent water from siphoning into the air pump. You can have a variety of air stones or ornamental ornaments that help circulate the oxygen in the tank. You will also need some sort of filtration system. This is most important. Many people believe that it is OK to keep fish in only a bowl or a tank of water without any aeration or filtration. Filters remove waste matter and help keep the water pure for months at a time. The cheapest filter is a corner filter which is a square transparent box placed inside the aquarium with an airlift.

Inside the box there should be nylon floss, carbon, amrid and some gravel to weigh it down. After you connect the filter to the air supply, the water is filtered through the nylon floss, carbon and ammonia remover. When this nylon floss is dirty you can either replace it or wash it out. The carbon and amrid must be replaced every 2-3 weeks. Under gravel filters which were popular years ago have become almost antiquated. An under gravel filter is a perforated plate that is placed under the gravel in the tank and is connected to an air pump. Water is drawn through the gravel where the wastes are trapped. These wastes are then broken down by beneficial bacteria in the tank. My personal preference is a powered filter, especially the ones which offer both mechanical and biological filtration. These filters have become very popular and are cost effective and easy to maintain. Also external canister filters are great especially on larger aquariums. The variety of filter media that can be used and the water quality derived from using this type of filter, is amazing. We call it “polished” water!

Stay tuned for part 2 of “Setting up an Aquarium.

Please Share
%d bloggers like this: