Freshwater aquarium set up is more than just dumping some water in a glass tank and then throwing some fish into it. It takes planning and time to get the right environment so that your fish will thrive.
I received a 75-gallon fish tank for Christmas and this is what I did to establish a vibrant freshwater aquarium.
Leak Test- Most recommend that you leak test your tank. This is not really necessary if you buy it from a reputable dealer, but if you are buying it used, leak test it before you buy.
Location- Find a good spot for your tank. It is recommended that you stay away from windows but locate it close to an electrical outlet. I have mine in my office where I do most of my work away from the window but close to an electrical outlet.
Aerator- Place your aerator in first and place it at the rear of the aquarium, this way you can cover it with the rock you place in your tank.
Rock – Your next step is to put the rock or pebbles in. For my 75-gallon tank I have about 25 to 35 pounds of rock in using rock I purchased at my pet store. Make sure you wash the rock before you place it in the aquarium.
The rock should be thin in the front of the aquarium and gradually have it get higher at the back to where it covers the aerator at the back of your tank.
Water- Fill your tank with tap water and then put in water conditioner that will remove chlorine that is in the water. This can be purchased at any pet store.
Heater and Filters – Place your heater and filters in next. For fresh water fish set your heater at between 75 to 80 degrees.
Bacteria- This is an important step to developing the environment for your fish. You can get a bag of bacteria from your local pet store.
Plants- I use live plants in my aquarium because they keep my fish happy, provide algae to keep them fed and make the tank more natural.
Wallpaper- On the back of the tank I have placed wallpaper that you can also purchase at your local pet store. This wallpaper should match your rock you have placed at the bottom of your tank. This is a two-person job to install, so convince your significant other to help you.
After you have done all this, let your aquarium cook for a couple of weeks then take a sample of your water to your pet store to determine if it is ready for your fish.