An aquarium of the right size, suitable water, a nice decoration, a few plants, lighting, heating (depending on the species) and a good filtration system. It does not take more to make the happiness of your goldfish, your fighter or your guppies. Follow our guide on How to Set up Fish Tank for beginners and its inhabitants!
Step by step: How to Set up Fish Tank for Beginners
- Pour sand at the bottom of the aquarium , in layers of 2-3 cm.
- Add the decorations .
- Pour in the water, ideally reverse osmosis water or tap water drawn the day before and kept in a bucket for 24 hours so that the heavy metals and chlorine have evaporated.
- Add the plants. Remember to remove the ballast lead.
- Add live bacteria. They are used to speed up the water cycle to provide your pets with a pleasant environment without having to wait several weeks. They come in the form of small breakable glass bulbs and pour directly into the water.
- Place the fish (still in their plastic bag) in the aquarium water for about 20 minutes, so that the temperatures equalize.
- Then pour some aquarium water into the bag so that the fish get used to its composition.
- Finally, take your charges with the landing net before delicately placing them in their new environment.
The right shape and size aquarium
Did you know that the traditional goldfish bowl has been banned in several countries including Switzerland?
It is indeed far too small to accommodate a fish, whatever its size. In addition, it does not contain a filtration system, which ends up raising the level of nitrates in the water and making the fish sick.
So forget this jar, you need an aquarium of at least 20 liters for one or two fish, ideally 40 or 50 liters so as not to change too quickly. Indeed, you will have to adapt it to the growth of your animals so that they are at their ease.
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Choosing the right fish
Fish are social animals, that is, they like to live in groups. Thus, it is better to adopt two goldfish together, in order to prevent them from getting bored.
If you only want one fish, then turn to a fighter ( betta splendens). Very colorful, these males are aggressive towards their congeners, but make excellent pets.
You can also opt for pretty guppies, which are also very easy to breed. Be careful, however, they reproduce very quickly: plan a very large aquarium or be satisfied with females.
What budget to plan?
For a fully equipped aquarium , decoration, plants, food and fish, count around 100 $. However, you can also adopt a fish that other people want to get rid of because of lack of time or space.
What water should I use for my aquarium?
There are 3 types of water suitable for an aquarium:
- Reverse osmosis water: this very pure water (95 to 99% purity) is filtered several times in order to be free of nitrates, limestone, heavy metals and pesticides. It is sold directly by the liter in shops. Be careful, it is mandatory to add nitrates to this water so that your fish can live there.
- Commercial spring water: it is possible to opt for bottled water as long as it is spring water with low ion content and whose pH is low enough. You can also mix it with tap water to balance the intake.
- Tap water drawn the day before: this is a practical option if you have not provided special water when buying your fish.
The essential accessories
When choosing your aquarium, make sure that it has a lighting system that is easy to use and of sufficient power. Prefer LED lamps or neon lights: they do not produce heat and therefore avoid artificially raising the temperature of the water. To manage the water temperature you can add a heater.
Most models come with an aquarium filter that provides water cleaning and keeps the fish clear and pleasant. If your aquarium does not contain one, you will need to purchase a separate one.
Where to place the aquarium at home?
Contrary to popular belief, you should place your aquarium in a fairly dark area of your house or apartment. Above all, avoid direct exposure to the sun, which would raise the temperature of the water and promote the development of algae.
This is the lighting system that will give your fish the amount of light they need. It should be left on for 10 hours a day. The easiest way is to provide a timer so that the fish can benefit from their dose of light at a fixed time.
A decoration you like
- Aquarium sand: in addition to adding a little natural touch to your fish’s environment, it allows plants to create roots. Always choose a sand intended for aquarium use (especially not beach sand colonized by bacteria) and lay it out in a thick layer.
- The aquarium decorations: You have the choice between natural stones and plastic figures. These do not present any danger for your fish, so you can have fun and imagine an original decoration. These decorations will make good hiding places for your fish, especially guppies who love to hide from view.
- The aquarium plants , natural or plastic, the choice is yours. Natural plants offer a better decorative appearance, but require a minimum of maintenance. There are three species particularly popular with novice aquarists: cabombas, waterweeds and anubias.
It usually comes in the form of small granules to pour directly into the aquarium. Strictly respect the quantities indicated on the packaging: indigestion is a frequent cause of premature death in goldfish.
When you feed them, your protégés should have finished their meal in about 30 seconds. If this is not the case, it is because they have received too many pellets; you should then lower the dose.
Here you are, you have all the cards in hand so that the installation of your aquarium goes smoothly. We wish you swim in happiness with your new scale friends!