Aquariums make a great centerpiece for any home or business. Some people have compared their aquarium installation to a small piece of the ocean in a box. Watching the motions of fish and the water is very soothing and relaxing, but if you’re not an experienced fish keeper, the idea of a full-scale aquarium installation might seem complicated.
There are important facts you should know before you start your new aquarium hobby. We’ve assembled a guide to a complete aquarium installation to help you get started.
Step One: You Need a Plan
Planning ahead before you begin your aquarium installation will save a lot of headaches later. You should think about the size and shape of your aquarium. What kind of fish do you want in your custom aquarium? Will you have a saltwater aquarium or freshwater aquarium?
Step Two: Set Up Your Custom Aquarium and Stand
Remember, the place you decide you want your aquarium installation should be level and able to hold both the weight of the water and the aquarium itself. You will also want to take any heating elements, lighting or filters into consideration when you place your custom aquarium. You will want to plan a location that is easy for aquarium maintenance if you plan to do it yourself. For aquariums set in walls, or for larger aquariums, you may need professional help with aquarium maintenance.
Step Three: Add Gravel or Sand
Make sure you thoroughly clean the gravel or sand you wish to use before putting it in the tank. Otherwise, your tank could remain cloudy for many weeks afterward. Place the gravel in a bucket and use a hose on high pressure to spray the material directly in the bucket. When the bucket is full of water, stir the gravel in the pocket to clean any more dirt off it. Repeat this process until the water is visibly clear. One clean, gently add the gravel to the bottom of the tank so you don’t scratch the glass or acrylic at the bottom.
Step Four: Install the Filter and Heater
Before you install the filter and heater into your new aquarium, test them in a small amount of water to make sure they’re working properly. That way, you won’t be taking a chance on losing your fish over an equipment malfunction. Make sure to route all power cords away from the custom aquarium. Water and electricity don’t mix very well.
Step Five: Decorate!
Now for the really fun part. It’s time to add whatever decorations you would like. Just like gravel, it is important to clean whenever decorations you plan to use in your aquarium. It is important not to use any kind of soap when you’re cleaning. Soap and detergents are toxic in a marine environment. It only takes a little soap residue on decorations to be fatal to your fish.
If you have live plants, now’s the time to add them. You should add a little of your water to the tank first. That way, the plants won’t be stressed until the aquarium is entirely filled with water.
Step Six: Add Your Water and Cycle
Once the inside of your aquarium is in place, you can add your water to it. Make sure you properly treat your water to rid yourself of unwanted chemicals like chlorine. Is a good idea to also add nitrates and beneficial bacteria to the water to help prepare it before adding it to your custom aquarium installation.
Cycling your tank simply means letting it run for a while without any fish in it. By cycling your tank, you will allow the water to become properly oxygenated, and free of unwanted chemicals. Cycling also allows beneficial bacteria to grow. These bacteria are useful in eliminating waste, and reducing the water’s toxicity.
Step Seven: Add Your Fish!
Once your aquarium installation is complete, and your water is cycled, it’s time to add your fish! Test the water once more, and place the bag containing the fish into the water. Leave the bag unopened in your aquarium installation for a few minutes to equalize the water temperature. That way, you won’t stress the fish by a sudden temperature change. It’s always best to add fish one or two at a time. This allows them more time to acclimate to their new home before they get new neighbors.
Once you have added your fish, observe them for a while to make sure they’re getting along well in their new home. Test the water every few hours after adding your fish. You’ll want to be sure that the temperature, oxygen level, and chemical levels such as ammonia stay balanced.
Professionals Make It Easier
If you’d rather enjoy the fish without any of the setup work, help is just a phone call away. In the Los Angeles area, Aquatech Aquarium Service is ready to help you with expert advice, setup, and service. Rely on their award winning aquarium maintenance and service to make sure your new custom aquarium stays beautiful for years to come.