Instructables
A simple step by step guide to setting up your first ten gallon tropical fish tank. If you enjoy it please digg it!
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Information to know

Welcome to step one. I feel that before you go out and buy all the stuff, you should know a few things about keeping a fish tank.

1. If you want to have a fish tank, your going to have to put in time and commitment.
2. don't try to do something above your level.
3. you WILL have weekly chores.
4. fish are alive. treat them that way.
5. have lots of paper towels ready

Step 2: Scout out a location

Alright, it's time to find somewhere to put the thing. Find the room you want to put it in, perhaps the living room for all to see, or the bedroom for you and you alone to watch. Whene finding a spot you have to take a few things into consideration.

It should NOT be by any of the following:

windows
doors
places where peoplengo to and fro a lot.

Lets consider an area that it SHOULD be around:

close to sources of water
area with a fair amount of space
electrical outlets.
meghu211 year ago
Choosing the right kind of fish for your aquarium is very important as there are different kind of fish which prefer different environment; read all about it here.http://www.whatisall.com/miscellaneous/what-kind-of-fish-should-i-buy-for-my-aquarium.html
Insted of taking the water to a pet store,API has a liquid test kit that you take tour water and put it in a test tube with solution to check if everything is OK. Plus all i have by me is petsmart and petco. Those people dont know a thing about fish...
Dimitris102 years ago
What is the size of this fish tank??
harry882 years ago
What would you do if you're sponge filter has the carbon inside of it
juicymoose2 years ago
i dont know in gallons.. but will a 16-17 litre tank be alright?
BECKBERRY4 years ago
sweet
AmyLuthien5 years ago
Depends upon the water quality you have available how quickly you can add the fish. I'm lucky, I have well water that filters through about 300' of layered coal, sand and clay. It is absolutely pristine when I pump it out of the ground and into my house, so I literally can fill an aquarium with water and put the fish right in it without waiting. And yes, I've got everything from koi ponds to salt water aquariums, and I've been keeping fish for a good 30+ years now - all using this same water.

I will say, you should never ever add the water the fish came in to your aquarium. Buy a bottle of Cycle instead. The Cycle will add the bacteria you need, but not the chemicals etc. you will find in the water from the store.
just wondering what do you do if you use a fine substrate like live sand or something and what fine substrate would be best ora tropical freshwater tank
steblublu5 years ago
Thanks for the instructable - the info was good. i'm building my own aquarium and needed to know a little more about maintenance issues - so you helped alot. The only criticism I would offer is that after reading your PDF, I would suggest to the author that he may want to find an "English spelling" instructable..... :)
You can also do a 50% water swap out every other week, but make sure to check the water parameter, change sooner if the water is going bad. For your first tank you will most likely not want to go with a liquid test kit (about $35), the $10 strips should be good enough.
and it should not be by places that are affected by heat so don't put the tank near any windows or any places that are in the path of direct sunlight.
i disagree i started a 20 gallon tank and i waited for about 24 hours and put fish in and its been over 2 weeks and they are fine
Well said for the most part although I have two things that I would like to add: Decorations: chose decorations that are compatible with the type of fish that you will house. For instance I have Black Moors (bubble eye or telescope eye fish) these type of fish can injure themselves (eyes) on sharp reefs and or plastic rough or pointy plants. and number 2 is a safety feature place your electrical bar above the floor but below the socket on the wall as for the cord to form a "loop" in case of a water leak to prevent electrocution/fire. that's all great instructable.
bassmonkey5 years ago
dude, you wait two days to put any fish in, thats the most important thing
feeshy6 years ago
It would, however, be avoiding animal cruelty if instructions were given for a fishless cycle. I also would avoid taking 'advice' from retailers- as is often the case, if it makes them money, they'll sell it, whether it's a good idea or not.
you have no idea how much i agree to that
Mr. M (author)  feeshy6 years ago
Good point. If you find a reputal dealer that seems interested in you and your fishtank, and not just what you are buying, and also doesn't try to up-sell you, then you have a good dealer you can go to.
ya my local mom-and-pop pet store is the best for questions.
the best information is if you take time and search on google. In this instructable you never mentioned the diseases the fish might have. and itseems you have no real plants in the tank. your tank is not that healthy.
Mr. M (author)  MakerBreaker5 years ago
Ah, yes. Since then, I have changed the gravel color, chucked the bubbles, cannon and plastic plants, and replaced them with wood, an assortment of real plants and a darker gravel color. Oh, and a couple of coconuts for hiding places
oi6 years ago
The only responsible "fish" instructable I have seen so far although like said before you failed to mention anything about cycling the tank before adding fish, and nothing about quarantining the fish from the pet store before adding them in with your new fish.
Guppy86 years ago
you didn't cycle it...
Mr. M (author)  Guppy86 years ago
See my comment below "and that after a month (when the tank has cycled) to start adding a few more fish (one or two)."
iairj846 years ago
I think overall this is a pretty good recomendation... Although there's a few MAJOR things that stand out to me as I've been keeping fresh and saltwater fish for the better part of 10 years now... The first being when you're mentioning to add prime and stress zyme, both are very good products, but they don't make a tank safe for fish.. This is a process called "Cycling" and it can't really be done without adding a source of Ammonia. I.E. Pure ammonia... This is what fish put out when they poop and pee. The stress zyme doesn't break down this safely and it takes anywhere from 2-4 weeks before your tank is cycled. Once the filter has cycled you can start adding a FEW fish, not a lot but a few... This cycling process will no doubt save a lot of little fishies from ammonia poisoning and death. It makes no sense to check the water when nothing other than the water conditioners have been added, because of course the water is perfect as far as water quality goes.
Mr. M (author)  iairj846 years ago
You are correct, but I did mention to start out with a few fish, and after about a month of getting water tested once to twice a month (to check things such as ammonia etc.) and that after a month (when the tank has cycled) to start adding a few more fish (one or two). Thank you for the constructive criticism, I will be sure to keep it in mind for my next Instructable.
Mr. M (author)  Mr. M 6 years ago
Correction on my previous comment, it should say once to twice a week.
w00ty326 years ago
well written, good Instructable But:

you kept spelling thermometer like thermomiter
sorry to tell you this, as you used the word like 10 times.

better catch it early than have more of the grammer nazis of this site hound ya.
Mr. M (author)  w00ty326 years ago
thanks for that. I swear I pressed spell check...
w00ty32 Mr. M 6 years ago
eh, i think those things too.
that was awesome. i'm going to be setting up a tank in the near-ish future, so this was a good read! well written and layed out too
Good job! I like how you specified to wait a month before adding more fish (I find this important). My favorite set up for a 10-12g tank usually contains a small school of neon tetras (5), a otocinclus cat (or two), a small snail (zebra turbo?) and maybe a freshwater clam. (They're great fun to watch.) Also, if space allots, a cherry or ghost shrimp. (These are hands down my favorite.) I have had great success with this setup; the cats clean the plants, the snails clean the glass, and the scavenger cleans up the gravel. Fairly low maintenance community. Although may be slightly crowded for a 10 gallon. Anyways, you've covered the basics superbly!
LinuxH4x0r6 years ago
Cool! now if only someone would do a salt water one.....