Introduction: How to Set Up a Tropical Freshwater Aquarium

-10 easy steps
-30-60 minutes of set up time as well as 1-2 weeks of waiting

Step 1: Supplies Needed

-Fish tank of desired size (ensure no scratches or cracks).
-Filter, can be a variety of styles but needs to be powerful enough for whatever size tank desired.
-Heater, needs to be powerful enough for whatever size tank desired.
-Light, needs to be powerful enough for plants if they are planned on being used.
-Substrate, personal preference (aim for 1-2 inches).
-Bottle of water conditioner
-Water test kit (Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates)
-Any decorations or plants (personal preference).

Step 2: Getting Tank Ready

-Rinse tank inside and out with WATER ONLY (NO CLEANING CHEMICALS).
-Find a sturdy place to keep tank that will be able to support the weight of the tank WITH water.

Step 3: Preparing Substrate

-Empty substrate into bucket and rinse substrate with water until all dust is gone and water is clear.
-Put clean substrate into tank about 1-2 inches deep.

Step 4: Fill Tank

-Fill tank with tap water.
-Add the proper dosage of water conditioner (dependent upon what size tank).

Step 5: Installing Equipment

-Submerge heater against the side if the tank and set to desired temperature (78-80 degrees is recommended in a tropical tank).
-Install filter using the instructions provided with whatever filter that was chosen.
- Put light over the top of tank (make sure light is secure and won’t fall into water.

Step 6: Plugging Everything In

-Make sure all equipment is plugged in properly.
-Make sure all cords have a drip loop to prevent water from getting to the outlet.

Step 7: Decorate

-Add any hardscapes or decorations in desired spots of tank.
-Plant any plants in desired spots of tank.

Step 8: Wait

-Before livestock can be added it is essential to wait until water parameters are stable.
-Use a water test kit and the instructions included to determine this.

Step 9: Adding Fish

-Float bag that the fish came in in tank water to acclimate the fish to your water temperature for about 15 minutes.
-Add fish to tank.

Step 10: Enjoy!

-Sit back and enjoy your new fish tank!