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 idiots guide to setting up an aquarium

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MORPH

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Posts : 11
Join date : 2012-02-05
Location : suffolk, uk

PostSubject: idiots guide to setting up an aquarium   Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:27 am

lets start at the begining....
how to set up your aquarium.

Where to put your aquarium
Assuming that you've already purchased or decided on your aquarium, your first step is to find a good spot to situate it. In a typical home, there are a few spots you should probably avoid.
1. Bedrooms
While you may be fine with it, it may bother others sharing the space. The noise of a running filter or splashing water can be distracting, and can keep you awake at night. However, if this is not an issue a bedroom or extra room can be an ideal place to view your aquarium and for it's inhabitants to enjoy a quiet stress free environment. In fact, the added humidity can even be quite healthy for you.
2.Hallways
Hallways are generally heavy in traffic, and this can cause your fish unnecessary stress, as they do not feel comfortable out in the open. Stress in fish leads to diseases. Attempts to provide cover will result in them remaining hidden most the time, and you will not often be able to view them.
3.Direct sunlight
Direct sunlight allows for excessive algae growth, which can be unsightly and will require extra tank maintenance. This can also cause rapid water temperature fluctuations.
4.Near closing doors, entry ways, other areas of high traffic
For the same reasons as hallways, but also because of possible cool drafts, which can again cause rapid water temperature fluctuations.
5.In the middle of an open area
This may be difficult to decorate or hide heaters/filters effectively, and could also receive too much direct sunlight. Without a solid background or walls, shy and stressed fish may also occur.
6.On the floor
Our floors tend to be drafty or cool, but an aquarium placed on the floor may also be stressful to it's inhabitants. There is also a risk of accidentally damaging the glass or acrylic by kicking it, walking into it, dropping items, etc. Floors may also not be perfectly level, so always use a stand. It would also make it incredibly difficult to clean the tank with a gravity-powered siphon.

Getting it ready

Once you've settled on the location for your new tank, you can start to set it all up. This will require basic decoration, substrate, equipment, and perhaps some safety precautions.

1.Add a background
This can be painted onto the glass, or you can add a special aquarium backing attached by tape or vegetable oil. The design or color is your choice, but definitely consider adding one. Fish will feel more at home with a defined boundary, and it will add to the attractiveness of the tank. This step is best done first to avoid the hassle of working around a heavy water filled tank, or worrying about stressed fish.
2.Make sure tank is on a level aquarium stand
Use a level to be certain the surface is level to avoid future cracks or breaks in the glass/acrylic. Many aquarium stands have adjustable feet for leveling purposes. You may wish to add a sheet of Styrofoam/padding under the aquarium to fix uneven surfaces. You'll want to do this before you add any water, because it is too heavy to level afterwards.
3.Wash your substrate well before adding it to the fish tank
Rinse all gravel repeatedly, and especially all types of sand. Place substrate in a clean fish-use only bucket and rinse through with a hose while stirring to agitate debris. When water poured through substrate is clear, it is ok to add to the aquarium.
4.Arrange rocks, driftwood, and other decorations & equipment (such as egg crate, plants, etc)
5.Place a saucer, plate, or other surface (such as a flat rock or bowl) in the tank...Add water by pouring directly onto surface. The flat surface will keep fine substrates from becoming stirred, and will help to keep aquascaping undisturbed.
6.Dechlorinate water
There are many cheap dechlorination substances you can purchase at your local pet store.
7.Add & adjust equipment
See individual equipment instruction manuals for details.
Water follows the path of least resistance. In order to keep water from running down a power cord to your outlet, make sure there is a loop in the cord that hangs lower than the point where the cord is plugged into the electrical outlet. This will prevent water from accidentally leaking into an outlet resulting in a possible electrical short
8.Allow water to settle at least 24 hours, with equipment running
This will allow the substrate to settle, the water to clear, and the temperature to adjust.

Now is also the time to begin a fish-less cycle and make any changes to water chemistry, if any are needed.

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