How To Set Up A Fish Tank Even If You Are A Beginner

Are you one of those who want to maintain a fish tank inside your home or your office? Do you have no knowledge about setting up this wonderful hobby? Setting up your own aquarium is not as difficult as you had thought, amateur enthusiasts will certainly have a grand time setting up this new hobby without the hitch.

I had compiled this article in good faith to help you put a little effort in assembling a fish tank that does not cost you a fortune, just perfect for a terrific leisure activity that will definitely bring you great fun. But first, you must give credence to these 3 simple parameters in order to make you successful in your endeavor: a) location, b) size, and c) construction (material).


1. An Ideal Location

Find a perfect location as to where your aquarium should be placed. If inside your home, find a suitable place where direct sunlight is absent to avoid growth of algae and higher temperature of the water. The spot should also be where you always spend most of your time, so that you have eyes on your pets most of the time. An spacious place is also much prepared to give you easy access for cleaning and maintenance.

There should also be ready electric outlet near the aquarium for its electronic accessories and ready water source close to the tank for quick and easy water change. To achieve a healthy aquarium anytime, its water temperature should be kept at standard (76 to 80F or 25 to 27C) or the preferred temperature of your fish species (this could be known from your local pet store), so better to keep the tank away from those heating and air conditioning vents and outside entrance areas. Also, choose the best part of the house where the floor is perfectly leveled and strong enough to withstand the weight of the aquarium and its stand.

2. The Best Size

Experts unanimously agreed that there is no sole aquarium that is right for everyone, meaning, you must take into consideration important factors when choosing the right aquarium that best fit your home or office. The minimum size that you should choose is the size where your pet fish will thrive. Just remember that the bigger the fish tank, the better it is for the fish that will house in it. Consult your pet store on what is the best species of fish that will surely thrive on your locality.

3. What Material You Prefer

There are 2 types of fish tank material (for domestic use) available in the market today: glass and acrylic. Glass aquarium is inexpensive and scratch-resistant, but could easily break in earthquake prone areas or locality that experience frequent shaking of the ground. While the acrylic type is more durable from shaking, less scratch-resistant, it is more expensive than glass. Additionally, though acrylic is less scratch-resistant, it could be easily repaired as it is flexible and pliable.

List Of Equipment

Next, you must know the different equipment needed to keep fish indoors before you do the step-by-step installation for your fish tank. Here are some of the basic equipment you will certainly need to set up your own fish tank:

Next, you must know the different equipment needed to keep fish indoors before you do the step-by-step installation for your fish tank. Here are some of the basic equipment you will certainly need to set up your own fish tank:

Step By Step Instructions

After you have completed the equipment above and satisfied other conditions that we have laid, you are now ready to set up your own fish tank, just follow these simple instructions:

  • Wash the aquarium gravel, ornaments and rocks thoroughly with warm water and rinse rigorously. Do not use detergent as this is highly toxic for the fish.
  • Put water on the tank at 1/3 full from the tap and add some water conditioner to dechlorinate the water (you can use AquaSafe Solution or similar brand). Chlorine is harmful to your fish of any species.
  • Connect your air pump from the air line tube to any of the air outlet inside the tank. The pump is equipped with a check valve that prevents the water from flowing backwards. Make sure this valve is properly operating.
  • You can add live or plastic plants to decorate the tank. These also help to hide the equipment. Show the artist in you by making this “aquascape” more lively.
  • Fill in the rest of the water until it reaches the bottom of the top frame and leave a space between the cover and the water.
  • Install the filter (read manufacturer’s instructions on the filter’s proper installation) to a more strategic location inside the tank. Be sure that the tube is placed on the bottom of the tank without touching the gravel.This filter removes excess fish food, floating particulates, decaying matter, toxic chemicals and your pet’s waste products.
  • Place the submersible heater inside the tank near the water flow and secure the thermometer far from the heater as possible. When everything is set, plug in the filter, pump and heater. Adjust the heater to its proper temperature. Wait at least 24 hours before you put your fish to ensure all equipment are working properly.
  • After a few hours, check the water condition and temperature. Sometimes, water inside the tank may show cloudy in a couple of days. This phenomenon is the effect of bacterial growth that is harmless to the fish and will deplete naturally. Check the water’s pH level by using a TetraTest kit or a similar kit.
  • Install the proper lighting (preferably small N.O.-type fluorescent light) at the top of the tank to illuminate the fish and the entire tank especially at night. Fluorescent light does not emit too much heat compared to incandescent bulb and not to bright compared to LED which is quiet annoying for the fish.
  • After realizing that all is well and made up, you are now ready to put your favorite pet fish on your self-made fish tank! Congratulations!


How do you find this simple instructions on starting up your own fish tank? Did you enjoy it? You will definitely find that it is not as elaborate as thought. Additionally, you can always consult your local pet store regarding this hobby 9especially the type of food for your fish) and they will certainly entertain you wholeheartedly.

Maintaining your aquarium is also a lot easier when you would love doing it. Changing water on the tank is also advisable on a weekly basis. Research anything on the net when you are in doubt for other maintenance. The products that you would need to maintain clean air and clean water have their clear instructions written on the packaging, just understand them thoroughly. Keeping your fish happy and healthy depends upon your eagerness to care for them.

A Step By Step Guide: How To Cycle Your Fish Tank

Aquarium cycling (NOT the bicycle sport) is a term unknown to most outside of the aquatic world. But contrary to its lack of popularity, cycling a fish tank is arguably the heaviest factor every fish owner, beginner to expert has to master to have their fishes survive longer than a week.

What Exactly Is Cycling Your Fish Tank?

To cycle your fish tank is to remove all the toxic chemicals from your aquarium’s ecosystem by creating a healthy amount of beneficial bacteria as part of the tank’s biological filter.

This is very important because all newly set-up fish tanks have dangerously high amounts of toxins, namely ammonia. Which without cycling, will cause major stress and illness to your fishes leading to them potentially dying within a few days.

To sum up briefly, in a full cycling process the toxins in the water start off as ammonia (toxic), becomes nitrite (toxic), and finally gets digested to become nitrate (non-toxic).

In this guide, we’ll be teaching you the exact steps to the 2 types of cycling methods, all of the equipment you’ll need, and how to do all of this in the fastest and most reliable way.

There Are 2 Methods To Cycle Your Fish Tank:

  • Cycling with fishes.
  • Cycling without fishes

Things You Will Need

  • Hardy fishes (about 2-3).
  • Water treatment conditioner.
  • Toxin level measurement test kit (this can be found in local fish stores).

And that’s exactly all that you’ll need. Let’s get started!

How To Cycle Your Fish Tank

Method 1: With Fish Cycling

We will begin with everything you would want in your fish tank to be already set up, minus the fishes (filters, heaters, air pumps, decorations, substrate).

1. Start By Introducing About 2- 3 Hardy Fishes Into Your Fish Tank.

Hardy fishes are very adaptable fishes that can survive in harsh or toxic environments. And for this purpose they are added because they can survive the high toxic waste in the aquarium.

The fishes are the main catalyst for this cycling method. They are able to survive long enough to produce waste that decays to culture beneficial bacteria, cleansing the toxins in the ecosystem.

Common hardy fishes: Zebra Danios, Minnows and most guppies are good hardy fishes to use.

2. Next, Feed The Fishes Thriftily.

Take note not to overfeed the fishes, we recommend feeding them once every few days. You cannot overfeed and have excess food leftover as:

  • The fishes will produce more waste that increases toxin levels faster than the beneficial bacteria can grow.
  • The food will decay and produce more toxins.

3. Regularly Change 10-20% Of The Water (Every 3-4 Days)

This regulates and lowers the toxic waste level in the aquarium. Take note to use treated dechlorinated water.

4. Lastly, Use The Test Measurement Kit To Measure Toxin Levels Of Ammonia And Nitrite.

Test the levels daily to keep track of the toxin levels, continue to maintain the upkeep until the toxin levels of both chemicals drop to a level so low that it becomes undetectable.

Ammonia levels should be below 0.5mg/L, and nitrite below 1mg/L.

Once you’ve reached an untraceable toxin level, you would have now successfully cycled your fish tank. You can now gradually add fishes that will be safe in a healthy aquarium!

This entire cycling process takes about 6-8 weeks to reach completion.

Method 2: Without Fish Cycling

This is considered the more humane option as it doesn’t expose fishes to dangerous toxic environments. This method involves adding biological waste manually, however it requires more patience to reach fruition.

Similarly, begin with your fish tank all set up, minus the fishes.

1. Start By Adding Fish Food Into The Tank.

Add the same amount as you would normally feed 3-4 fishes. Then you simply wait for the food to decay and release waste product into the water. This will take a few days and will produce beneficial bacteria growth.

2. Use The Measuring Test Kit To Measure Ammonia Levels.

You will need the ammonia level to be at least 3 PPM. If the level is too low, simply add more fish food and wait for it to decay.

3. Continue To Maintain The Ammonia Levels At 3PPM, And Start To Measure For Nitrite Levels.

Regularly test the ammonia levels and maintain the upkeep by adding more food if needed. Begin to measure nitrite levels after a week and regulate the same process until both ammonia and nitrite are almost zero.

Once again when both toxin levels decrease until they become untraceable, you would have completed your cycling process!

You can begin to add fishes slowly once that happens. Quite similar to the first method, ‘fishless’ cycling also take about 6-8 weeks to finish cycling.
You can control the PH of water with this article.

Voila! You now know how to cycle your fish tank. But we’ve got one more thing…

Cheat Cycling Hack

Many seasoned fish experts have looked for ways to speed up the entire cycling process and here are 3 of the most effective hacks to have a faster cycle.

  • Take filter cartridges and pads from a mature fish tank and bring it over to your new aquarium. This basically ‘creates’ an immediate entire bacteria bed of beneficial bacteria.
  • Add substrate (gravel) from an established tank into your new set-up. Similarly it imports fully grown beneficial bacteria.
  • Lastly, add live plants into your new aquarium to promote enhanced bacteria growth.

Using these methods if you have the means, you’d be able to shave off a few weeks time in cycling your fish tank.

And That’s It!

In terms of which method is better, both are equal in result and time, so it really depends on your personal preference.

One last tip we have is we recommend against using any chemicals or artificial bacteria boosters in an attempt to speed up the procedure. This tends to weaken the stability of your aquarium’s ecosystem and leads to more problems for your fishes in the future.

And that’s it! You now know as much about how to cycle a fish tank as the next fish expert would. Let’s get cycling!

How To Clean Your Fish Tank – A Complete Beginners Guide

You’ve got your fish tank all set-up, your fishes are alive and swimming, and now you’re an official aquarium owner! Well, almost. There’s still one last key aspect of running your own aquarium to pick up before you’re actually full-on pro. This particular process is crucial to the survivability of your fishes, it is the aquarium maintenance that requires your continuous attention much more often than we’d like – the cleaning of your fish tank.

For freshwater aquariums, a regular upkeep of cleaning once every 2 – 4 weeks is necessary. This seems like a lot of effort to dedicate but it really isn’t so. In today’s guide, we’ll be teaching you how to clean your tank in the simplest and most hassle-free manner, showing you all the equipment that you’ll need, and how to complete the entire process in just 30 minutes.

3 Steps Clean Your Fish Tank​

In a nutshell here’s the entire process broken down to 3 key parts:

  • 1. Scrubbing of algae and dirt.
  • 2. Removal of 15 – 25% of water and gravel grime.
  • 3. Adding of treated water back into the tank

What You Will Need

Here’s all the equipment you’ll need for cleaning your fish tank, apart from your tank set-up:

  • Algae scrubber pads or magnetic scrubbers.
  • Gravel cleaner or DIY siphon hose tube.
  • Buckets.
  • Freshwater treatment conditioner.

All of these are common aquarium goods that can be easily found at your local pet store. Simpler than what you had in mind? Let’s get started.

How To Clean Your Fish Tank

Step 1: Removal of algae and dirt

This first process focuses on removing algae and visible grime in the tank and on the tank ornaments.

  • To begin the entire cleaning process, switch off all the filters, air pumps and heaters you have installed.
  • Using the scrubber pad or magnetic scrubber, clean the sides of your tank of any algae sticking onto it. Ensure the glass is algae-free.

For the decorations you have in place in your aquarium, we do not recommend you clean them during every water change. There is always a substantial amount of healthy bacteria that forms which adds to the biological filter of the tank. Frequent cleaning of the decorations will remove these beneficial bacteria and damage the quality of the natural filter.

  • However if there is a large visible build up of algae and muck on the ornaments, you then have to remove them from the tank and wash it in clean warm water, getting rid of the algae overgrowth. We’d say do this once every 2 months.
  • Clean the filter pads in your tank’s filtration system if necessary. Likewise do not do this too often unless there is an overgrowth of algae.

Do not remove your fishes from the tank when cleaning unless desperately needed. It might induce stress to the fishes and injure or cause illness to them.

One important note, live aquatic plants are very delicate during the cleaning process and are prone to being damaged or killed if cleaned without proper care. They still have to be cleaned regularly like everything else. We advise you scrub them softly while algae build-up is still minimal.

Step 2: Removal of 15% - 25% of old water.

The second step is the focal portion of the whole procedure, replacing the old stale water and anything foul within it.

  • Begin by using the gravel cleaner tube to siphon the water out from the tank into the bucket. We recommend you purchase a gravel cleaner that has the functionality to start a siphon, be it a pump or a faucet.
  • However, if what you’re using is a DIY hose-tubing siphon, here’s how to initiate it: Immerse the entire hose into the tank’s water, removing all the air within it. Then plug one end of the hose with your finger, and take that end out of the water and place it in the bucket. Release your finger and the siphoning will begin. The bucket has to be on a lower ground than the aquarium to kick-start the siphon.

Once the siphon is initiated, you will be sucking water out from the tank into the bucket.

  • Use the gravel cleaner to pick up as much grime, debris and solid waste in the water. A lot of the pollutant substances will be lying under the gravel so sift the suction motion and gravel cleaner tube through the gravel to loosen the waste underneath.

This prevents gunk and decay matter build up within your aquarium, maintaining the health of your water. Stop once 15% - 25% of the water has been removed.

Step 3: Replacement of treated water into the tank.

We’ll be showing you the simplest way to add a fresh supply of water back into your tank.

  • First use a bucket and fill it up with tap water. Using your aquarium’s thermometer, match the temperature of your tank’s old water with the bucket’s tap water.
  • Next, add the freshwater treatment conditioner to the new tap water to dechlorinate it. If your aquarium is still within it’s cycling period, add some living bacteria treatment to balance the natural biological filter. Stir lightly to evenly spread the chemicals in the water.
  • Once ready, use the same siphoning tube to siphon the water back in reverse, from the bucket into the aquarium. Place the bucket on a higher ground to allow for a smoother process.

Fill the tank back up and always leave a gap between the water surface and the top of the tank to prevent your fishes from jumping out.

Last but not least, switch all your heaters, air pumps, and filtration systems back on.

Job done.

That’s it!

If you’ve followed our guide clearly you would have just successfully learnt how to clean out your tank with one of the simplest methods available.

One last key caution is to never use any soaps or detergents when cleaning your tank. This will contaminate the water and possibly kill your fishes.

And that’s it! Maintenance of your aquarium once every 2 – 4 weeks is vital to healthy fishes, and now you can accomplish it almost effortlessly under 30 minutes.

If you liked this article and would like to read more about aquarium, please leave us your feedback in the comment box below. Until next time, enjoy!​