How To Setup Your New Fish Tank

Man feeding fishes in the aquarium.

The aesthetics of having a new fish tank in your home is just one reason why they’ll make a great addition to the household. However, for it to be in the best possible condition for the fish, setting up a fish tank takes time and effort. The steps that are required to set up your fish tank need to be carefully followed. Doing so will avoid placing your fishes in a toxic habitat. This will allow you to make the most out of your investment and you’ll also have a great pet to look at, helping you relax.

Here are steps to setting up your new fish tank:

  1. Assemble Equipment

The equipment needed to set up your new fish tank varies, depending on the type of tank that you purchase. Generally, the equipment that you’ll need to include an aquarium heater, filter parts, LED light, water treatment package, substrate, interior décor for the substrate, and thermometer.

Creating a checklist of the equipment will help you remember the important items required.

  • Clean And Inspect Tank

To make sure that there are no particles that may be hazardous to the fish, you must thoroughly clean your tank. Avoid using any cleaning products, such as soap or disinfectant. A water and a cloth will suffice.

Once you’ve cleaned the tank, you can fill it up with water to check if there are no cracks and leaks. If water leaks from the tank, you know that the tank is not in the best condition to host fish, hence you need to replace it.

Once you’re satisfied with the condition of the tank, empty the water you used to carry out the inspection. Then, dry the tank with a clean cloth.

  • Select A Location

Possible locations for a tank in your home can be in a corner table in the lounge or living room area. The tank has to be out of the way from traffic to avoid accidents that may knock the tank over. Also, you need to make sure that the tank is near an electrical socket so that you can plug it in without risking tripping over the cable.

Furthermore, ensure that the fish tank stand, table, or shelf, is in a stable condition so the tank won’t topple over. Also, it’s important that the fish tank is in a place that won’t be in direct sunlight since extreme temperatures can harm the fish.

  • Add Substrate

A substrate is the material that’s placed at the bottom of the tank. Your choice of substrate can depend on the aquarium theme that you wish to build.

You can place gravel, pebbles, artificial plants, and décor items for aesthetics. Thorough cleaning of the substrate and added items is needed to avoid water contamination. Other than enhancing the décor of your home, the substrate is an imitation of the fish’s natural habitat, making the tank more accommodating for the fish.

  • Adding Water

When you’re ready to add water, you must gradually pour it into the tank. The reason for this is for you to assess whether the substrate you added remains in place without floaters. Once you’re contented with the state of the substrate when immersed in water, you can add items such as the aquarium heater, LED light, and infiltration kit.

It’s important to note that freshwater is recommended because of the lack of added chemicals, which can tamper with pH levels.

  • Monitoring

Once your tank is up and running, you have to monitor it for a few weeks to make sure that there are no defects that’ll affect the fish. If you notice any particles in the water, you have to take these out. Depending on the state of the tank, you may have to clean it.

It’s important to only add fish once the habitat is pure. This way, the fish’s health is not compromised.

  • Adding Fish

It’s recommended to add fish one or two at a time. This is because you need to give the fish time to adjust to the new habitat. Adding a few at a time also gives you the time to analyze how these are interacting with the new environment.

You must monitor and see if the fish are freely roaming in the water and are eating properly. If the fish appear distressed, you must take them out and place them in a fish bag while you assess what may be amiss in the tank. Keep in mind that since it’s a new environment, the fish may hideaway for a few days until they’re comfortable with the environment.

Constantly check the water temperature using the thermometer and adjust accordingly using the aquarium heater.

Beautiful aquarium on table in room
  • Regular Tank Cleaning

Once your tank is set up and you’ve added your fish, you must clean the tank regularly. Food particles that drop to the bottom of the tank combined with fish waste mean that the water has to be replaced. The frequency of water cleaning depends on the size of your tank and the visible particles that need to be rid of.

Make sure to place the fish in a fish bag and drain the water that you want to be replaced. Use a gravel vacuum to clean out the particles and replace the substrate if you must. Continue to fill up the tank with dechlorinated water and then replace your fish in its habitat.


Maintaining a fish tank requires practical steps that need to be carefully followed, making sure that your fish are healthy in the new habitat. To begin with, you must clean your tank and inspect for any malfunctioning.

Once the tank is ready, choose the best spot for your tank on a steady shelf that’s away from direct sunlight. You can then continue to add your substrate and the freshwater gradually. Switch on your tank and monitor how it functions before adding the fish.

Once you’ve added the fish, regularly replace water to rid of waste and food particles. It’s important to constantly read the water temperature so that you can regulate the aquarium heater accordingly.