Freshwater Aquarium

How to Set Up a Fish Tank Properly: Freshwater Aquarium Setup

Having a fish tank at home can make you and your family happy

Have you ever tried knowing how to set up a fish tank properly? Having a tropical fish tank at home can make you and your family happy. It’s not just a home décor item, but it also creates a healthy environment for you. It helps your children to learn how to take care of pets in a freshwater tank setup. Live freshwater aquarium fish may not be as sophisticated as other pets like dogs and cats, but they are pets too. They can feel the things around them, and it means you can have a whole lot of fun feeding them; watching them swim around, and taking care of them.

Firstly, Know about your fish

Tropical aquarium fish are sensitive creatures, and even the slightest of trouble can kill them. You need to be very careful when handling them. In other cases, your saltwater fish tank setup will turn into a pool full of dead fishes. To avoid this, you need to know how to set up a fish tank properly. In this post, we take you through a guide to setting up a home aquarium which will help you decorate your home.

If you want your fish tank setup pets to be happy and healthy, you need to take care of certain things right from the beginning. This applies to everything that you do as beginner aquarium fishkeeper when you set up the freshwater fish tank and the atmosphere around it. Here are a few points that you need to keep in mind on how to set up a freshwater fish tank, in case, you want your saltwater fish to be at their best.

Well, not to worry as you keep reading we will unveil various aquarium setup ideas for you to take up and provide your aquarium companions a great environment to live in!

Mandates on how to set up a fish tank properly

The position of your 10-gallon fish tank

The typical size of a small fish tank is 10 gallon. The place where you keep your 10-gallon fish tank should not be below a vent or a window. It’s because dust from the vent or the window will directly fall into the reef tank setup and contaminate the water. Do not keep your fish tank outdoor spaces because excess exposure to sunlight will result in the growth of algae in the fish tank which can grow out of control in just weeks. Algae growth can make it impossible for you to get your fish tank appropriately cleaned. Also, if your fish tank is overexposed to the sunlight, there will be serious temperature variations during the daytime and at night which is not good for the health of the fishes.

Fish Tank Position

The ideal place to keep your fish tank would be somewhere interior and against a wall with a few inches gap between the wall and the tank so that there’s enough room for the filter. Try not to keep in a place where there are electronic devices that radiates heat. Make sure to crucially remember this step in how to set up a fish tank properly.

The Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank Starter Kits with LED Lighting

The Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank Starter Kits with LED Lighting is a great fish tank for new pet parents who want to start with something that is durable and affordable. This aquarium is available on for 45 dollars and is available for Prime members at a significant discount.  The reason we recommend this aquarium is because of the incredible reviews that back up its quality and credibility. The fish tank is equipped with a filter, LED lighting, a heater, and a setup guide. All these elements put together will help you create a perfect home for your fishes and will make for an ideal freshwater aquarium setup.

Float your fish

how to set up a fish tank properly
Float your Fishes

Do not introduce the fishes to your tank as soon as you get them from a pet store. The composition and temperature of the water that they were living in for a long time can be very different from what they are going to live in once you introduce them to your fish tank; this transition can be pretty traumatic for the fishes. The pet store owner catches the fishes using a net and transfers them to a plastic bag before selling them to you, and all of these actions can shock the fishes. You can keep them alive in the plastic for a maximum time of three hours since the water and oxygen available are limited.

To make the transition more comfortable on the fishes you can place the plastic bag with the fishes in the tank for about half an hour before you open it and let the fishes into the tank. Open the bag and add a bit of water from your tank to it and keep repeating the process every ten minutes so that the temperature and chemistry of both the water types blend. Never open the bag all of a sudden and pour the water along with the fish into the tank as if you’re throwing them in. Open the plastic bag and immerse it in your tank so that the fishes can swim out on their own to their new home. You can remove the plastic bag once all the fishes swam out of it; do not rush them.

Acclimating the fish

Fishes are, typically, fragile. Some of the species are more sensitive than the rest when it comes to sudden change in water composition. If you want to make sure that your fishes are healthy even after the transition, try to mimic their old environment by understanding the water composition of the pet store.

how to set up a fish tank properly
Acclimating the fish

Ask the store manager about the water parameters for nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia. You can gradually stop trying to mimic the water composition according to the extent of the difference in the composition of the two water types.

API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit

You can purchase this kit on for 17.30 dollars. It’s a best- seller and a trendy choice among freshwater fish tank setup owners all over the United States! Don’t believe us? Then check the reviews, they are full of praises for this product; this is why it has garnered a four and a half star rating. The kit helps you monitor the nitrate level in your aquarium setup and keeps check of the pH level so that your fishes have a suitable environment to live in. These are designed to be used only for freshwater aquarium setup. Use this kit weekly, and you will begin to see the results quickly.

Enough room to swim around

how to set up a fish tank properly
Fish Tank Space

It’s very unhealthy to stuff your fishes in the freshwater aquarium setup. Reason being, they are living organisms and need enough space to swim around. Water for the fish is like air for us, and nobody likes to live in a small cubicle with ten other people. Also, if your freshwater fish tank is overcrowded, then there will be less oxygen in it which will impact the health of your fishes in a wrong way. Another problem with too many fish in a confined space is that of excess waste which will degrade the quality of the aquarium water and clog the filters.

Condition the water

how to set up a fish tank properly
The condition of fish tank Water

The quality and composition of the water matter a lot when it comes to the long-term health of your fishes. You never really know how polluted the tap water in your area is, and that’s why it is important to condition the water before you introduce your fishes to the tank. You can use a de-chlorinator if your water contains chlorine. Chlorine is often added to the water supplies since it is an efficient disinfectant but it can harm your fishes. De-chlorinators include reducing agents that reduce chlorine compounds to chloride which is less harmful to the fishes. Conditioning the water is one of the most critical steps in how to set up a fish tank properly.

To condition the water for your fishes, you can also add biological aquarium supplements to the water. Biological aquarium supplements release good bacteria into the water. These are beneficial in eliminating undesirable components like ammonia, nitrates, and harmful bacteria. They are not harmful to the plant life or the fishes in the water, and they condition the water faster so that you don’t have to wait for too long before you introduce the fishes. You can buy biological aquarium supplements from your nearest pet store.

Aquatic Experts Premium Complete Aquarium Water Conditioner For Fish Tanks:

This water conditioner is great for your fish tank, it removes all the impurities from your tank and does not leave behind an awful smell. The conditioner eliminates any nitrates and chlorine that can be harmful to the fishes. It is available on for 15 dollars, and it has a five-star rating with amazing reviews!

The cutting-edge formula makes tap water clean and safe to be inhabited by freshwater fish. All you will have to do is add a cap or a teaspoon of the formula per 10 gallons. Do this once a week, and you will have results within a short period. The product comes back with a money back guarantee, if you are not satisfied with the results.

Watch how to set up a tropical fish tank here:

The pH level is very important

One major thing to learn in how to set up a fish tank properly is reading pH levels of water. The pH level of the water in your fish tank plays a vital role in keeping your fishes’ in good health. pH level determines the acidity or alkalinity of the water, and you can test the pH level of your tank water with the help of a pH test kit. Most of the fishes thrive well in water with a pH level between 6.6 and 7.8. However, this level can vary according to the species of the fishes that you want to keep. A 6.6 to 7.8 pH level is ideal for freshwater fishes because it provides a naturally antiseptic environment which will improve their ability to resist illness. Try to use your pH test kit once in every few weeks to detect pH level fluctuations. This is a significant step in how to set up a fish tank properly.

Tetra EasyStrips Test Strips:

It’s one of the essential equipment in how to set up a fish tank properly. These strips are great if you want to check the pH level of your aquarium and want to make sure its habitable for your fishes. The product is available on for 17.25 dollars and is backed up with amazing reviews along with a four-star rating! There are 25 strips in one pack.

All you will have to do is dip a strip halfway in the water and see if the color changes are drastic, they will help you give an idea about the nitrate and chlorine levels in your aquarium. You can conduct this method every week to make sure that you have a healthy aquarium.

PH Level inFish Tank

Water temperature: how to set up a fish tank properly

Condition of fish tank Water
Fish Tank Water Temperature

Considerable variations in the water temperature of your fish tank can make your fishes sick or even kill them. If you live in a place where the weather is pretty warm and sunny, keep your fish tank inside the house where there is less exposure to direct sunlight. If your place is cold most of the days, you may have to install an aquatic heater for your tank. Most of the species of tropical fishes thrive well when the temperature of the water is between 72°F to 82°F depending on the species.

Unlike mammals, fishes cannot produce body heat, and they entirely rely on the temperature of the water for their survival which why it is essential for you to get an aquarium water heater. Aquarium water heaters are generally of four types: immersible heaters, submersible heaters, substrate heaters, and filter heaters. They also come in different types. So, you need to choose the most appropriate aquarium water heater for your fish tank taking into consideration the amount of water in your fish tank and the temperature of your room.

Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater:

This immersive water heater is perfect for your freshwater aquarium setup! It’s available on for 25 dollars and is backed up by excellent reviews and 4-star ratings. It is currently in stock and works on 150-watts; the heater can be fully submersible and has a thermal safety that controls it from running dry. It’s perfect for a 10-pound aquarium because it’s shock resistant and shatterproof glass for fresh/marine water.

Timely replacement of water: How to set up a fish tank properly

how to set up a fish tank properly
Timely Replacement of Water

Water replacement must be done every two to three weeks. A great way to replace water is by replacing the ones that are separated while vacuuming the gravel. Removing the water that is separated while vacuuming the gravel will eliminate leftover food, waste from the fishes, and sediments from plants that you grow in the tank. Before you add new water to the tank, condition them and make sure it is safe for your fishes. Get done with the de-chlorination process at least a few hours before you add the water to the tank since your fishes may not be able to tolerate the chlorine until the de-chlorinator works on it.

Apart from these essential things, there are a few other things that you can do as well in how to set up a fish tank properly. Make sure that the species of fishes that you’re getting are peaceful with each other. Some fish species are aggressive and can harm or even feed on other fishes. If you want a combination of different species, ask the pet store owner about their behavior and aggressiveness. You don’t want your fishes to eat each other and turn your happy little place into a stage for a bloodbath.

Python Multi-Purpose Water Conditioner, 67.6 oz:

This gallon of water conditioner is perfect for de-chlorinating your water tank. It’s available on Amazon for 21 dollars; the solution makes tap water safe by neutralizing harmful toxins. The herbal extracts in the product help to calm the fish and de-stress them. This conditioner is only part one of the three-step formulae, to get all three steps you will have to log onto Amazon and purchase the Jumpstart Aquarium filter and the Bio-clean formula individually or as a set.

You purchase the entire set for 85 dollars and get yourself a healthy and balanced aquarium environment.

Procedure to Set up

You can invest in add-ons like driftwood, plants, stones, and even good quality plastic structures that are smooth for your fishes to swim around. However, don’t cover the whole space with decorations. Because there must be enough room for your fishes to swim around freely. Let’s say it’s ideal to have 1/4th of the fish tank space covered with decorations. So that there’s 3/4th open space for the fishes to swim around. Also, don’t forget to re-arrange your decorations when you add new water. Your decorations can move around here to there when you add water, and you need to set them back in the right place.

Mudder Aquarium Plastic Plant Fish Tank Plants Aquarium Decor Plants, 10 Pieces:

When we begin to get an aquarium setup idea, after thinking about the fish, we start thinking about how we are going to decorate the inside of the fish tank! Let’s be honest; water maintenance is the last thing you will think of as a new pet parent; even though water maintenance is essential, you wouldn’t want your fish tank to look dull and dreary.  Mudder Aquarium Plastic Plant Fish Tank Plants are great to liven up any aquarium, they are available on for 8.28 dollars and come in a set of ten!

They are currently in stock and come in vibrant colors such as pink, green, blue, etc. Each plant comes with a pedestal, that is heavy and firm; thus, securing them to the bottom of the tank and not letting them float to the surface.

Fishes will eat whatever fish food you give them, but you can also give them healthy alternatives. Please don’t get them bored! For example, if you have goldfishes, you can feed them with Shrimp, clam, brine shrimp, Daphnia, nightcrawlers; boiled lettuce, spinach, and other greens. Before knowing how to set up a fish tank properly, try to interact with your fishes while you’re feeding them so that they do not get scared every time you go near the tank. Let them be comfortable with you or other people around.

Conclusion on how to set up a fish tank properly

If you have kids at home, do teach them how to set up a fish tank properly and take care of it. Try to involve them in activities like cleaning the tank and feeding the fishes. Tell them that the fishes will die if you take them outside the water. Moreover, it will impact them badly if you put your hands in the tank without properly cleaning them. Kids are always curious to explore new things. That’s precisely why they may mess up with the fish tank if they didn’t know how to handle things. They may end up dropping their toys in the fish tank which can be pretty disastrous for your fishes. Avoid aggressive fish like sharks which will bite your kids and harm them.

You need to be very careful if you have other pets at home as well. If you have cats, they may try to catch the fish from the tank. In such a situation, the best thing to do is to buy a tank that will fully cover. If you have a large tank and you have a cat, things can go pretty lethal for the fishes as well as the cat. It’s because you know, the cat may fall into the tank any time. Also, if you have open windows near the fish tank, you need to keep an eye on things. It’s because birds from the outside can always come in, swoop your fish out, and fly away. It’s not a great idea to keep your fish tank outside. Even if you do, make sure you cover it at least for the time it’s outside.


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