Freshwater Aquarium

Freshwater Fish Tank for Beginners: How to Set Up a Fish Tank?

Fishes not just decorate the interior of your living space but it also calms you down

We are keen to guide you on the freshwater fish tank for beginners. Tell me, who doesn’t like little fish? Having a fish tank at home or your workspace can bring you a lot closer to nature. It does not just decorate the interior of your living space, but it also calms you down. After all, even fishes are great pets, and pets are real stress-busters. Imagine coming home after a tiring day at work, and you can sit next to your beginner fish tank and look at the fishes and feed them. Believe it or not, it is relaxing. If you love pets but can’t have them because you’re allergic to the fur, setting up a fish tank is a great alternative. It provides a learning opportunity for the entire family including your kids. In this article, we’ll be looking at the freshwater fish tank for beginners and starting a fish tank for beginners including setting it up and introducing the fishes. We also help you choose the best fish for home aquarium which is one of the primal things in it.

Aquarium care for beginners

Having a freshwater fish tank for beginners at home is an excellent opportunity for you to teach your kids many things. They can learn better about underwater life, loving and caring for pets, observing their actions, and being responsible in life. It’s perfect to involve them in cleaning the beginner fish tank and feeding the fish so that they can develop their sense of responsibility at a very young age. When children interact with fishes in a different ecosystem, they get an opportunity to improve their imagination and creativity. Well, these things don’t just apply to the kids; even you can improve your observational skills and sense of responsibility by taking care of pets.

So, here is a step-by-step guide that will help you set up the freshwater fish tank for beginners at home:

freshwater fish tank for beginners

1. Decide where you want to keep the fish tank


The first and foremost thing that you need to think about if you want a beginner aquarium set up at home is the place where you’re going to set it up. Choosing the right spot is very important when it comes to the setting up of your aquarium. If you choose a place that’s too sunny, the algae and plant growth inside the tank will be beyond the control, and you will have a tough time getting rid of them. So, the spot is preferably somewhere close to an interior wall. Make sure that you leave a gap of at least five inches for the filter. Make sure to set up a fish tank which is near a place where there’s consistent temperature. This means no setting it up under an air vent or just below a window.

Setting up a fish tank next to an air vent or a window can disrupt the temperature balance of the water, and it can also cause the dust from the air vent to fall into the water. You can always choose a closed aquarium setup but if you have an open one, make sure that nothing bad falls into it. Also, make sure that your floor is strong enough to handle the weight after setting up a fish tank (Fully filled beginner fish tank). Fully filled beginner fish tank can be heavy even though they may look not very big. Also, it is essential that there’s a plug point near the tank so that you can connect the air pump or the filter.

MarineLand Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit:

For your fishes to have an optimum and healthy environment, they will require a great home. This marine land aquarium is a suitable choice for you. It is available on for 56 dollars and has a 4.8-star rating.

The size that is available is for five gallons, and it is currently in stock.  The advanced three-stage hidden back panel filtration comes with an adjustable flow filter pump. The white LEDs create a wonderful shimmer light in the water, and the blue LEDs create a relaxing moonlight glow. The tank also includes a hinged light and a sliding glass canopy for easy access to the tank.

2. Choose a fish tank according to the space available


Now that you know where you should set up a fish tank, decide the size of the fish tank that you want. A small fish tank is easy to handle, but they hardly provide any space for the fish to swim around. Also, larger fish tanks have more room for plants and add-ons. If you want best pet fish to buy that can grow really huge with time like sharks, it’s better that you get a bigger fish tank. Also, you need to know the amount of waste that will be produced by the fishes you wish to keep and the size of the tank should be according to this as well. Different types of fishes produce different amount of waste.

3. Buy a strong stand


The weight of a medium-sized beginner fish tank is a lot more than you may think it is. This is why it is essential to buy a metal or wooden stand to keep your beginner fish tank on. Never keep a freshwater aquarium setup on a glass table and never leave a side of the tank protruding outside the table. You may feel that TV stands, flimsy wooden tables, and dressers may be strong enough to support the fish tank’s weight but they are not. This is one of the most important things in the guide to freshwater fish tank for beginners.

Imagitarium Newport Wooden Tank Stand – for 20 Gallon Aquariums:

For your fish tank to have a sturdy support system, it is important to invest in a good aquarium stand. This stans with its clean and modern design assemble quickly and have easy to follow instructions. It’s available on at 48 dollars and is also declared as one of Amazon’s bestselling products with a 4.5-star rating. The size that is available right now is the 24.75 inches.


4. Choose the filter system


You can either use an under-gravel filter or a power filter for your tank so that it stays clean. If you want to add finer particles like sand to your aquarium setup, you must avoid the under-gravel filter. A power filter that can be hung by the side of the beginner fish tank is a better choice when it comes to beginners who are setting up a tank. This is because there are a lot of risks involved while using an undergravel filter. For example, you will have to vacuum your gravel regularly so that they don’t clog your undergravel filter. In case it gets clogged, it will turn your fish tank into a killing zone. Also, if you’re getting this type of filter, make sure it’s powerful enough to filter the entire fish tank.


Polar Aurora 4-stage External Canister Filter with 9-watt Uv Sterilizer, 525 GPH:

By investing in a good filter, you can increase the mortality of your fishes and also reduce the instances needed for cleaning the water within the tank. This filter is priced at 76 dollars and is currently in stock on Two sizes are currently available the 525 GPH with media and the 525 GPH without media.

This filter has stellar rating and reviews from customers online and is great for tanks that can hold up to 200 gallons of water. It has a built-in 9 Watt UV sterilizer that controls bacteria and algae spores and also helps promote clear water.

The filter has a self-priming pump that eliminates the need for manual siphoning, single valve disconnect and priming pump was routine.

5. Install the filter system


The installation of the filter system depends on the type of filter that you have chosen. If you’ve chosen an under-gravel filter, put the filter plate in and make sure that you fix the lift tubes well. Do not turn on the filter until the tank is fully filled with water. If you’ve got an external power filter, fit on the outside of the tank and turn it on only once the tank is filled with water. Starting a fish tank for beginners can be pretty overwhelming and to know better about the filter system, you can do a bit of research on the internet.

6. Adding gravel for the base layer


One of the most essential steps in setting up a fish tank for beginners is adding of the gravel or setting up the base layer. It’s essential that you have at least two to three inches of gravel in the bottom part of the aquarium setup while setting up a fish tank so that the fishes can maintain their orientation in the water. Make sure that you use only good quality gravel and not the ones that look good but are bad for the health of your fishes. Sand is also an excellent option for the bottom layer of a fish tank, but you will have to stir it every once in a while so that it stays clean and it doesn’t create a killing spot for the fishes. Sand is little high maintenance because it can get sucked up into your filter, ruin your fish tank, and kill your fishes.

Spectrastone Shallow Creek Regular for Freshwater Aquariums, 5-Pound Bag:

Every fish tank needs a good layer of gravel, and the spectral tone gravel is an excellent choice. Available on for 11 dollars, this product is currently in stock with a 4.5-star rating.

The gravel is extremely safe for usage in freshwater tanks, it won’t affect the pH level of the water, and it also has a non-toxic coating that won’t affect the health of your fishes.


If you’re thinking about getting plants for your fish tank, then make sure that it’s appropriate for plant growth. The best things that you can get if you want to grow plants in the tank are Amazonia and Azoo substrates. Make sure that you clean the gravel or sand with fresh water thoroughly before you add it to the fish tank. Never use soap to clean the gravel or sand since soap is very harmful to your fishes’ health. Pour the substrate slowly, little by little so that they don’t fall into the glass tank with too much of force. If they fall too fast, it may scratch the glass badly which will ruin the beauty and visibility of your fish tank.

Once you add it, you can arrange them according to the way you want it to be. You can keep a metal plate over your arrangement before you pour water into the tank. If your tank is not very big, you can add the gravel after you pour the water and arrange them underneath using your hands. It’s not necessary that you add only one type of gravel or sand to your fish tank since you can use different kinds of items to create more of a natural appearance. Freshwater fish tank for beginners need not be fancy, and you can always start it simple and safe.

Luffy Marimo Moss Balls – Aesthetically Beautiful & Create Healthy Environment – Eco-Friendly, Low Maintenance & Curbs Algae Growth:

By purchasing this product, you will be bringing home a live plant that will benefit the ambiance and the health of your aquarium. The four fluffy Moss balls are live plants that absorb nitrates. Fish excreta, debris, nitrates, and ammonia tend to disrupt the health, hygiene, and the pH level of the tank. If this natural moss ball is present in your fish tank, it will absorb all the toxic elements.  At 12 dollars, you can bring home a natural and thriving atmosphere for aquatic species.

They are available in large 2-packs, 4-packs, and 8-packs. The moss balls compete with algae for the same nutrients to grow, and since they absorb the necessary nitrates and phosphates, algae don’t have much to feed on. Consequently, the moss balls prevent the unwanted algae from growing back.



7. Adding water, dechlorination, and heating


Well, try adding water to your tank to check for leaks. Wait for half an hour and check the area for any leaks. Make sure that you have a sealant with you so that you can fix the leaks right away in case there are any. Once you’ve spread the gravel or sand, fill the water up to the rim of the tank. Try to fill the water from one corner of the tank so that the water doesn’t fall from a height and splash the gravel and sand everywhere around. Leave a gap of at least four inches between the water line and the rim of the glass tank. You never know when your fishes will jump and if the water level is too close to the rim, they may fall out of the tank and die. You can fill it closer to the rim if you have a covering over the tank.

What later?

Once you’ve filled the tank with enough water, start the filter. Make sure that the filter is working properly and let the water regulate for about an hour in the tank. Check the temperature of the water and the clarity of the water. If you’re using a heater, fix the heater on the side of the tank. If you want to maintain a constant temperature in your fish tank or if you are living in a place where it’s too cold, it’s better that you get a heater to maintain optimal temperature for your fishes. Make sure you use a good-quality heater so that it doesn’t alter the temperature drastically according to power fluctuations.

If you have access to only chlorinated water, you can use a de-chlorinator to solve the issue. Tap water may contain chlorine, and it can seriously impact the health of your fishes. Follow the instructions on the de-chlorinator bottle carefully. You may have to remove the activated carbon part of your filter for a while when you’re doing this process since the filter may remove then chemical before it circulates well in the tank. You can also add a bacterial catalyst to the water to encourage the growth of good bacteria.

API TAP WATER CONDITIONER Aquarium Water Conditioner:

This product is especially recommended by, at a price of seven dollars, it comes in sizes that from 4 oz-128 oz. This water de-chlorinator is popular and has a 4.8-star rating. The reason its so popular is because it can purify tap water efficiently without any toxic residue or unpleasant smell.

It’s appropriate to use the chemical when you are changing the water and when adding new fish to freshwater and saltwater aquariums.

8. Plants and decorations


You can add plants and decorations that are meant for the freshwater fish tank for beginners aquarium and not anything else to your fish tanks. Some plants help the fishes stay healthy, but fishes like the goldfish may mess them up. You can also add driftwood and other appropriate decorations that are not going to be toxic for the fishes to the tank. Choose the plants according to the type of fishes that you want to get. Fix the roots of the plants in the gravel or sand and make sure that they are planted well.

Fishes may swim around frantically sometimes; so make sure that none of your installed decorations are sharp enough to hurt them. Also, avoid plastic decorations that are of bad quality. It’s because they release toxins into the fish tank water after a while. If you want a fancy aquarium rather than a natural looking one, then you can go for gravel and decoration items that match with the color of the fishes that you’re going to get.

Uxcell Artificial Plants Aquarium Aquascaping Tank Decor 20cm High Red Green:

This vibrant artificial plant is sure to brighten up your fish tank and also provide an amusing surrounding to your fishes. Priced at six dollars and a rating of 4-stars, this product is currently in stock on The product is also available in green and has a ceramic base that will help it stay at the bottom of the tank and not flow to the surface.

The base also comes in a plastic variant, along with the ceramic variant; it weighs 95 grams.

Customer reviews include:

“This plant is worth every penny! My tank was pretty dull before I put this in and thought I wouldn’t like the bright colors in my tank. However, it makes my betta pop even more!”

“It has bendy wires inside the “stalks” so you can position it as you like. There is a bit of extra plastic flashing along some of the edges. However, you can easily trim it off with nail scissors or clippers if it bothers you. Good value for the price. Perfect size for my five gal tank but would be great in a larger tank with some larger plants too.”

All these reviews come from verified purchases!

9. Bring the fishes in for freshwater fish tank for beginners


Once everything is perfectly set, turn on the heater and the filter again. Make sure that the water is well circulated and the temperature is regulated before you add in the fishes. It’s better to wait for a few hours before you put the fishes in. Try to get all the setup work done a day before you get the fishes from the pet store. Do not start setting the tank after you buy fishes from the store. It’s because it’s bad to keep them for long in the plastic bags. Keep the bag of fish in the tank for about 20-30 minutes before you open the cover and let them into the tank. This is to even out the temperature so that the fishes won’t experience a sudden change in the temperature.

Concluding on the freshwater fish tank for beginners:

Not all fishes can go well together in a freshwater aquarium setup. Try to learn more about what breeds of fish for beginners are suitable and which ones are aggressive or semi-aggressive. Also, do not add all the fish that you wish to have together to freshwater fish tank for beginners. Try to introduce the smallest of the fish at first. Later, move to the bigger ones after two or three days. Introduce the biggest fish at last and make sure that none of them are aggressive to each other. There you go! That’s all the information on the freshwater fish tank for beginners and what do you need for a fish tank at home.

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