Freshwater Aquarium

Starting a Fish Tank for Beginners: Installing a Fish Tank in Your Room

Having an aquarium in your room has its own benefits

We hope many of you are curious to know the rubrics of starting a fish tank for beginners. Many people think of setting up an aquarium in their room. Having an aquarium in your room has its benefits. While it enhances the aestheticism of your room, it also makes you more responsible for taking care of the tiny fishes and feeding them on time every day. With even more benefits that have not been listed here, having a fish tank in your room is something you should consider.

However, the whole process seems too haphazard. Starting a fish tank for beginners can be a tricky task. However, if you hold a bit of patience and do things systematically, a freshwater tank setup for beginners isn’t as hard, and you’d only be rewarded. Here’s a step-by-step guide to installing a freshwater tank setup in your room.

Starting a Fish Tank for Beginners: Instructions

Setting up the tank

starting a fish tank for beginners
Setting up the tank

The very first step to installing a fish tank has a fish tank. When you go to purchase a fish tank, you have to consider a few points. First of all the size of your fish tank would greatly depend on what kind of fishes you plan to get and the number of fishes you want to get. For instance, goldfish don’t need a lot of space, for which you can get a smaller fish tank.


The size of the fish tank is not just for the movement of fishes, but also has to be decided based on how much waste material particular species of fish generates. This is a little easy to crack. Larger fishes generate more waste than small ones. However, do your research and find out certain things before buying a fish tank. As a basic rule, the three things you should consider are- needs of the fish, compatibility, and tank size.


Starting a fish tank for beginners, it is best to stick with a 55-gallon tank. This is not too big and not too small- just the standard size that you can take care of and keep various fishes in. While fish bowls seem very easy to maintain, that is the biggest myth. This is why whatever size you finalize, stick to something bigger than 10-gallons at any cost. Small fish tanks mean a lot of hard work in cleaning them.

Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank Starter Kits with LED Lighting:

This aquarium is great and is priced at 45 dollars, and it has a 4-star rating along with excellent customer reviews. The whole kit is fantastic and is available on in two variants 10 gallons and 20 gallons.


This community fish tank is currently in stock and is shipped, as well as, sold by The bright LED lighting brings the aquarium to life; the fish tank also includes a 10-gallon glass aquarium, low profile full hood LED light, quiet flow LED pro power filter with the Medium cartridge, 50W preset heater, premium fish food, water conditioner, fishnet, and a thermometer.


The filter has a red LED light that flashes to indicate when it’s time to change the cartridge. The pre-set heater will keep your aquarium temperature at a consistent 78 degrees; this temperature is excellent for tropical fishes; it also comes with a setup guide.

Setting up the stand

starting a fish tank for beginners
Setting up the Stand

Once you buy a fish tank, the next step is to set up a stand for the fish tank. This step is essential because, after all the hard work you do to install a fish tank, you wouldn’t want it to be vulnerable and fall under any circumstance. A stand makes sure that your fish tank is sturdy and sits well. When you buy a stand, the simple rule is that you should get a stand that goes well with the size of your fish tank. When you hit the store, you can mention the size of your fish tank and get the exact match easily.

One important thing to remember is that to go frugal, you should not settle down for random stands, like television stand, etc. Though a stand might cost a little extra, it is still worth it to spend a few more bucks to ensure your fish tank sits on the stand completely safe.

Place the stand somewhere where the temperature would be ideal for your fishes, with not too much or too less of light. Also, keep the fish tank close to a power outlet so that you can connect your filter to it easily.

Imagitarium Newport Wooden Tank Stand – for 20 Gallon Aquariums:

For your fish tank to have a sturdy support system, it is significant to invest in a proper aquarium stand. This stand, with its clean and modern design, assembles quickly and includes 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.

Installing filter

starting a fish tank for beginners
Installing filter

It’s a cardinal step while starting a fish tank for beginners. Here, one important thing is choosing the right fish tank filter setup for your aquarium. The most common kind is an undergravel filter which is the best for starting a fish tank for beginners (only if you plan to layer the fish tank with gravel and not a fine substrate, like sand). Also, using a bigger air pump for the under gravel filter is a good idea. Bigger air pump means lesser frequent vacuuming. However, talk about what filter you plan to install with the storekeeper. The size and efficiency of the filter greatly depend on the size of your aquarium and how much water it contains.

Once you buy the filter, the next step is installing it. Any filter that you buy would come with proper manufacturer instructions. What’s most important is buying the right kind of filter.

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 that are needed for cleaning the water within the tank. This filter is priced at 76 dollars and is currently in stock on Two sizes are now 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 from increasing 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.

Layering gravel

starting a fish tank for beginners
Layering Gravel

You can buy gravel from any pet store, and they come in various colors. Gravel is layered for two reasons. First up, it keeps the fish tank cleaner than otherwise and secondly, it also helps fishes swim correctly. Gravel is the best option for layering if you don’t have invertebrates or fishes that bury themselves under the substrate in your fish tank. Adding about 2 to 3 inches of gravel would be good.

Before you set the gravel in the fish tank, make sure you thoroughly wash it so that you don’t introduce dust into the fish tank. However, don’t use soaps or detergent to wash the gravels, it can be toxic for the fishes. Cover the substrate utilizing a plate so that it doesn’t disperse as you add water to the fish tank. If you plan on getting plants, also choose a proper substrate to plant them, like Azoo or Amazon in the substrate.

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.

Decorating the fish tank

starting a fish tank for beginners
Decorating the fish tank

Once you are done layering gravel or the substrate on the base of your fish tank, the next step is decorating your fish tank with all the chosen props. The reason why you decorate your fish tank soon after layering gravel is so that it is easy for you to arrange the decorative stuff.

Choosing fancy gravel can add a certain amount of beauty to your fish tank. You can also mix and match two colors of gravel. Besides this, you can place various things, like shells, stones, and even artificial toys in the aquarium. These are the objects that go well for a fish tank. Make sure whatever things you place are at a certain distance and don’t make it congested for the fishes to swim. Also, one big thing to very clearly remember is that you shouldn’t put random toys or objects in the tank. Toys made of unwanted materials can be highly toxic for your fishes.

Besides non-living objects, you can also add certain plants to your fish tank. Having plants in your fish tank is a good idea since they help in filtering to a certain extent. Also, having plants in your fish tank would prove healthy for your fishes. However, make sure you get the kind of plants that go well with your fishes. It would help if you kept the plants in the fish tank such that the roots penetrate the layer of gravel but the stems and leave strictly outside the layer.

Penn-Plax RRW6 Wizards Castle Small 5.5″H Aquarium Decorative Resin Ornament:


This aquarium décor piece provides visual interest to you and your fishes. The castle holes provide entryways for fish to swim through and this way they can reduce boredom as well. The castle is available on for 20 dollars and is currently in stock. The product has a 4.8-star rating and is very popular with fish tank owners too.

The ornament stands at 10.2 inches high and is 8 inches wide, the castle is double sided; this means that it can be placed at any portion of your fish tank. The castle is made of durable resin, and it isn’t toxic to the fishes. There are two sizes available on Amazon, and it ranges from 5.5’’ to 10’’.

Adding water

starting a fish tank for beginners
Adding the water

As you start adding water to the fish tank, you would be able to witness if there are any leaks in the fish tank. Start by adding three inches of water to look for leaks, and wait for half an hour. In case there are no leaks, you can go about adding more water and filling up the fish tank. Make sure you submerge all the decorations and leave just about an inch from the rim unfilled.

Starting the filter

starting a fish tank for beginners
Starting the filter

After you are done filling the fish tank with water, fill the reservoir of the filter with water as well and connect the filter to the power outlet. Once you turn on the filter, the water will start vertically moving in the lift tubes.


starting a fish tank for beginners

A heater has to be installed so that the fishes get the kind of temperature that is suitable for their survival. The best way to position the suction cups is to attach it close to the mouth of the filter. When you do this, the water that comes out of the filter gets heated evenly and ensures all the amount of water is heated. After you install the heater and the thermometer, you have to pre-set the temperature of the heater to somewhere between 72 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make sure you turn on the heater only when the fish tank is filled with water. Also, a heater should be the only source through which the water in the fish tank gets heated. Some lights give off a lot of heat. Moreover, as you turn those lights off, there is a sudden drop in the temperature. This sudden drop and rise in the temperature are terrible for the health of your fishes. This is why as you buy lights, make sure you buy the kind that doesn’t cause such evident temperature changes in the fish tank.

Uniclife HT-6050 Aquarium Heater Submersible with Thermometer for 10 Gallon Fish Tank, 50 W:

This product is currently in stock and is priced at 10 dollars on This heater has a wide application and can be used for tropical freshwater fish tanks. It can be easily adjusted and displayed at the upper portion of the tank.

Using water conditioner

starting a fish tank for beginners
The use of a water conditioner

Using a water conditioner is yet another essential step so that you can check the composition of water. It is hard to tell if the water would be suitable and doesn’t have any unwanted elements just like that. You have to add de-chlorinator to the fish tank after reading the instructions on the bottle. This process can only be skipped in case you use distilled water to fill up the tank each time.

When you add de-chlorinator to the water, make sure you remove the activated carbon of your filter. In case you forget to do so, the filter will act and filter the de-chlorinator thinking of it as an impurity.

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 really 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 money back guarantee, if you are not satisfied with the results.

Cycling of tank

starting a fish tank for beginners
The Cycling of tank

Cycling of the tank means monitoring the environment before you introduce fishes to the tank. This is to make sure that you introduce fishes in the tank only when the tank is a hundred percent safe for the fishes. During the cycling period, you have to see if the composition of water is healthy. Cycling is also an excellent way to introduce good bacteria in the fish tank. Testing water from time to time is essential for your fishes to stay alive. Also, make it a point to change at least 10 percent of water a day to keep the tank clean.

Aquarium Gravel Vacuum Fish Tank Siphon Cleaner Water Changer, Easy Prime 2 in 1:


This easy, and fast-to-use, fish tank siphon is available on for nine dollars and is in great demand. The suction cup and tank clip provide exceptional control of the hose, which means no dirtier fish-tank water spilled on your floor! The hose encourages easy tank cleaning because it is BPA free and non-toxic. This is essential when cycling the water in the tank.

Buying fishes and setting the bag in the tank:

starting a fish tank for beginners
Setting big tank

As you might have already talked with the pet storekeeper, this would be the right time to buy the fishes that you have been planning to keep.  Here, one thing you should remember is that you shouldn’t be buying all the fishes at once. Start with about two fishes and see how they survive in the fish tank. Once you buy them, don’t rush right in and release them in the fish tank.

First of all, keep the bag in which the fishes come in the fish tank. This is to make sure that the fishes are not suddenly exposed to the temperature and composition of the fish tank water. Keep the bag in the fish tank for 20 to 30 minutes. After that slowly let in some water from the fish tank into the bag so that the fishes get a subtle change and adapt to it easily. However, make sure you don’t let any water from the bag get in the fish tank.

After about 20 to 30 more minutes, you can now use a net and catch the fish, place it in a bucket and get rid of all the stored water in the bag.

Setting the fishes free in the tank

starting a fish tank for beginners
setting the fishes free

After you get rid of the water in the bag, you can now set the fishes free in the tank. Initially, get two fishes and see how it works out for two weeks. This also allows proper cycling of the water. Starting a fish tank for beginners works well only when you take it slow and hold patience. As you get accustomed to it, you can get more fishes slowly and increase the number in your fish tank. Make it a point to at least have five fishes in your fish tank at a time. This is because it can be psychologically very unhealthy and difficult for the fishes to not be in a group.

Conclusion: Starting a fish tank for beginners

We hope that you are satisfied with each and every step on starting a fish tank for beginners. Given you follow the procedure well; you can have the kind of fishes you want in the aquarium and proudly say “my first fish tank.” You can also look for a combination of fishes to be introduced in the fish tank. Reading an informative book about fish tank care would be even more helpful for starting a fish tank for beginners

If you have any more suggestions or doubts about setting up a fish tank, especially as a beginner, then please leave a comment in the comment section below.


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