For a beginner who wants to set up their very first successful freshwater aquarium, it might not be easy to know the basics and guidelines to follow. Also, for those who do own aquariums but have not succeeded to accomplish their goals, it might be hard to figure out what they’re doing wrong. So this segment is for people who are starting their first aquarium successfully and those who need to learn more. We’ll discuss the essential tips from scratch that every aquarium keeper should know because if you fail to start right, then chances of succeeding are slim.
The following are the tips for one to establish a successful freshwater aquarium;
Whenever you want to set up a successful aquarium, you must first think of the tank size. For a first-timer, the best tank size will be a 10 gallon to a 29-gallon long aquarium. The 20-gallon long aquarium and the 29-gallon standard size are perfect beginner-friendly aquarium sizes. That’s because those tank sizes are not too small to get into problems with but they are big enough to experiment with some fish. You can start with some small fish like neon or guppies, and if you want to, you could put a few larger species and medium-size species in a 29 gallon.
Pick A Substrate
After choosing the tank size, you can decide what kind of tank substrate you want and it is recommended to always start from bottom to top. For those who don’t know what substrate means; it is the substance you put at the bottom of your aquarium. The substrate can be sand, gravel, or whatever you like on the bottom of your aquarium. You can choose any sort of color but what’s more important is choosing materials that are pleasing to your eye. Afterward, you’ll have to install a heater, filter, and lights and you can buy the whole kit at a pet store.
Test the water PH levelS
As a part of testing your water before adding the fish species, make sure the PH levels of the freshwater you’re using aren’t off the charts. The fish will slowly adopt the water’s PH level but only if it’s in acceptable amounts. If it’s too much, you may correct the excess elements in the chemical composition of the water so they don’t harm the fish.
Add a Dechlorinator
Adding a dechlorinator will get rid of all chlorine from the tap water to make it harmless to your fish. Usually, chlorine causes a lot of pain for the fish and could result in permanent damage or even kill them immediately. Once you’ve added, a DE chlorinator let the water sit and go through the nitrogen cycle. The process takes 24 hours to complete but it depends on how much chlorine your water has. For freshwater with little amounts of chlorine or chloramine, it could take a maximum of 20 hours.
Add Beneficial Bacteria
You need beneficial bacteria buildup in your tank so that when you add fish, and they have waste like poop and pee, the live bacteria in the tank will take care of the waste, so it doesn’t harm your fish. It takes time to add the bacteria to your tank, and it’s going to be housed in
your filter then build up in your substrate (aquarium carpet or floor), and that will take care of your fish waste. There are ways to do this; one is doing a fishless cycle to allow your tank to sit for 3 – 6 weeks. You can also slowly dose ammonia to your tank for a couple of weeks, and that will build your beneficial bacteria or you can do a fish cycle and put some real fish like platies in your tank.
Slowly Add Some Fish
Once your tank has sat for five to six weeks, let it run and build up what needs to be and then you can slowly add some fish. The best freshwater fishes you can start with are platies, neon tetras, guppies are good and any Cory catfish. Don’t go buying huge fish because it’s just not going to work, you’ll struggle, and the fish might die due to lack of experience in taking care of them. Accept to start small, simple, enjoy the kind of fish you’ve in your tank and then slowly get confidence and break off from that to some major and maybe more challenging fish.
Follow these steps and you’ll have a successful freshwater aquarium you’ve always dreamt of.