Every good pet owner wants their animal companion to be happy. Part of that effort is keeping them healthy. This work is not just required when the pet is noticeably sick. You should do what you can to prevent them from falling ill, including providing a clean and comfortable environment.
Nowhere is this more noticeable than in the home of a fish. These critters can only survive in very specific conditions, which you must keep in mind when shopping for fish and aquarium supplies. To help you prepare for your new pet, we drafted a guide to set up a safe fish tank.
The importance of “location, location, location” applies as much to fish tanks as to houses and businesses. First, what will support the aquarium? Whether it is a table or counter or something else, it should support the weight of all that water. It should also be near several open electrical outlets.
The second aspect to consider is the environment surrounding the habitat. There should not be any AC vents, nor any windows pouring sunlight on the glass. Conditions like these can push the water’s temperature beyond the range that fish find comfortable.
Before you do anything else, you must clean the tank. Yes, even if the tank is fresh out of the box which means yes, especially if it is used. Any dust or debris or dirtiness would otherwise spread through the enclosure, where fish could eat it and be poorer for doing so.
We recommend simply rinsing the inside with a sink faucet or hose and wiping it down with good paper towels. Soap can be toxic to fish, and even washing it out afterward may leave too many traces.
Once the tank is clean, you can start adding water. With that said, do not fill it to the brim or you risk wasting water. This step is just to check that there are no leaks in the tank. If you see water dripping out, replace it at the store.
Place the tank on the surface where you plan to keep it, then look at the water from all sides. Does it look level? It must be, for the comfort of your pets. Adjust both the tank and its support until everything evens out.
Aquariums meant for freshwater fish do not need to worry about sumps. These containers often concealed from view beneath the aquarium, are designed to filter and recirculate water at faster rates. If you have a saltwater tank, set it up and connect as the instructions dictate.
The other good thing about sumps is that they can hold a variety of equipment, such as filters, flow valves, and protein skimmers. All are extremely useful, but may take up space or look unsightly if kept outside. Keep this in mind as you set up the sump.
The filter is arguably the most important of all fish and aquarium supplies. You would be wise to invest in a great one: long-lasting, efficient, and effective. Before you set it up, remove and rinse the filter pads. Once they are all clean, reattach them.
Please note that we are not directing the reader to plug in the filter. That step comes later. On that note, leave some space between the filter and the wall. You will have to take it out and clean it from time to time.
Substrate refers to the layer of material at the bottom of the tank. Sand is a common choice, and so is gravel. It is not just there to look pretty: bacteria make their home within the substrate, eating waste and debris. They are as important as the filter in keeping the tank clean.
The rule of thumb is to add one pound of substrate to the tank for each gallon of water. More must be added if you use live plants, which need space for their roots. Now you can see why the support for the tank must be strong.
Once the substrate settles, it is time to fill the tank up. Leave some space at the top to avoid possible overflow. Now you need two more important pieces of equipment. The heater maintains water temperature, and the thermometer shows whether the heater is working well.
Both instruments should be attached to different sides of the tank. Keep the thermometer in a spot where you can easily see it. Otherwise, what is the point? With this equipment in place, you can finally plug in everything that needs to be plugged in.
The aquarium may look ready, with everything from the water to the substrate to the equipment finally in place. However, it may not be a happy home for your fish just yet. You may have to make some adjustments and get more fish and aquarium supplies.
If you wait for the tank to stabilize, you can do all that without risking harm to your fish or inconveniencing yourself. We suggest giving it a full 48 hours. You will know that it is ready once the water is no longer cloudy.
Following this guide’s instructions, plus the more specific instructions from the manufacturers of your equipment should leave your fish with a happy and healthy home. With that said, this environment will only remain safe for aquatic life if you maintain it. To do that, you need to clean frequently, keep a close eye on conditions, and act quickly when needed.
Every tank owner should keep a variety of fish and aquarium supplies at their disposal. You can find high-quality pH test kits, gravel vacuums, fish medicine, and more here at Lambert Vet Supply. Our online store is dedicated to providing fish owners with everything they and their finned friends need. Browse our selection today and see for yourself what we have to offer.