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4. Setting Up - 16 Basic Steps

1. Choose A Good Location

Make sure the area can support the weight and is level. Figure you'll have 10lbs of weight for each gallon of water. Avoid setting up your tank in areas that are drafty or have direct sunlight.

2. Rinse Aquarium

Rinse the aquarium with Seri Clean then plain water and remove dust and debris.

3. Set Up the Filtration System

Set up the undergravel filter or other filters by following the instructions included with each. Do not plug in anything until the tank is full of water.


4. Add Gravel

Rinse gravel with tap water and pour gravel into tank covering undergravel filter from 1-2 inches deep.


5. Decorate the Aquarium

Arrange ornaments, rocks and plants in the tank remembering to provide adequate hiding and sleeping places for the fish.


6. Adding Water

Carefully add water and re-decorate anything that has moved out of place. Pour water slowly against the tank wall or into a dish placed at the bottom to keep from splattering and dislodging ornaments.


7. Hook Up Air Pump and Accessories

Install the air pump, check valve, and gang valve. Install the heater, but do not plug in the heater for 15 minutes after it is in the water. This will allow the thermostat to adjust to the new water temperature. If the tank water is too cold it may cause the heater to break.


8. Add Water Conditioner

New tank water and any water added during water changes must be de-chlorinated.

9. Start Filtration

Once the filtration equipment is in place and the tank is filled, start the filter following the power filter instructions. Also start the air pumps.

10. Place the Thermometer

Attach the thermometer to the side of the tank or in the water (depending on its type), making sure it is in an easy place to read.

11. Place the Lighting

Attach the hood or glass canopy and light.

12. Getting Ready for Fish

Test pH and make any water changes that may be needed. After temperature and pH are adjusted add bacterial cycling cultures. If you have chosen Sure Start as your culture, follow the instructions.

13. Adding Fish

You are now ready to add a few fish (5-10.) Follow the Acclimation Procedure for introducing fish. Always add Activate Freshwater bacterial culture when adding new fish.

14. Adding More Fish

More fish can be added gradually when the ammonia and nitrite are clear. Always add bacterial cultures when adding new fish and for aquarium maintenance.

15. Testing Your Water

Remember that clean, healthy water conditions are necessary for your fish. If you do not purchase test kits, bring in water samples from your new tank frequently for testing. After your tank has cycled, continue to test your water on a regular basis to maintain healthy fish.

16. Getting Help

Click the My Pond/Aquarium link on the home page and log in to our interactive problem solver for a healthy, thriving aquarium.

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