Setting up your fish tank is an exciting task, but don’t get ahead of yourself. A reputable pet shop will not sell you everything and a fish in one day. They will actually let you get all the equipment you need in place and then have you come back in a few days once your tank has all the good bacteria it needs growing inside.
This post will list out the essentials you need to put together a basic fish tank setup.
What You Need To Do Before Adding Your Fish
First off, you’ll need to purchase a tank and stand. Place the tank so it is out of direct sunlight, and you should have at least 5” of clearance between the tank and wall so you can insert the filter. Next, add your gravel. You can buy gravel that is already seeded with good bacteria to speed up the process of acclimating your tank.
Next up, you will need to install your filter and heating system, but don’t plug anything in yet. Assemble the filter for the back of the tank and attach your thermometer in a place where it will be easy for you to monitor it. You’ll also need to assemble and install the heart under water level and near the input of the filter.
Next, add in your decorations. It can be tempted to deck out and theme your tank, but the most important thing is that fish have plenty of room to swim. They’ll like having some objects to swim around and hide under, but you shouldn’t crowd them. Everything should be rinsed with clear water before placing it in the tank, and then the water can be added and the filter can be turned on.
Now It’s Time To Add Your Fish
After at least 24 hours so the temperature has time to stabilize, add your fish. There’s a process to acclimating your fish and it needs to be followed so you don’t shock their system. You’ll put the fish’s bag into the water, adding a bit of the tank water to the bag. Let the bag float in the tank before putting them directly into the water. The bag’s water temperature will slowly meet that of the water in the tank, and the fish will gradually adjust.
In general, up to 55 inches of fish can fit into a 55-gallon tank. Keep in mind these measurements are based on how long the fish will be as adults and not how big they are now. If your fish grow to be large and you find your tank is overcrowded, you should definitely give some fish away or get another tank.