This is part 4 of The Ultimate Guide to your First Aquarium and in this episode we’re gonna set up our tank.
Once you have designated the perfect spot for your tank it’s time to get started.
Just like I’ve been talking about through the whole series this is a 55 gallon aquarium. This is a spare tank I had sitting around, it’s obviously a used aquarium so this is a good representation of what you would be working with if you were to buy your tank off of a craigslist add or something like that.
The first thing you want to do is add your substrate. Make sure it covers the entire bottom surface of your tank. There is no rule as to how much substrate to lay down but just remember the more you have, the more you have to clean.
After laying down the substrate I like to set my decorations in the tank. It’s just easier to do it without the water, plus it’s easier to see everything. For this example I’m just gonna place a couple different decorations around, a nice hunk of driftwood and a little stone house. You can go as far with this as you want. This is an opportunity for you to be artistic and make the tank your own little art project so have fun with this part and take your time.
Next I’m gonna start placing the equipment starting with the aristone. Personally I like to have the aristone on the opposite end of the tank from the filter. This will help with water movement and give it a really cool effect with all of the bubbles. Keeping it away from the filter will keep the bubbles from being sucked up into the filter which could effect the filters efficiency and it’ll keep the bubbles from getting thrown all around your tank.
Don’t worry about plugging any of these pieces of equipment yet, powering them up without them being full or submerged in water can actually ruin the equipment so we’ll wait to plug these things in until the tank is full.
Now it’s time to place the filter. The filter I’m installing onto this 55 gallon aquarium is a marineland emperor 400. This filter could be looked at as a bit overkill for this size tank but remember from episode 3, you really don’t wanna go cheap when it comes to your filter. This filter hangs on the back of the aquarium and the intake tube extends down into the tank. I like to extend the intake tube down to about an inch from the bottom of the tank to get maximum water flow and to help pull the fish waste from the tank as it’s dropping to the bottom.
(As you can see, my little decorative rock formation was in the way of the filter intake tube, this is why it’s nice to not have water in it yet)
Next is the placement of the heater. The location of your heater is pretty important, you want it in an area where there is allot of water movement so that nice warm water gets spread around throughout the tank and doesn’t just warm up one stagnant area. Here I’m placing it directly above the aristone. The bubbles from the airstone will not only circulate the heated water but they’ll also help to hid the heater at the same time.
Now it’s time to filler up! I’m using a garden hose to fill the tank. Notice I placed a bowl on the bottom of the tank. This is just to help keep the substrate and decorations in place while it’s filling up. You can use the bowl if you’re filling up your tank using buckets too, just dump the water into the bowl.
While the tank is filling up this is a great time to add your water conditioners and any other chemicals like live bacteria. Be sure to read the instructions on the products to ensure propper dosing of these products.
While the tank continues to fill I can now place the lids and lights. I’m using 2 24” aquarium hoods with the standard aquarium lights. These are similar to what you might find in one of those starter kits I talked about in episode 3.
Notice I’m also filling up the filter itself, remember a filter running with no water in it can burn up the motor so filling it up will kick start things and help to prolong the life of the filter.
and now its time to plug everything in and start it up. You’ll notice a small loom of cloudy water coming from my filter, this isn’t something you’ll see with a new filter but as I said earlier this is a used one so it’s spitting out all of the stuff that has built up in it through use.
And that’s it, we want to take a step back, make sure everything is functioning properly with the filter making sure if you’re using filters that have bio wheels that both wheels are spinning and making sure the heater is set to the propper temp for the fish you want to keep and your done.
Next week we’re gonna talk about The cycling process which is one of the most important parts of this whole thing so you’ll definitely want to subscribe to this channel so you don’t miss that episode. Thank you so much for watching and I look forward to talking to you again next week!
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