Starting a New Aquarium
Are you starting a new aquarium? Plan ahead to help the process go as smoothly as possible! We are a one-stop-shop for your aquarium needs, but does that mean you should get everything your aquarium needs in one stop? Not necessarily.
Setting up an aquarium properly takes time & planning. Buying everything in one visit isn’t the best approach for aquarium success. Here is a rough timeline to help you plan your new tank purchases.
- Do your research! Having a realistic idea of your expectations & goals will help you make smart purchases.
- What type of fish & livestock do you want?
- What size tank are you looking at?
- How much time & money are you willing to invest both at the start & in the long-run?
- Can the floor where you are putting your tank support the weight? Remember to consider the water, substrate, equipment along with the tank & stand itself.
Day 1: Supplies
- Your first purchases should include the tank itself (and a stand to put it on, if needed).
- If you are getting a larger tank, make sure you have a way to get it home! (Remember that pre-planning step? Make sure your dream tank fits in your vehicle)
- You can get other equipment like filtration & lighting now as well, along with décor like ornaments & substrate.
- If you are setting up a saltwater tank, don’t forget your salt mix.
Weeks 2 - 10: Cycling the Tank
- While you should run the filtration during setup, this is not part of cycling the tank.
- What we refer to as cycling a tank doesn’t start until you have added something living to the tank.
- We recommend a fishless tank cycling method (check out our website for details) & this process can take 4-8 weeks depending on the size of the tank.
- Test your water regularly during this time & hold off on any water changes, as that can delay the cycling process.
Week 11 & Later: Stocking the Tank
- Once the tank is cycled & established, now you are finally ready to start adding your fish, inverts & plants.
- Add all new livestock gradually & make sure your tank is still stable each step of the way; don’t overload it too fast!
- Some can be added right away but other sensitive creatures are best added after the tank has been stable for several months.
- Our Fish Room staff can help you plan the best order & time to add each type of livestock like plants, fish or inverts.
As always, our Fish Room experts are here to help with your questions – and don't forget, we offer FREE water testing. Enjoy your new tank! Here are a few other articles that may help with your new tank setup:
Aquarium Shopping List
Aquarium Stocking Tips
Top 5 Beginner Freshwater Fish
Top 5 Beginner Saltwater Fish
Questions about how to get started with your new aquarium? Our Fish Room experts are here to assist you. Stop by the fish room, call 1-888-THAT-PET or message us on Facebook with any questions, our staff is happy to help!