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Set up an Aquarium

Home > Sydney > Hobbies
Published February 20th 2011

An aquarium is a bright and decorative addition to your home and fish are amongst the easiest of pets to care for. This doesn't mean that setting up and maintaining your aquarium will be easy. It will require research and constant care. Here are some tips to get you started.


The first thing to do is to choose your fish so that you know what type of equipment to purchase. Some fish are easier to maintain than others. Typically, coldwater fish like goldfish are the easiest to look after. Marine fish such as clownfish, angelfish and moon wrasse are a little trickier, but they're so pretty! Tropical fish can be the hardest, as some species can grow quite large and become aggressive. They also occupy different levels of water.

Research your fish carefully before you throw them into your tank. Fish have different temperaments, so you want to make sure you place the right ones together. Depending on the species, you might have to keep your fish isolated.


Obviously the size and quantity of your fish will determine the size of your tank. Tank size is determined based on the size of an adult fish. The length or circumference should be seven to twelve times that of your fish when it is fully grown – so if the fish in ten centimetres at maturity, your tank should be seventy to one hundred and twenty centimetres long.

The most important thing is to know whether your fish are freshwater or saltwater. This will, obviously, determine whether you have a freshwater or saltwater aquarium. Saltwater aquariums look spectacular, but are generally more expensive and higher maintenance. If you are new to the hobby, you should probably start with a freshwater tank.

To fill a freshwater tank, use de-chlorinated water at room temperature. For a saltwater tank, heat your water to the temperature it will be in the tank and add half a cup of salt mix for every four litres of water.

Finally, you should fit your tank with a filter. This will help to keep the water clean, which means less water changes.


These are not a necessary part of setting up an aquarium but they do help to make the fish feel more comfortable and happy fish tend to live longer. Your fish don't really have any interior design preferences so you can decorate the tank however you like.

Basic care

You will need to feed your fish daily. The pet store employees should be able to tell you exactly how much. Too little or too much food can kill your fish.

Regular water changes will keep your fish happy and healthy. Weekly partial water changes keep the bad stuff diluted and are relatively simple. Just drain 10 – 20 per cent of the water and replace it with fresh water.

Clean your tank twice a year (or more often if necessary) by placing your fish in another bowl and scrubbing the empty tank with warm water. Do not use soap or chemicals.
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Why? For low maintenance pets
When: Any time
Where: Your house
Cost: Differs depending on fish and set up
I love my fish, they are so sparkly and relaxing to watch! I think marine are far harder than tropical. My freshwater tropical tank is full of happy community fish that never fight: Khuli loaches, danios, platys, neon tetras, glowlight tetras & bumblebee gobys. They are great to watch because they all inhabit different levels of the tank. Make sure you like cleaning tanks before you buy - I find it relaxing, but if you find it a chore, you'll get bored and your fish will suffer.
By SureHope - reader
Monday, 23rd of April @ 08:44 am
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