The Fish Store

Aquarium Setup

Here’s where you’ll find basic information about how to set up your aquarium.

With any aquarium set up, we always highly recommend getting all of your equipment up and running BEFORE buying any living organisms.  It is far less stressful for the plants and animals if they are going into a stable environment, so make sure that your filter, heater, and lights are all functioning properly and at the correct levels before stocking your tank.  This usually takes no more than a day or two to determine.

You should also choose a location that is suitable for the aquarium.  Generally you want to avoid placing the aquarium where it can get direct sunlight, be hit by a door or moving furniture, be exposed to a draft, or damage furniture with its weight or spilled water.  Direct sunlight and drafts can cause unwanted temperature swings.  Too much light can contribute to algae growth.  Impacts can scratch or even break and aquarium (especially glass).   If you estimate ten pounds per gallon for the weight of an aquarium, you can quickly reach a high weight load even for a moderate size.  Many people consider standing on a piece of furniture for a minute to be an accurate gauge of its strength, but what they are not considering is the material fatigue due to long term exposure to heavy weight.  Just because a person can lift a heavy object for a short period of time does not mean that they can hold it for a long period.  This is also true for furniture, so make sure that you choose something appropriately design to hold your tank.

For the most part the tap water in Seattle is great to work with for any aquarium because it is very soft and easily adjusted to fit the requirements of just about any environment you wish to create.   Check the requirements of the plants or animals you want to keep before adding them to your tank.

Once all of your equipment is set up, make sure that it is functioning properly.  Is the temperature holding in the appropriate range?  Is the filter or powerhead moving water at the rate or in the direction you want?  Do the lights go on and off when you need them too?  Are the decorations placed where you like them?

The Fish Store