Choosing and installing your first aquarium

How to choose your first aquarium? How to prepare an aquarium ? If you are new to aquarium keeping, one of the first steps is to start an aquarium. Selecting and acquiring a first aquarium is not so easy for beginners in aquarium keeping. Indeed, it is necessary to respect some basic rules to succeed in making an aquarium. To know how to build and prepare your first aquarium without making any mistakes, here is the guide to follow: choice of material, plants and fish, installation and watering of the aquarium, … The advice to start your first aquarium.

Starting as an aquarist

To start in aquarium keeping, it is not enough to be passionate about aquarium fish. The creation of an aquarium is a real pleasure but to create the perfect environment for your fish, you need a budget, time and knowledge. Because a first aquarium is expensive, takes time to set up and requires precise maintenance. It is also necessary to master the basics concerning water parameters and the nitrogen cycle. It is necessary to count on average between 250€ and 500€ to start an aquarium, between the purchase of the material (aquarium, bubbler, filter, …), the decoration and the fishes. Then, a maintenance of 20mn each day is mandatory to clean the aquarium and feed the fish. So, how to start an aquarium ?

Contrary to popular belief, having an aquarium is within everyone’s reach, provided that the installation is well prepared beforehand. With a good preparation of your aquarium project, it will be much easier to start an aquarium as a beginner. It is therefore necessary to think beforehand about the capacity of the aquarium, the fish to be introduced but also about the place of the aquarium in your habitat and the presence of electrical outlets for example. By following these tips for starting an aquarium, you will avoid the frequent mistakes of beginners and will be able to make your first aquarium with ease. Beginners often wonder what to put in an aquarium? The guide to a successful first aquarium.

Material to start an aquarium

Choosing the right equipment for starting an aquarium is the first step to get started in aquaristics. The purchase of the aquarium itself depends on your project: starting a freshwater aquarium or making a marine aquarium? Because to start these two different aquatic environments, the equipment is sometimes totally different. But more than the tank, the selection of the equipment concerns the lighting, the filters, the plants, the floor of the aquarium, …

At the time of the first purchase, we tend to take a small size aquarium because the maintenance seems easier. It is in fact the opposite. It will be easier for you to keep the right Ph with a large aquarium, and therefore to keep your fish healthy. The smaller the volume of the tank, the more difficult it is to maintain the balance of the tank. To succeed in your first aquarium, the control of the water parameters is essential: nitrites, nitrates, temperature, pH, … The water parameters in aquariums will therefore be more stable in an aquarium of correct dimensions and volume. If you start with a small aquarium, you will have to test the aquarium water more often to increase the Ph, play with the water hardness, …

The ideal size to start your first aquarium is a tank from 100L to 120L. Of course, you must adapt your tank to the number of inhabitants. Fish like to have space and you have to calculate the number of fish to introduce in relation to the capacity of the aquatic habitat. However, freshwater and exotic fish hate solitude. Therefore, avoid taking only one fish. This is a tip for starting a freshwater aquarium and ensuring good management.

Once you’ve chosen a tank, you must purchase all the equipment to be installed: filter, water pump, heater, lighting and air pump. There are often packages already adapted and sold with the original tank. This is a package with an aquarium including all its accessories to start in aquarium keeping, so it is very practical for beginners. However, prefer an immersion heater for its ease of use. The lighting, as for him, depends on the plants used. The most common lighting to start your aquarium is neon. The ideal lighting duration is 10 hours per day. Finally, you can optionally take a bubbler to oxygenate the water. However, the bubbler has a function more aesthetic than practical in an aquarium. As for the purchase of the water pump, you must invest in a pump that delivers at least 2 times the volume of water of the aquarium per hour.

To facilitate the start of your aquarium, opting for an aquarium with its equipment included is a good solution. But there is still equipment to acquire to prepare your aquarium and to carry out the setting in water of the tank. You will have to buy the aquarium decor according to your decorative desires and then opt for a floor, preferably gravel sold in aquarium stores. Once your first aquarium and the equipment is in place, all you have to do is clean it and start filling it with water. Finally, patience will be required because a waiting period of 3 weeks minimum is necessary before you can introduce the fish in your new aquarium. Especially in order to obtain the good characteristics of fresh or sea water.

Advice for a first aquarium

Nevertheless, new aquarists should be warned because creating a new aquarium is not so easy. The preparation of a first aquarium requires precision and patience. Choosing the right aquarium fish will also help you to maintain a certain population balance. Here are a few warnings and reminders on where to install a new aquarium at home but also on aquarium maintenance.

Placing and Installing a New Aquarium

Where to put your aquarium? Fish are very sensitive to their environment, even outside the aquarium. You should choose a location that is quiet but not too isolated. Never forget that fish are pets. They must be cared for with as much care and attention as dogs and cats. Brightness is an important factor for the inhabitants of the aquarium. For aquarists and owners of freshwater or marine aquariums, the sun is an enemy. Indeed, the sun’s rays can affect the water temperature. The aquarium should therefore not be exposed to direct sunlight in order to avoid variations in water temperature but also to prevent the proliferation of aquatic algae. The ideal location of an aquarium is in the shade.

Then provide a solid support. An aquarium is very heavy because it weighs more than twice its initial weight when filled. It is therefore impossible to move it once the watering is done. The size of your piece of furniture must be greater than or equal to the surface area of the aquarium’s base. Indeed, the aquarium should never protrude from the furniture because even if they are solid, it is better to avoid the risk of scratches or cracks in the glass.

To install your new aquarium, it is therefore necessary to place its installation in the shade, in an accessible room with room temperature and on an adapted and solid support.

Easily install your first aquarium

To easily install your first aquarium, you must follow certain steps to get started. In conclusion, no filling the aquarium without installation of the decor and the material. You must start with the floor of your aquarium. Choose simple and easy to clean materials such as quartz or Loire sand. We advise you a floor with 50% quartzite and 50% aqualit, which you will just have to rinse with clear water before filling your new aquarium. The decoration is the most personal part. You can arrange stones, wood or corals according to your desires. Also think that the decoration is a good way to hide filters, pipes and other equipment in the aquarium.

Once the watering is done and the nitrogen cycle is finished, your aquarium will be definitively installed and you will be able to introduce your aquatic animals.

The fish you have chosen to start this aquarium experience will finally be able to discover their environment. In order to avoid thermal shocks, it is advisable to proceed step by step. First of all, make sure that the water temperature is suitable (usually 24°). Then, put some aquarium water in your fish’s bag several times so that the fish adapt to the aquarium. Once your fish are acclimatized, you can gently introduce them into the aquarium using a landing net. Concerning the food of the fishes, you must respect the needs of the introduced species and be careful not to feed your fish too much. It is advisable to feed your fish after their introduction.

You are ready to set up your first aquarium. You will now have to maintain your aquarium regularly, adapt the population according to your desires and your budget. If you have just acquired a first aquarium, do not hesitate to question the members of the forum to start in aquariphilia on the preparation of this new aquarium, the maintenance, …

Thanks to these reminders and basic rules for buying, preparing and launching your first aquarium, you will avoid the main mistakes in aquarium keeping. Nevertheless, it is essential to get enough information about the species of fish, their environment and their food before starting such a project. There are easy-care fish and beginner’s aquariums for new aquarists. To start in aquarium keeping, it is recommended to specialize in either freshwater or marine aquariums to make a perfect aquarium. Starting with a reef aquarium is also possible.