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Author: Viva Pets
A tropical fish tank provides home for a lot of different coloured and interesting fish, this guide outlines how to set up a tropical fish tank. A tropical fish tank is much lower maintenance than a marine fish tank and consequently is more suited to people who don’t have as much experience in caring for tropical fish.
Tropical Fish Tank Supplies
• The first step is to find a suitable sized fish tank. 10 gallons (roughly 40L) is suitable for a beginner’s tropical fish tank. Remember that it will need a hood for the lighting.
• The next step to set up a tropical fish tank is to buy the equipment needed including the filtration system, heater, thermometer, gravel and water conditioner (dechlorinator). There are several starter kits available that have all of these things included.
• Your tank will need decorations, these serve two purposes. The first is that they make the tank more interesting, the second is to give the fish somewhere to feel secure so make sure you buy things that could form a hideout.
• Keep the fish tank out of direct sunlight or near anywhere that will change the temperature (radiator etc). One of they key aspects to caring for tropical fish is to make sure that the water temperature is kept constant.
Set Up the Tropical Fish Tank
• The first step when you set up your tropical fish tank is to put the gravel in. rinse the gravel beforehand through a sieve until the water running off is clear. Sloping the gravel so it is higher at the back than the front will encourage the fish to stay near the front. Make sure the tank decorations are washed before you secure them to the bottom of your tropical fish tank
• When it comes to pouring the water in, put a bowl in the bottom of the tank so it doesn’t displace the gravel. Turn all the equipment on and add the correct amount of water conditioner. Set up the filtration and heating systems and set the temperature to roughly 77º Fahrenheit (roughly 25ºC). You will need to allow 24hours for everything to settle and run through the filters before you add fish.
Adding the Fish and Plants
• You will need to make sure that the tank lights in use support live plants. Rinse the live plants in water and prune them if necessary before you put them in the water.
• People with less experience in caring for tropical fish should go a pet shop that can give you advice on what is best suited for you. Ask about what fish live together best and at first it may be better for you to simply have one species in your tropical fish tank. The next step is to add the tropical fish. Guppies are good beginner’s tropical fish. Plecostomus’ get on well with most fish and will keep the tropical fish tank clean.
• To add the fish to your tropical fish tank, float the bag they came in in the water for twenty minutes or so and then net each one into the water gently. Give them some fish food a few hours later once they are settled.
• Caring for tropical fish can be tricky but very rewarding, pet shops and people on the internet will be only too happy to offer you advice should you get into any difficulties.