Aquarium Set-Up For Amateurs

Article by Laurence Pitts

You’ve gotten your new aquarium home and spread the works out on the floor. It’s awesome but still nowhere near what you have seen in friends homes. So, let’s get started creating the aquarium of your dreams.

Hopefully you have found a stable stand or base for your aquarium to sit on. Remembering that water weighs approximately 8#/gallon. So a 20 gallon aquarium contains 160# of water. Place the base in a location where you can easily see it and enjoy it. Consider windows and heating elements and try to keep your aquarium away from direct contact or close proximity to them. Also, make sure the empty tank fits snuggly on the base. Any rocking and warping will eventually cause the tank to warp and leak.

So before adding the gravel or sand to the bottom of the tank wash and wipe the new aquarium. And before you add the bottom material rinse it throughly to get rid ot resiual dirt and dust. Kind of grade the material so that there is a slight slope from rear to front of the tank. This allows anything that needs to be removed can be seen easily and taken care of.

Next insert the water filter. And that the filter can reach to the bottom of the tank. Also, be sure that the filter you have purchased is approved for use in water.

Once the gravel and filter are in place go ahead and add the water. Only you know your particular water condition. Try to make sure the water added to the aquarium is somewhat balanced. Not to acidic or to caustic. Allow the water in the tank to come to room temperature in the tank with the filter running. This might take a couple of days depending on the time of year and where the aquarium is set up.

You have your filter and aerator pump running so go ahead and add your fish. Be sure you acclimate your fish prior to placing them in the aquarium. Basically I use the plastic bag method. That is I take the bag from the pet store that the fish came home in. Place the bag with the fish in them into the aquarium. Allow the fish to remain in that bag for a day and then cut a few slits in the bag to allow the water to mix and the fish to swim away.

This is the basic information on setting up a aquarium for amateurs. There are tons of information and resources availabe including my site at Here you will find information on all aspects of aquarium survival. Including accessories and informational books. Larry Pitts has been a lifetime aquariest and also has a wholesale aquarium supply business.