At Art in Motion Pets it is our duty to
help take some of the frustration out of setting up your new aquarium.
Before making your purchase read some of our tips below. If you have
any further questions please feel free to give us a call at (765) 662-7226.
Day 1 - Set Up the Aquarium
Place your new aquarium, away from direct sunlight, heaters and air
conditioners, on a flat level surface. If the tank is not level it may
develop a "pressure crack" from too much water pushing against one
side of the tank. We recommend using an aquarium stand made by your
Wipe down the aquarium using water
and a paper towel to remove any dust that may be in the tank.
Rinse your gravel, ornaments, and plants before adding
them to your tank.
Add water and place the heater in
tank. Let the heater set in water for at least 20 min. before you
plug in or it may break. Also note; when removing heater, leave in
tank 20 min. unplugged before removing.
Add water conditioner (Aqua Plus or
Stress Coat) as well as aquarium
salt. (Note: Most freshwater fish will benefit from adding some aquarium
salt [not table salt] to the water.) It adds electrolytes, improves gill function, and
helps prevent and cure disease.)
Allow the filter and heater to operate overnight and check that the
water temperature remains constant. (approx. 76-78 degrees for most tropical
Day 2-3 - Add Starter Fish
Start with only a few hardy fish. We
recommend Danios, Barbs, or some varieties of Tetras until the Nitrogen Cycle
is complete (See Below).
At this time limit fish purchases to about 2-3
per 10 gallons of water.
Do not feed the same day fish were
purchased. They may be too stressed to eat and the extra food can
cause ammonia problems.
Day 3-45 -
The Nitrogen Cycle
At this point your water quality
will slowly start to get worse. The reason is, when setting a new aquarium there is not enough beneficial bacteria
established to break down the fish waste by-products. The Nitrogen
Cycle is the process that produces this good bacteria.
At the beginning of the cycle, fish waste and uneaten food
in the gravel and filter begin to decay forming ammonia.
A form of bacteria that
"feeds" on Ammonia will develop and begin to transform ammonia into
It is generally at this stage that ammonia and nitrites can become
lethal to fish. At this time, we do not recommend
adding any other fish and only feed every other day until the cycle is complete.
(Note: This doesn't mean feed them more than normal when you do
feed. Only feed what your fish can eat in about 1-2 minutes without
any uneaten food sinking to the bottom.)
Another bacteria then begins
forms that "feeds" on the nitrite and coverts it into,
much less toxic,
Usually at this time (approx.
4-6 weeks) nitrite and ammonia levels will suddenly drop to near
zero and the nitrogen cycle will be complete.
The length of the nitrogen cycle varies, depending on the size of
the tank, the amount of fish, the amount of oxygen in the water (more
oxygen the faster the cycle). The time will normally range from a 4-6
Adding a bacteria culture,
such as 'Cycle' or 'Bio-Spira' to your Aquarium water can also speed up the cycle.
Also, adding bacteria from another established tank will
dramatically speed up the cycle. To do this take a used filter
sponge, insert, or pad and transfer it to your new tank. Note:
transfer bacteria to your tank like you transfer fish (using a fish
bag or zip-loc bag. If you're not sure what this means go to the
Adding Fish and read about "Taking your new fish home".
NEVER dump all the water out and clean the gravel and filter and
refill the aquarium. This will kill your bacteria and cause the Nitrogen Cycle to start over.
Observe your fish for stress (rapid
breathing, lethargy, clamped fins, etc.).
Bring a water sample to Art in
Motion Pets every 3-7 days, during this time, for a FREE water test to see the progress of the cycle
Once the cycle is complete you can
safely add new fish to your tank.
Essential supplies checklist
here for a printer friendly version to take with you to Art in
Aquarium Housing for fish & plants
Light & Hood Enhances viewing & colors, secures fish and helps
promote healthy plant growth.
Aquarium Stand Evenly supports the weight of the aquarium
Filter and Filter Media Maintains good water quality and removes
debris & impurities from water
Aquarium Gravel Decorates aquarium bottom and secures plants
Heater Maintains a consistent warm water temperature
Thermometer Lets you check water temperature
Water Conditioner Removes Chlorine from tap water, detoxifies heavy
metals, and helps protect fish
Aquarium Salt Helps cure and prevent disease and improves gill
Fish Food Supplies nutrition
Supplemental Food Adds variety in diet and added nutrition
Cycle - Starts and accelerates the nitrogen cycle
Fish Net To catch fish and debris
Gravel Cleaner Removes excess debris from the gravel
Books For general information, and proper fish care
Suggested supplies checklist
Air Pump Adds oxygen to the water
Air Line Tubing Path for air to flow from the air pump into aeration
Air Stones Adds bubbles to the water for oxygen and circulation
Check Valve Stops water from back-siphoning into the air pump
Gang Valve To operate multiple aeration devices
Algae Scrapper Removes the build up of algae on aquarium glass
Ammonia Test Kit Checks for harmful ammonia levels
Nitrite Test Kit - Checks for harmful nitrite levels
pH Test Kit Checks the degree of acidity or alkalinity of water
Live Plants Creates a more natural environment and hiding places for
Rocks Decorates the aquarium and adds a natural hiding places for
Driftwood - Decorates the aquarium and adds a natural hiding places