Beginning a Freshwater Aquarium
by Susan Horton, DVM
Day 1- Set up the aquarium
- Adjust the water temperature to 76-80 degrees. Make sure it stays in this area for 24 hours.
- De-chlorinate and condition the water with chemicals
- Confirm that all equipment is running correctly by letting the filter run for 24 hours.
Day 10-12 add started fish
- Limit fish purchases. 1-2 fish per 10 gallons every 10-14 days.
- Choose hardy fish.
- Add live plants (optional).
- Do not feed the same day fish are purchased.
- Begin light feedings. Feed every other day, once a day for the first month.
- Observe fish for stress (rapid breathing, lethargy, clamped fins).
- Recommended water change, 1/3 water change with a gravel cleaner
- Purchase new fish (optional) using a ratio of 1-2 fish per 10 gallons.
- As you enjoy watching your new pets, look out for signs of illness.
- Observe fish daily for signs of stress or illness.
- Have water tested at least once a month
Day 30 cleaning (Refer to our free how to clean sheet)
- Do 1/3 water change with a gravel cleaner.
- Change filter cartridges.
- Have water tested one week after this water change.
The first 4-6 weeks a tank is set up is when most people experience problems. This sheet is designed to help you get through this period. By following the above steps you should do great!
- Do not overfeed.
- Buy fish in small quantities.
- Have your water tested.
- Observe your fish for stress.
- Have fun & enjoy!