1. Choosing a place for your aquarium
Best place for aquarium is a quiet place. Avoid direct sunlight and changes in temperature. So don´t place aquarium next to a window or a radiator. Make sure that the floor is strong enought to support weight of the aquarium.
2. Aquarium cabinet / stand
Water weighs about 1 kg / litre (8 pounds / gallon). So for example 100 liter aquarium weighs (all stuff included) about 120 kg. The cabinet / stand needs to hold this weight without bending or shaking, because aquarium glass doesn´t tolerate any bending. The cabinet / stand needs to be manifactured from a material that tolerates splashes of water. It´s a good idea to place padded aquarium mat (and plywood if needed) under the aquarium to even and stabilize the surface. You can oder padded aquarium mat and plywood from us. Notice that regular chipboard furnitures can´t handle water splashes. Notice also that some aquarium brands don´t allow to istall padded aquarium mat under the aquarium, for example it is forbidden to place a padded aquarium mat under Juwel aquarium.
3. Clean the aqurium
Use only tap water for the cleaning. Even a small drop of cleaning solution can be fateful for the fishes. You can use vinegar, pH-minus solution or acetone for cleaning. But don´t use acetone near or in to the silicone. If you use any of these products make sure you rinse away all traces of used product with clean water.
4. Attach background poster
Use tape to attach the poster outside the aquarium. Attach poster from the top with tape and used it all the way. For the the bottom and on the sides of poster use only small pieces of tape and attach them here and there. You can also use background poster glue to attach the poster. Poster glue makes the poster look more vivid. If you wan´t to use 3D-background in you aquarium we can advise you how to install it.
5. Put the aquarium on the cabinet / stand
Make sure that cabinet / stand is on level and it doesn´t sway. You can use carpenter's level to make sure that aquarium is set on level. Make sure that the location for the aquarium is final, because you can´t move it after you have put the sand inside. Check again the level of the aquarium and leg adjustment when aquarium is half filled with water. Make sure that you leave enought space between aquarium and wall (minimum 5 cm) so that you can easily install hoses and electric cables from aquarium to cabinet and to wall plug.
6. Wash the sand
Wash the sand with luke warm water in a wash basin. Ad only ½ - 1 litre of sand in the water basin and pour water to cover the sand. Stir the sand thoroughtly and pour the dirty water away. Repeat the process until the washing water is clean (usually 1 - 15 times). You can also use clocth, gauze etc. as an aid for the rinse. Fortunately, this is one of those things you need to do only once...
7. Install the ground heater, spread ground nutrient and sand
Attach the ground heater to bottom glass with suction cups. Spread ground nutrient (Tetra CompleSubstrate) on top of the heater and bottom glass. Then add on top a 5- 6 cm thick layer of sand. The sand layer needs to be at least 5 cm thick so that plants can grow roots in to the sand and they won´t drift away from the bottom.
8. Fill the aquaurium with water
For the first filling, you can use cold water (in the future use always same water tempeture as in aquarium for the filling). Fill up the aquarium almost to the top, but leave some space for small splashes, that may occur during the istallation of equipments. Make sure that water is clear. If the sand is poorly washed water will stay dirty for a long time. Change the water if necessary.
9. Attach the thermometer
Attach the sticker thermometer onto the glass outside the aquarium. Attach glass thermometer with suction cup to glass inside the aquarium.
10. Install electric equipmend
Follow the instruction guides for the equipment on to how to istall them. Keep filter and heater always running. If you have an air pump keep it on, especially during the night time. Swich light and CO2-equipment on when you have plants in your aquarium, not before that. Keep the light on 6 h / day. Lift light period 1 h/ week untill the lighting period is 8 - 10 h per day. It´s good idea to spread the the lighting period to two sections to prevent algae bloom. Keep the light on in the morning 1 - 2 hours and in the evening 6 - 7 hours.
11. Add the water treatments
Add water condioner (Tetra AquaSafe) in to the aquarium. Add biological activator (Bactozym or Enzyme) 1 capsule / 100 liters of water every third day for the nex two weeks (open the capsule and pour the powder in to the water). Add bacterial primer (Tetra SafeStar) to the aquarium on day 2. Don´t add plant nutritions (liquid, tablets or stics) untill you have plants in the aquarium. Add humus (Tetra Torumin) or pH /KH/GH powders depending if the aquarium is soft or hard water aquarium.
12. Wait untill the water is clear and tempature is settled
This will take 1 -7 days. During the waiting time you can plant plants and decorate the aquarium. Now is a good idea to plan what kind of fishes you want in the aquarium. You can add first fishes in to the aquarium (if water values are good) after 1½ week but rather after 2 weeks. We can help you to choose suitable fishes for your aquarium.
13. Bring water sample
Bring a water sample from your aquarium to our store. Use a clean glass jar, plastic jar, water bottle or plastic bag for the sample. 1 - 2 deciliters of water is enough. Make sure that the lid of jar is also clean and there are no airspace in the jar. Bring the sample in at least 30 minutes before our closing time so we have time analyse and discuss about it.
We make wide water analysis (pH, KH, GH, NO2, NO3, CO2 , Fe, K, Mg and electric conductivity), and if necessary we can also take NH3/NH4, PO4 etc. tests. Water analysis is always free of charge service and we do it while you wait, it takes 10 - 15 minutes. If the water values are good you can purchase your first fishes. Water sample ensurers that everything is ok in your aquarium and that is safe to move fishes in to it.
Start doing once a week 30 - 40 % water changes when you have first fishes in the aqurium (check routine aquarium maintenace istructions).
Wait at least one week before you add more fishes in to the aquarium. During the week add bacterial primer (Tetra SafeStart) every 2 to 3 days a 1 full cork /100 liters of water. Then bring another water sample for testing and if everything is ok you can add another set of fishes to the aquarium. By doing this your aquarium stays in good biolocical balance and is suitable for tropical fishes. This is also a way to prevent any big catastrophes (all fish died etc.).
If you have any questions regarding your aquarium, don´t hesitate to contact us! We will gladly help you!