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How to Set Up a Cold Water Aquarium

Follow these five steps for the best survival rate for your fish:

1. Buy the Right Tank

At Petworld we always recommend that you buy a tank a size bigger than you think you will need. This will either let your fish grow healthily, or enable you to add more fish down the road!

2. Buy Aquarium Essentials

There are a few things you will need to buy to ensure you’re keeping happy and healthy fish. Make sure to purchase a good quality filter that suits the size of your tank. Our Fluvel brand comes in many different sizes to suit a huge variety of tanks. A filter is probably the most important item to place in your tank. Without it your tank can become dirty and toxic easily which will cause the fish to die. Water conditioner, stress coat and food must be bought. Gravel cleaner and fish nets are good investments too.

3. Get the Decorations

Fish tank décor is very important, as fish need somewhere to hide when they are agitated. Don’t forget to also buy substrate (material for the bottom of the tank). Choose gravel or sand for the bottom; this is essential to a healthy aquarium. 

4. Set Up your Tank

The aquarium should be out of direct sunlight, heat sources and noisy areas. Then:

  • Wash all of the objects that need to be placed into your tank. Be sure to only use water, no soap. Larger objects should be placed at the back, and smaller objects to the front. 
  • Fill the tank completely and then add your filter.  Add your stress coat and water conditioner following the manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Let your aquarium sit with no fish in it for at least a week (longer if possible) so the tank can ‘cycle’. This will help build up beneficial bacteria, which will keep your tank stable. 

5. Add your Fish

You should first add the strongest and hardiest fish first. These are called “starter fish”. Leave at least two weeks before adding more. Keep in mind that it is perfectly normal for you to lose some of these fish. The longer you ‘cycle’ your tank, the safer the fish will be.

Call into Petworld or ask through our online contact form if you have any more questions. Whether it be adding new fish, curing a sick one, or transforming your old cold-water tank into a tropical one – our well-trained staff are always happy to help! safer the fish will be.

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