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Setup Your Own Aquarium: Preparing the water

So far, I believe you’ve already grasped basic knowledge like where to place the aquarium, determine the best aquarium size, and then buying aquarium accessories like filters, heater and lighting. Once you have done with that, next step is to treat the water and age it accordingly so that you can prepare them for your fish. (Remember, buying your new fish without ensuring that the water is properly treated is a mistake that brings nothing but trouble.)

The water from our household tap is generally unsuitable for use as aquarium water unless it has been properly aged and treated. The reason is because fresh water from the tap contains high level of chlorine and the purpose of having chlorine is to kill common microorganisms so that the water will be safe for human consumption. However, chlorine is very much unstable and with heavy aeration generated by aquarium pumps for long period of time(about 24 hours), it will disintegrate and removed from the water.

There are actually two options to dechlorinate and prepare your water. One is to rely on heavy aeration mentioned above and another straightforward and simple method is to simply purchase an anti-chlorine solution from your local fish shop. Even though natural aeration is much more cost saving, I would prefer the latter option because water conditioners like anti-chlorine nowadays not only will eliminate chlorine but will also remove other toxic chemicals and heavy metals as well. However, for the purpose of starting the system from scratch, I will combine and use both methods.

    aquarium water conditioner chlorine removal      water conditioner
Water Conditioner (chlorine removal) Biological Conditioner (bacteria starter kit)

Here is how to prepare the water:
  1. First fill fresh water from household tap into your aquarium
  2. Start the aquarium filter and air pump, making sure that heavy aeration with a lot of bubbles are generated.
  3. Plug in the heater and adjust your water temperature accordingly depending on the types of fish you intend to rear.
  4. Check for pH and water hardness and again adjust using chemical solution available from local fish shop according to fish requirements. (Use the guideline of pH 6.8-7.4 while for water hardness use gH 3º - 6º for tropical fish like cichlids, neon fish and gouramis and 6º - 11º for goldfish, guppies and swordtail) Water Test Kits will help you determine and act as indicator.
  5. Start to age and populate the water with beneficial bacteria. A good source is to get a scoop of aquarium water from established aquarium tank and mix it to your new water. Leave the water for two weeks for the bacteria to propagate. Or either way, you can also consider using a bacteria starter kit.
Well, that’s it. Before you head to your local fish shop and purchase you first aquarium fish, check again the pH and water hardness to confirm whether there’s any fluctuation above the healthy range. Adjust again if there’s any.

Next...Understanding Nitrogen Cycle and learning How to select and buy the right type of fish and introducing your new pet to its new home.



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About Me

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My fascination and interest towards aquarium fish has led me to devote my time towards caring and learning about this wonderful pet.

Aquarium fish keeping is a very challenging and exciting hobby. When I first started, I never knew much or have the necessary guidance back then because none of my family members were actually a keen hobbyist. And because of that, I’ve encountered numerous failures and the worst part is having to deal with dead fish every time when you started to grow fond and getting attached to my pets. However, I persevered and took steps to find out and search for information from other hobbyist, apart from the knowledge gained and learned from my own experience and research. The blog that I’ve created here is meant to share useful information and tips about aquarium fish keeping so that new hobbyist will not make the same mistakes that I’ve made in the past."

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