How to set up an aquarium for tropical fish: Full Guide

Setting up your tank for Tropical fish is not as hard as you may think if you follow our easy instructions. It is widely known that aquariums are calm. If you never put up a fish tank before it may sound a little frightening, but it's very simple. You may become a fish keeper in just a few easy steps!


The first step is to choose an aquarium for tropical fish. Things to take into account include...

  • What kind of fish do you want to keep?
  • Where will the tank go?
  • What is your budget?

Select the appropriate aquarium type for the fish you want to maintain. Larger tanks are simpler to maintain, and water chemistry is more stable. Small tanks may appear beautiful if you select appropriate fish or shrimps. Choose a tank location not receiving direct sunlight or draws. Ideally, choose a place with a level floor and the primary traffic in the home is out of the way. Most aerosols like air fresheners are toxic to aquatic life so be careful to remember.

List of Checks

A list of items you need is based on a tropical or coldwater set up here.

  • Aquarium
  • Lights
  • Filter
  • Heater Heater (for tropical tanks)
  • Pump for air (if you want bubbles)
  • Substrate (gravel or sand)
  • Decor
  • Conditioner of water
  • Starter bacteria filter
  • Kits for Water Test
  • Wash it all.

It is always a good idea to rinse the inside and decorations of a new aquarium. This removes any remnants from the production process.

Normally your gravel or sand will need to be washed before it is put in the aquarium. The exception is that plant aquaria have specialized substrates because they include specific nutrients to aid plant development.

The easiest method to wash your gravel is to put tiny quantities into a clean bucket (I use about 2kg) at a time. Remove the substrate by hand when the bucket is filled with tap water. When the bucket is about 2/3 full, turn off the tap and let the substratum settle for a few seconds. Give the water carefully and repeat as many times as required.

You should continue to do so until the water is clear. I know it's tempting to hurry this step but continue until the water is clear. Fill your gravel or sand with your hand and smooth it to the bottom of the tank.

Fill the Tank halfway

Put a saucer on the gravel and gradually pour water from a bucket or jug on it. This is to prevent too much disturbance of the gravel and to raise it completely. Utilize cold tap water only since hot water pipes use a different flux and may be harmful to fish. To take the cold off, you may add a little boiling water to the bucket.

Add filters, heaters, and decorations

Once the tank is half-filled, you have to put your filter in place. Make sure you thoroughly read all instructions and remove any inside packing. This Aqua One tank features a trickle filter within the fixed top.

If your tank has a separate internal power filter, one of the surface rear corners of the tank is the ideal location to put it, so that the flow produces mild rips. Most contemporary inner filters feature a movable flow pin so you may select the direction from which the water flows.

It is preferable to place this directly opposite the filter in the corner of the tank. This guarantees the most effective water circulation and prevents "dead patches" where no flow is present.

If an external filter is used, the input and exit pipes should be positioned at the opposite ends of the tank.

The heater should be installed behind the tank. The heater should be positioned diagonally and completely submerged.

This enables heat to increase and move more efficiently. Ideally, the filter outlet passes water softly over the heater. This means that the tank does not have cold or warm patches, and all water has the same temperature.

Now is the moment to place the airstone and the pipe where you want it to go.

Now is an excellent time to add furniture. Think about the kind of habitat you are attempting to build - certain species of fish need a certain setting, such as caves or hiding spots. Make sure that any pebbles or heavy decorations are stable to prevent them from falling.

Don't yet plug in the filter or heater, it's the final thing to do.

Complete the tank

You may now put the rest of the water in the tank. Most tanks include a marker for the maximum and lowest amount of water. Using the manufacturer's recommendations for your aquarium capacity, add the de-chlorinator (also known as a tap water conditioner).

Once the tank is filled, the filter and the heater may be connected. While they are designed to strict safety requirements, it is a good idea, when turned on, to hold your hands out of the tank. They should also be turned off before any maintenance is carried out.

Always leave a "drip loop" when you plug in the filter and heater. This implies that if any water falls into the cable, it will drop down below the plug socket. Water cannot enter the plug and cause danger in this manner.

Now for the most difficult aspect...

Now is the step the fish farmers are afraid of!



Your new aquarium is a mechanism for life support. It takes a little time for the heater to get water to the proper temperature when you have a tropical tank. The water is still not chemically stable and it takes some time. You should add living filter bacteria at this time so that the filter starts to develop and is ready to add cattle.

Contrary to common perception, leaving the tank for one month without introducing fish has no advantage. After three days, most tanks will be ready to introduce the first few fish in one week.

Test the pH of the water and the ammonia and nitrite should start. A pH of 7-7,5 is suitable for most frequently maintained fish, although varying from species to species. Nitrite and ammonia must be 0 ppm (parts per million).

The fun starts!

When your water is at the right temperature and properly tested, you may consider introducing some fish!

Patience is always important, so instead of filling your tank with fish immediately, gradually build up your supply. Choose the kinds of fish you want to maintain and verify compatibility. Add some robust fish to the aquarium and build your stock levels regularly.

It is recommended to test your water every day after you introduce the first fish. Because organic waste is being generated and circumstances may rapidly alter. Feed enough food once a day and just in one or two minutes as much as the fish can eat. You may test your water monthly when your tank is ripe and steady.

99% of the issues can be prevented simply by taking your time and not overfeeding the fish. Fish are blooded in the cold, therefore you don't need as much food as you believe.

How long do you leave a tank with tropical fish before you add fish? 

Wait until the levels of both ammonia and nitrite climb to zero before introducing additional fish. It typically takes approximately 3-6 weeks for a new aquarium to complete the first nitrogen cycle, therefore just a few fish each week during this period should be introduced.

Relax and wait...

We realize how much pleasure this pastime may offer to everyone as fish keepers. Fish appreciate stability and consistency, and thus you can do very nothing except relax and enjoy your aquarium today.