This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Mars Fish Care and the API brand. I am excited to partner with API to share how to set up a fish tank.
B got her first fish tank sort of by accident. I was on a trip and Kurt and B went to Octoberfest at a local German Club. That night they won three goldfish. So, I came home to a fish tank. I thought originally they would not last that long.
Well years later they were still going strong. Until we moved. When we moved we added them to a friend’s tank so we did not have to stress about moving them. One day their tank had water issues and all the fish went to fishy heaven.
Since quarantine has meant a new puppy for so many of B’s friends she has been pushing for a second dog. I tried to convince her that she got a baby brother which is even better. That did not work so we decided on new fish. Apparently part of the negotiations to have the goldfish go to a friend’s house included glow fish as the new fish.
So, we invested in.a special light, new glow in the dark pineapples, rocks and glow fish. We learned the painful lesson that you cannot add fish the same day you fill your tank without special precautions.
And we learned the importance of water quality when our second round of fish also only lasted a day. I want to save you from the painful lessons we learned so today I am sharing how to set up a fish tank.
How do you Set up a Fish Tank
Water for the your Fish Tank
The key to a successful fish tank is good water quality. As I mentioned we learned this the hard way, not once, but twice.
Can you use tap water?
According to Gary Jones, Manager of Industry Relations and resident (self-proclaimed) fish nerd at Mars Fishcare, yes you can use tap water. There is no need to buy special water for your fish tank. You can use tap water regardless where you live. But keep in mind that your tap water may have chemicals that can be harmful like chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metals.
This is where we went wrong. We added the fish immediately and the filter did not have a chance to filter out these harmful chemicals. If you are starting a new freshwater tank or when changing the water API recommends that you use a water conditioner that will eliminate these chemicals.
API® STRESS COAT™ water conditioner, as well as API TAP WATER CONDITIONER™ treatment are products that will make tap water safe for fish by neutralizing the chemicals commonly found in tap water. STRESS COAT water conditioner in particular contains the healing power of Aloe Vera to protect your fish’s slime coat, which guards against bacteria and disease, and promotes healing and regeneration of damaged tissue, reducing fish stress by up to 40%.
The best part of these treatments is that they work instantly to dechlorinate aquarium water. It means you can start put your fish in the tank right away.
Test your Water
After our second round of fish died we knew we needed to do something. We tested the water using API’s test strips. All those levels looked right. But, the water was still cloudy. So, we ordered API® ACCU-CLEAR water clarifier. We could not believe how quickly it made the water clear again. It clumps tiny floating particles together, forming large particles to be more easily removed by your aquarium filter. Product is safe for use with all freshwater fish and plants.
The pH in the tank needs to be a similar level to the fish’s natural habitat. If you add anything into the tank it can change the pH. That includes adding decorations, rocks, plants, and new fish to a tank. You can test the pH levels weekly to ensure they are in the right range for your fish. You can use API PROPER pH™ products whenever your pH levels need to be adjusted.
- PROPER pH 6.5: for tetras, discus, angelfish, and other soft water fish
- PROPER pH 7.0: for tropical community aquariums
- PROPER pH 7.5: for goldfish, mollies, guppies, and barbs
- PROPER pH 8.2: for brackish and African cichlid aquariums
The transition from the pet store or aquatic store to a new aquarium is often stressful for fish as they react and adjust to their new environments. In some cases, elevated stress levels can lead to fish contracting harmful diseases.
To ease this transition from their old environment or store to a new aquarium, they recommend treating your water with a conditioner before adding fish.
Adding the Fish
Adding the fish to the tank after buying them from a pet store can be stressful for fish as they react and adjust to their new environments. The stress levels can lead to fish contracting harmful diseases.
To ease this transition to the fish tank, you may want to treat your water with a conditioner before adding fish. The gentleman who helped us purchase our most recent fish recommended a technique to slowly get the fish used to the aquarium.
- Place the fish and the transport bag into the tank for 15 minutes
- Then open the transfer bag and add a small amount of water from the tank every 5 minutes.
Depending on where your fish are originally from you may want to add a heater. Since our fish are from the Amazon we added a heater so the temperatures would be closer to their temp in nature.