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Tips for setting up your first aquarium

The size of your aquarium

Pick the largest aquarium you can afford (it is easier to maintain in the long run). With a large aquarium you will get more stable parameters and more space for fish and plants. Another advantage of opting for a large aquarium is that, in this way, the fish are not stressed by living in a crowded place. We recommend a minimum of 80 liters or that you calculate 1 cm of fish per liter of water as a general rule.

The location

The best place to locate your aquarium is an area where it “comes to life” and is seen often, you will want to show it off and find out quickly if something has happened in it. For convenience, put it near a socket and to maintain the parameters it is better that it is away from drafts and stoves.

It is important that it is well lit for the plants to photosynthesize and release CO2, but try not to give it direct light so that the sun’s rays do not affect the final temperature of the water. Be careful with the weight of the full aquarium! Make sure the surface you put it on is flat, sturdy and stable, or choose a smaller aquarium.


Fluorescent or LED tubes with 0.4 W / liter of water are used in freshwater aquariums and 0.6 W / liter of water in saltwater aquariums. If you want to have more plants you will need more power.


Once you have the filters and lighting, you have to start taking care of the bottom of the aquarium to make it as beautiful as possible. Place the sand, gravel, or substrate gently on the bottom and the excess on the back to create depth.

Decoration and plants

After the sand, the decorative elements and plants that you add as well as beautify will serve to provide hiding places for the fish but without overloading it because they will have less space to swim. So in decoration what is just and necessary.


To fill the aquarium use only cold water, never hot, since it contains too many toxic ions. Let the water run out of the tap for a few minutes before filling the tank or tank, particularly in the morning.

Water conditioning

Pay attention to this step, as it is vital for the fish to live in good condition. Treat the water with antichloro and conditioners. Run the new system for several days, preferably more than 15 days, making any necessary adjustments to heating, lighting, and filtration before introducing the fish.

Water changes

Approximately every 10-15 days a partial renewal of the water is carried out, a change of approximately 20% of the total volume. Over time you will learn more about the water renewal pattern that works best in your aquarium.

Maintenance of your aquarium

Periodically review equipment and have provision of an adequate selection of remedies and replacement equipment to respond promptly to any emergency.

Fish introduction …
Pick fish

Depending on the characteristics of the fish, you may need one aquarium or another. Take this into account when choosing it, as well as the incompatibilities between different races and preferred habitats of each….

Parasites and diseases

Buy fish that are free of parasites, for this it is important to know if importers carry out quarantines. Buy only healthy and active-looking fish: many times it is requested to see them eat, especially marine species, as a sign that they are well acclimatized and healthy, but this is dangerous, since a fish that eats and is immediately packed will defecate in the bag and it will deteriorate the water quality quickly.

It is also good to buy fish at noon and place them in the aquarium in the afternoon, to avoid a long period of stressful exposure to the established inhabitants.

Transportation home

Protects the fish from the stress of temperature and travel, from the trade home, by taking it in a dark insulated container, so when it is delivered in its transparent bag it is convenient that you have a box prepared for the fish to make the trip from the safest and most comfortable way possible for them.

Introducing the fish

Turn off the aquarium lights and float the bag without mixing the waters, this way you will equalize the temperatures. After a few minutes, untie the bag, but do not puncture it, and add a 25cl glass of aquarium water to the bag. Every 10 minutes add a glass until you triple the volume

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