Steps for Successfully Setting Up Your Aquarium

Follow these steps for assembly and proper set up of your aquarium:

  1. Use water to thoroughly rinse the inside of the aquarium, gravel, rocks, plants and ornaments. Tap water is fine for this step. Do Not use soap or detergents – these contain chemicals that are highly toxic to fish.
  2. Place your aquarium on an aquarium stand or other sturdy surface.
  3. If you’ve selected an aquarium background, now is the time to put it on the tank. Remember, it goes on the outside of the tank, not in with the water.
  4. Put the rinsed gravel into the aquarium.
  5. Fill the aquarium approximately one-third full with water. Be sure to use a water conditioner such as Tetra AquaSafe® (one teaspoon per 10 gallons of water) to neutralize the harmful chemicals in tap water.
  6. Arrange your decorations such as rocks, ornaments, and live, silk or plastic plants. You may want to place these items in such a way that the power filter and heater will be concealed from view.
  7. Gently pour the rest of the conditioned water into the aquarium, filling it up to bottom of the aquarium top frame. Pour the water in such a way that you do not disturb your gravel and décor.
  8. Install the heater and the power filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure that the heater is submerged into the water completely before plugging it in. Place an aquarium thermometer as far away from the heater as possible to ensure proper temperature readings. You will want to make sure that the filter and the heater are on all the time.
  9. If you are using an air pump, don’t forget the check valve. When installed correctly, this important piece of equipment will prevent water from draining from the tank through the airline tubing when the air pump is turned off. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting up the air pump. Plug in the air pump.
  10. Place the light hood on top of the aquarium. You may need to cut out a section of the hood at the lines indicated to allow for the power filter, heater electrical cord and airline tubing to route out of the tank.
  11. Run the filter, heater, light and air pump for 24 hours to stabilize the water and to make sure all of the equipment is functioning properly.
  12. If you are using a light timer, install it after the 24 hours.