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Nothing can match the beauty of well-maintained fish aquariums. Setting up a freshwater aquarium can be fairly easy when you follow the correct steps for doing so. If you would like to have an aquarium in your home or office, you can start by thinking of the kind of fish you would like to have.

Selecting the fish you want will determine a few things about the tank you choose. One is the size and another is the type of plants you may want to add. Many beginners choose to use fake plants to avoid trying to care live plants while mastering the care of fish and aquariums first. Some fish only grow to be a couple of inches long while others can grow to be as large as your hand. Make sure you know how big the fish will get when choosing tank size.

Getting together all the items needed for set up is important. You do not want to get started and realize you have forgotten a vital item back at the pet shop. Making a list is best to avoid this happening. In addition to an aquarium, you will need gravel, a filter and replacement filter media, heater, thermometer, water test kit, and a pasta strainer for washing gravel before putting it into the tank.

The cycling step of setting up your aquarium is vital for fish to thrive healthily. This process might take anywhere from two weeks to a couple of months. Cycling is a process that occurs naturally in water that allows balancing of nitrates, nitrites, ammonium, and ammonia. This is the time you will need to use your water test kit to measure for proper levels of each one. Ammonia and nitrate both are harmful to fish while ammonium and nitrates are beneficial. Follow specific testing instructions that come with your test kit for making sure tank water is completely safe for adding fish.
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