Fish Tank Set Up Tips For Beginners

A fish tank is not just an aesthetic aquarium accessory, but an integral part of your home. With the right maintenance and set up, a tank can become a living ecosystem where your fish live in harmony with one another and their surroundings. In this post, we’ll outline the basic fish tank set up tips for beginners.

1. Choose a tank

First things first, pick out the right aquarium. This can be tricky, considering that there are so many different types of tanks available on the market. There are tall tanks, short tanks, round tanks and square-shaped ones. They come in all kinds of materials: glass, plastic and acrylic. Some even look like flower pots! It really goes without saying that you’ll want to find something that suits your living room décor (and budget).

2. Maintain Balance Before Adding Fish to a New Aquarium

When you are trying to add a new fish to your aquarium, it’s important to make sure that the tank is cycling before you introduce one or more new aquatic pets. Not only will this prevent the spread of parasites and disease, but your fish will be able to adjust to the new environment without feeling stressed and uncomfortable. In order for your aquarium cycle to begin, you need a combination of algae, bacteria and ammonia. These three elements need to be exposed to one another to start the cycle, and if they aren’t exposed, the cycle can’t begin.

It is important to make sure that your aquarium is cycled before you introduce a new fish or other aquatic creature. This will prevent disease, stress and the spread of parasites. It’s also important to give your fish plenty of hiding places and cover in an effort to make them feel comfortable.

3. Decorate Your Fish Tank

Adding decorated rocks and plants to your fish tank is a great way to make it look both pleasing to the eye and an attractive home for your aquatic friends. Of course, you can decorate the tank in any way that you see fit. You can even paint it! We’ll go over some ideas below on how you can get started with decorating your fish tank.

As a general guide, it’s recommended that you don’t add plants or decorations in the same room that your fish are housed in. This is because it can create a temporary state of stress for your fish, as well as encourage the growth of algae in your tank. This also makes it more likely that you will notice when the tank needs to be cleaned and carries an increased risk of damage to your fish.

Another idea to consider is decorating the sides or back of your tank. This will create an invisible border between your fish and any decorations, thereby encouraging harmony between all three organisms in the tank!

4. Add Aquarium Lighting

Adding aquarium lighting is a great way to make sure that your fish tank looks both colorful and inviting to its occupants. There are a number of different brands and types of aquarium lights to choose from, and all types have their advantages and disadvantages. You can also find special hanging fixtures for your fish tank as well as light strips with built-in aquarium lights.

The main purpose of placing lighting in your fish tank is to replicate the natural light that your fish get in the wild. The less light that your aquarium receives, the fewer natural fish behaviors you will see. This includes feeding, socializing and avoiding predators. A good rule of thumb when considering aquarium lighting is that two watts per gallon is sufficient to encourage normal fish behavior in your tank. Of course, the best method of ensuring that your fish are getting the correct amount of light is to regularly evaluate the light levels in your tank.

5. Filter Your Fish Tank

One of the most important aspects to consider when set up a new fish tank is ensuring that 

your filter is functioning correctly. There are many different types of fish tanks on the market, and not all of them are going to be able to use the same type of filters. If you’re ever unsure which type of filter would be good for your fish tank, contact your local pet store for guidance.

It’s also important to remember that the more surface area on your filter that you have, the greater the amount of nitrates and phosphates will be removed from the water. The more nitrates and phosphates that are removed, the cleaner your tank is going to be!

6. Set Up Your Algae Tablets

Algae tablets are a great way to promote algae growth in your fish tank. Algae is an important part of your tank’s ecosystem, and will play an important role in keeping the tank clean, hatching eggs and feeding your fish. Algae tablets are the most user-friendly way to promote healthy growth in your tank, and can be used alongside other types of aquarium decorations.

Of course, it’s important to remember that algae can be detrimental in some situations. It’s recommended that you don’t place algae tablets in tanks with more than one inch of fish or shrimp waste material at the bottom as this will only prolong the length of time they take to clear up.

7. Clean Your Aquarium Regularly

Cleaning your aquarium is an important part of keeping your tank in good condition. If you don’t clean your aquarium regularly, you’re going to see a decline in the health and the appearance of all of its inhabitants. You can clean your aquarium tank with tap water and a few teaspoons of salt. You can also use a specialized cleaning solution for fish tanks if necessary.


Aquariums are a wonderful way for you to get closer to nature and enjoy the beauty of an underwater world. A fish tank can be a great outlet for creativity, and also provides an excellent opportunity for you to watch your fish that live inside your tank. The tips included in this article will help you make the most of your new aquarium!