Aquarium Tank Setup and Maintenance

1.  Wash your tank with warm water only.

2.  Wash gravel and any ornaments with warm water only.

3.  Fill your tank with water:

–          if you are setting up a tropical tank, put in the heater and turn it on.   The temperature of the water should be kept at about 26-28°C.    Check the thermometer 24 hours later (prior to putting in your fish).

4.       Put in the filter and turn it on.

5.       To calculate the litres of water in your tank multiply the tank length x width x depth of water in the tank and divide it by 1,000 eg. 60cm x 30cm x 26cm = 46,800 ÷ 1,000 = 46.8 litres.

6.       Add the correct amount of Chlorine Neutraliser for the litres of water in your tank (to remove harmful chlorine).     If you are using tank water, also add Aquarium Salt.

7.       One hour later add your Bacteria Biostarter – all fish need these good bacteria to survive.  You will need to add Bacteria Starter daily for a further 6-10 days according to the instructions for the brand you are using.

8.       Test your pH level with a pH tester kit.

–    All tap water is too alkaline for fish so it will show up blue.   Put in a small amount of pH Down and test the water again 24 hours later.

–   If using tank water, the pH reading will show up yellow.   Add pH Up and also add Aquarium Salt.   Test the water again 24 hours later.

–   In general, most fish prefer a neutral pH (7.0) but some fish have special needs eg. African Cichlids prefer a more alkaline water of pH 7.5 plus.

 When the above steps have been taken and you have waited 24 hours after setting up your tank AND checked that your pH is neutral (pH 7.0) & temperature is 26-28°C (for tropical fish), it is time to purchase your fish.

9.       Float your fish in the bag on the top of your tank water for 15 – 20 minutes so your fish have time to acclimatise.

10.   With a net, take your fish out of the bag and put them into your water.   DO NOT FEED


 Ongoing Maintenance:

 11.   Depending on the size of your tank, a partial water change needs to be done every 10 to 14 days.   (Ask our staff when you should do this for the size of your tank).    ALWAYS KEEP TWO THIRDS OF THE WATER IN YOUR TANK.

12.   Using a gravel cleaner, clean your gravel and with a scourer, clean the inside of your tank.  (Often cleaning your gravel with the syphon-system gravel cleaner will empty your tank of about one third of it’s water so your water change is done at the same time).

13.   Add the correct amount of Chlorine Neutraliser for the amount of water you are replacing only.

14.   One hour later, add Bacteria Starter for the amount of water you are replacing.

15.   One week after cleaning your gravel, take some water out of your tank to clean your filter foam in.

A few helpful hints:

When adding medication, if you have carbon in your filter, remove the carbon as it absorbs all the medication.

Add Bacteria Starter after treating your tank with any medication.

When adding an airstone, let it sit in the water for approx. 10 -15 minutes before turning on the air pump (longer for larger airstones).

When adding ornaments to your tank, sit them in a bucket of water overnight, then add them to the tank the next day.    Driftwood needs to soak for a minimum of two weeks before adding to your tank.

Keep all equipment, eg. bucket and scourer, for use with your tank only (we suggest you buy new ones when you set up your tank).   Never use soap impregnated cleaning equipment.

                                            REMEMBER, A SICK FISH IS A SICK TANK…….


The information in this care sheet is intended as a helpful general guide only.
Yippeeio Pet & Aquarium Centre is an Accredited Member of the Pet Industry Association and abides by its Code of Practice.