Setting up a New Aquarium Part 5

aquarium cycling aquarium fish tank tropical fish


Medication is something we all hope to not have to use, but unfortunately, we can need. Our wet pets can pick up illness and disease like us, because of which it is a smart idea to have a small selection of medications on hand, just in case your pet gets sick while the shops are close.We suggest having treatments for the more common issues, white spot, fungal infections and bacterial infections.

For these having aquariums salt, white spot cure, Api Fruan 2, Methylene blueand tonic on hand is a good place to start for those just in case moments, remember it is always better to be safe than sorry.


Feeding our fish is clearly important as without food our fish will die. Just like human food, fish food can be quality or rubbish. Generally speaking the cheaper the food, the more fillers and lesser ingredients that are used to make the food, often the lesser ingredients can cause algae issues within your aquarium as they are full of junk which the fish cannot use as energy. This can result in excess nutrients in your water which can cause the algae issues. Always read the back of the food container when purchasing, look for whole ingredients made from fish, crustaceans, insects, spirulina, fruits and vegetables, try to avoid things like flour meal, potato starch, corn starch, fish meal and wheat as these are all fillers and a lesser ingredient.

Equally important is trying to match the food you are buying to the diet of the fish you are feeding, some foods are more protein based for fish that are more carnivorous where others are more vegetable based for herbivore fish, there is also plenty that that are designed for omnivores fish. Matching the food for your fish is very important, mix matched feeding can cause long term issues for your wet pet and can also be fatal.


Not of all aquarium nets are made the same, but one thing is for sure they are essential. Try to get a fish net that is on the slightly larger size to one what you need. If you think you are going to need a 2 inch net, get a 3 inch net. In the long run it will make your life easier.


There is a magnitude of different thermometers on the market and they are not all the same.  We recommend either getting a glass one that sticks to the inside of your aquarium as a starter. These also come in the form of ones that hang over the lip of your aquarium. We feel that these are better than the stick-on glass thermometers as that type tends to take the air temperature around the aquarium not the inside of the aquarium. Another good starting option is the digital thermometer.  These come with a probe that you put inside your aquarium water and a display that sits on the outside. They are accurate until the batteries begin to go flat.


Probably the most important part of keeping an aquarium is learning about the cycle. They joy with cycling is you can make it as complicated or basic as you wish, and for the sake of this we will make it as basic as possible for you.

The simplest way of explaining the cycle is that is makes your aquarium safe for your fish. It does that via good bacteria within your filter breaking down nasty stuff and turning it into something that is less nasty for your wet pets. This process goes from ammonia (very nasty) to nitrite (also very nasty) on to nitrate (only nasty at high levels). The idea is to not put fish into an aquarium with ammonia or nitrite but to wait until this process has gone through to nitrate. Depending on the method you use to cycle your aquarium this could take anywhere from 3 days up to 6 weeks.


There are some other miscellaneous items which I am sure at one point or another you will need to have. Buckets, syringes, fish bags, rubber bands, glass cleaner, paper towels and old towel or two will all get used in your journey of being an aquarium hobbyist.

So there was have it, a simple all be it guide on how to set up a new aquarium. We hope you enjoyed it.

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  • Aida Van Dyk on

    Hi Cam. Thank you for the rich information you created for setting up a new aquarium. Being a beginner, your articles gives me all the information I need to set up my new aquarium. Thanks a lot👍

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