Tropicl Fish

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By choosing the right kind of aquarium, equipment, plants, decorations and optional accessories we lay the basis for the healthy conditions in our fish tanks. It is up to us the hobbyist to set up the closed environment in such a way that our fish can thrive.

This section will cover all the basics of setting up your aquarium in order to reach your goal.

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All kinds of materials can be arranged to give shape to the interior of the aquarium. You can elect to set up a natural Biotope tank or go with a completely whimsical set up with castles and all types of air powered objects. However you decide to aquascape, there are a few materials used in the tank that have important uses other than aesthetics.
Gravel or substrate, sand, stones caves, drift-wood, roots and plants all play a part in the health and well being of an aquarium and its inhabitants. I will discuss them here.

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    Here I will give a general guideline and time frame for setting up the aquarium once you have acquired all the needed components. This list is not written in stone and should only be used as a starting point.

    1. Place the rock structures in the tank, make sure that they are placed in such a way that they won't fall and possibly crack the bottom glass.

    2. Add the substrate. For tanks with different types of fish use the appropriate grade and type gravel. For tanks with live plants,
      • First put down a one inch layer of Clay type soil with fertilizer.

      • Top with an additional one and one half to two and one half inches of gravel.

      • For the top layer use prewashed gravel or rinse until the water runs clear.

    3. Install the filter. Locate the water intake and outflow as far apart as possible, for good water circulation. Add any bubble walls and airstones. Fill the filter with water.

    4. Install the heater. Don't plug it in yet.

    5. Install any other optional equipment: power heads, thermometer, air devices etc.

    6. Place the drift-wood and roots in such a way that they don't interfere but hide the in-tank equipment.

    7. Add the live or plastic plants, if using live use fast growing types at first.

    8. Pour the water into the tank so as not to bother the material already installed. Either;
      • Pour the water onto the rocks or wood.
      • Use a plate to disperse the water.

    9. Install the top and lighting.

    10. Plug in and turn on all the equipment.

    11. Run the tank and adjust the water and temperature to the fish you plan to keep for at least a couple of days.

    12. Finally add the fish, slowly and remember the Nitrogen cycle.
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    A few simple precautions and things to look for when you go out to purchase new fish can save you a lot of frustration later. I will list some things to keep in mind here.

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    Acclimating the new fish

      Let the plastic bag your new fish is in float on the tanks surface for about fifteen minutes to equalize the temperature. Remove the bag and open it into a small plastic bucket. Add some tank water to the bucket. Continue adding water 'till the bucket is about half tank water and half fish store water. Then net out the fish and let as much of the water drip off the net as possible. Release the fish to the tank. Never dump the bag into your tank, you don't know whats in its water! Keep a close eye on the fish until your sure its settled in. Thats it.
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    Here is a general listing of chores that have to be done regularly on your fish tank. They are not written in stone and are meant only as a starting point. As you gain experience and your tank matures you will develop your own system of maintaining your tank. I will give you a basic schedule here.





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    basics continued.