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Getting Started


You've wanted an aquarium, but getting started has your head spinning. Don't worry, it's not that difficult. All you need is a little guidance. This startup guide covers everything you need to know from choosing equipment to maintaining your new aquarium.
  1. Choosing Equipment
  2. Setting Up the Aquarium
  3. Adding Plants
  4. Adding Fish
  1. Aquarium Cycling
  2. Maintaining Your Aquarium
  3. Beginner FAQs

Choosing Equipment

Equipment choices are the first obstacle a new fish owner faces. Some package deals may look good, but may not mesure up in the long run. Poor choices up front can haunt you later. This guide will help you make choices that are right for you.

Setting Up the Aquarium

Once the aquarium is in your hands, the urge to set it up is tremendous. Although setup is relatively simple, make your key decisions before you fill the tank and add the fish. This setup guide will help you cover all the bases the first time around.

Adding Plants

Glossostigma elatinoides

Whether plants are artificial or living, most fish will feel more at home if there are plants in the aquarium. These articles explain the pros and cons of each, and teach you basic aquascaping techniques.

Adding Fish

Photo © Shirlie L Sharpe

Your aquarium is filled and looking fabulous. Now it's time to add the fish! This guide will help you stock your tank, watch for pitfalls, and learn more about various species of fish.

Aquarium Cycling

Call it cycling, nitrification, biological cycle, startup cycle, break-in cycle, or the nitrogen cycle. No matter what name you use, every newly set up aquarium goes through it. Failure to understand this process is the largest contributing factor to the loss of fish. This guide will help you understand the cycle and know how to deal with critical periods.

Maintaining Your Aquarium

Photo © Shirlie L Sharpe

Keeping your aquarium clean and healthy for your fish requires ongoing maintenance. Don't feel overwhelmed. If you do a little each week, it doesn't take much time. This guide teaches you what to do and why it's important.

Beginner FAQs

Everyone has many questions when starting up an aquarium for the first time. Here are some of the most commonly asked beginner questions. If your question isn't here, email me.

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