How to Install a Fish Tank Do Know It Aquarium After choosing a fish tank and knowing where to place it, next step is installing your tank. You need to gather enough necessary items befor... 72 72

How to Install a Fish Tank

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After choosing a fish tank and knowing where to place it, next step is installing your tank. You need to gather enough necessary items before getting started.

Image of a fish tank installed
A fish tank after installation

To demonstrate setting up an aquarium we have chosen a standard-sized tank, 60 x 30 x 40 cm (24 x 12 x 16 in) high. If you are just starting out in fishkeeping, this size aquarium is ideal. It is compact enough for you to set up easily and will fit into a small house or apartment or, if you are a younger fishkeeper, in your bedroom if that is the only place available to you. Although relatively small, this size aquarium does hold enough water to prevent any rapid fluctuations in water conditions such as temperature and pH (degree of acidity or alkalinity). Any changes that do take place will happen gradually, thus preventing any great degree of stress on your fish. You will also have time to carry out whatever measures are necessary to alleviate the situation before it becomes a disaster, such as replace a heater that has failed.

Checklist

These are the items you will need for installation:

  • Tank and hood (may be an integral unit) 
  • Stand or cabinet 
  • Hammer
  • Baseboard for use on the stand 
  • Styrofoam tiles 
  • Level
  • Scissors 
  • Craft knife 
  • Screwdrivers 
  • Pliers
  • Cable clips or ties 
  • Adhesive tape 
  • Insulation tape 
  • Water pitcher 
  • Nail or scrubbing brush 
  • A great deal of tea or coffee

Setting up the stand

It is advisable to have someone to help you assemble the stand and position the tank and stand; both are awkward and heavy. For safety, ensure that the area in which you are going to work is free of clutter - including children and pets - and remove any rugs or loose floor coverings that might trip you. Above all, allow yourself plenty of time to do the job. When you know what you are doing, it can take a couple of hours; if this is the first time you have set up an aquarium, allow twice this amount of time.

Image of screwing stand feet upright
Screwing stand that have feet upright

Stands may have feet that you can adjust by screwing them either up or down. Cabinets may require some packing under one edge to achieve the right level.

In such a case, always make sure that what you use is safe.

When you bring your tank home, rest it on a flat surface while you set up the stand. Put styrofoam tiles on the floor and place the tank on top. Do not stand it partly on the floor and partly on a rug or other uneven floor covering, as the base may crack.

Image of aquarium putting above styrofoam
Placing aquarium above styrofoam to avoid crack

Following the manufacturer's instructions, put the stand together or assemble the cabinet (some are unassembled, some ready-constructed), and put it into position in the room. Check that it is level and adjust it as necessary. It is far safer and easier to do this now before you put the tank on the stand.

Next, put a sturdy baseboard of melamine-coated chipboard on top of the stand (cut to size so that it fits comfortably), add a single layer of styrofoam tiles, accurately trimmed to the size of the tank base, and finally, place the tank carefully on top.

Cleaning and leveling the tank

Your next task is to clean the tank. It may look perfectly clean, but there is bound to be a fine film of dust inside it, which, if left where it is, will appear as a film on the water surface of the finished aquarium. Use a new cloth and water only to clean the tank, as any detergent can be lethal to livestock.

It is worth filling the tank at this point to check for leaks - a very rare occurrence  hese days, but a problem that is easy to fix now. If it leaks, drain it and consult your dealer, who should replace it. If the tank is secondhand, drain it, dry it, and reseal it with silicone aquarium sealer.

Having checked that your stand or cabinet is level, spend a little more time ensuring that when you have placed the tank in position, the whole unit is still level both from side to side and back to front. If necessary, carefully make any minor adjustments, but make sure that someone is holding the tank so that there is no danger of it falling on you.

It is worth filling the tank at this point to check for leaks - a very rare occurrence these days, but a problem that is easy to fix now. If it leaks, drain it and consult your dealer, who should replace it. If the tank is secondhand, drain it, dry it, and reseal it with silicone aquarium sealer.

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5 Aquarium: How to Install a Fish Tank After choosing a fish tank and knowing where to place it, next step is installing your tank. You need to gather enough necessary items befor...

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