How to Add Water to Your New Aquarium

Plain, cold tap water is acceptable, pretreated to remove contaminants if necessary. For your first aquarium, you will probably be buying fish locally, and they will almost certainly have been kept in local tap water like yours (but check!). It is thus usually unnecessary and undesirable to modify your water chemistry at this stage, even if you wish to provide something more natural later. Once the fish are in residence, then any adjustments can be made gradually over the ensuing weeks.

Don’t forget, however, that subsequent purchases will then need acclimatizing before joining the community.

It is possible to run a hosepipe to the aquarium and let the water gently trickle in, but a far better method is to use a plastic bucket of known volume, so that a record of the amount of water introduced can be kept to provide an accurate figure for the net water volume of the tank (part of its nominal capacity will be taken up by decor). Knowing this will prove invaluable should any medications, buffers or additives be necessary.

aquarium How to Add Water to Your New Aquarium

The water should not be ‘dumped’ into the aquarium, as this will disturb substrate and rocks alike. Instead, place a plate on the substrate and carefully pour onto that. If the water is added slowly, the gravel and rocks will have a chance to settle gradually and you can keep an eye open for potential rockfalls or (more rarely) leaks.

Once the tank is 90% full, stop adding the water and make any adjustments to rockwork or other items. Leaving a shortfall of water means that an arm can be put underwater without displacing any water onto the carpet! It also leaves space for the displacement caused by adding equipment, extra decor and bags of fish.

Note: you may have to fill the aquarium almost completely before some types of filter will function -UG outlets, for example, need to be submerged. In this case you can siphon off a little water before adding the fish.

The aquarist has two main options when wiring up all the necessary equipment. Firstly, purchase a ‘cable tidy’ and wire everything into this single unit, which has the added advantage of on/off switches for lights etc. Secondly, a four-gang multi-socket can be used to plug in each device separately. This latter method means that, should a piece of equipment fail, it will blow only its own fuse, rather than that protecting the whole system. Moreover individual items can be unplugged and then removed for maintenance without switching off everything else.

It should be noted here that various countries possess different electrical systems and standards, which may mean that these two options have their own local variants.


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