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Setting up your new Aquarium Freshwater Basics. Choose the largest aquarium Choose gravel : just a ¼” for the bottom (Undergravel filters need about 2”). A thick gravel bed will cause ammonia problems.

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Setting up your new Aquarium Freshwater Basics

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setting up your new aquarium freshwater basics
Setting up your new AquariumFreshwater Basics
  • Choose the largest aquarium
  • Choose gravel : just a ¼” for the bottom (Undergravel filters need about 2”). A thick gravel bed will cause ammonia problems.
  • Fill with water: tap water, well water or any other you still need to use a dechlorinator such as Prime or Stress Coat. Any water changes a dechlorinator must be used.
  • Set up your filter and get it running.
  • Set your heater to the desired temperature and place your heater in but don’t plug it in for 30 minutes
  • Add some good bacteria to help age the tank such as Bio Spira or Cycle
  • Let tank run for 1 to 2 days and add in 2 or 3 starter fish.
  • See how these do for a week and slowly add a couple more.

A new aquarium needs patience and time to establish itself. A new freshwater tank takes 45-60 days before it cycles through. A saltwater tank can tank up to 8 weeks.

Bio Spira and Cycle will help introduce new beneficial bacteria to a new tank. If no bacteria is used the new tank may become cloudy a few days after set up.

Make certain you have all the filter media you need to get it running!

1/2 -1 pound of gravel per gallon of aquarium with outside or canister filter.

Let heater stay unplugged to 30 minutes anytime it has been removed from water and placed back in.

These are two excellent dechlorinators.

common questions
Common Questions
  • Why is my tank cloudy?

Answer: The aquarium is going thru a cycling process known as the Nitrogen Cycle. This occurs in new tanks and tanks that have recently had major water changes.

Solution: Adding Bio Spira or Cycle will help. Do not overfeed or overpopulate a new tank.

more common questions
More Common Questions:
  • Why is my tank water green?
  • Answer:Tank is getting too much or the wrong kind of light. Customer should make certain the tank is getting no sunlight. Also make sure the bulbs are correct for fish tanks. Any bulb older than 18 months probably needs replacing.
  • Answer: Partial water change is needed and replace old filter media (charcoal).

Ickey Fish

  • What are the white or salt like spots on my fish?

Answer: This is most likely a disease known as ick. Fast temperature change or stressful environment can bring this on.

Solution: Ick medicine and making sure your tank water is good. Make certain heater is working and keeping the temperature stable.

more questions
More Questions:
  • My fish has big white patches on it’s body and fins, why?

Answer: Commom on fish with injuries or poor water quality. Other fish picking on them is also a cause.

Solution: Several products treat this: Fungus Cure,

Mar Oxy or Triple Sulfa

  • I have been treating with medicine but my fish don’t seem to be getting any better, why?

Answer:Medicines take several treatments and fish heal slowly. Also, make certain there is no charcoal (carbon filters). These will absorb the medication.

starter hardy fish freshwater
Starter (Hardy) Fish: Freshwater

All these fish should be fed a variety of foods.

Flake foods and frozen.

Dwarf Gourami

Platy: Livebearers: little salt

Dalmatian Molly

Zebra Danios

This salt is good for most freshwater fish

coldwater goldfish
Coldwater \ Goldfish
  • Coldwater ornamental fish requiring a little cooler environment if possible between 70-76 degrees. These include all kinds of goldfish. Goldfish are messier than other fish and require more filtration and cleaning.
  • Feeds on goldfish specific food
  • Following are some examples:
kio pond fish
Kio\Pond Fish
  • Very similar in care to goldfish
  • Coldwater, usually in ponds all year
  • Temp of water below 60 degrees do not feed them
  • Hardy
  • They feed on specially formulated pond food
  • We offer no guarantee on pond fish

Color Enhancers

helping our customer
Helping our customer
  • As our customer you may be asked these fish questions when you come in to purchase your fish:

1. What kind of tank do you have?

Freshwater or Saltwater

2.What size tank do you have?

This allows us to know how many

fish can be in the tank.

3.What other fish do you have?

This allows us to help you make good decisions

when buying fish. (Aggressive, Community, etc.)

4. What kind of filtration do you have?

This allows us to know if you have adequate filtration for your tank.

5. How long has your tank been set up \ when was your last partial water change?

New tanks cannot handle many new fish. A freshwater tank is considered new for about the first 45-60 days. During this time the tank environment is changing rapidly and can stress fish. Many tanks will become cloudy during this time because of an rapid growth and dying of bacteria.

Saltwater tanks can take up to 8 weeks to age properly. During this time the tank can become murky and brown algae growth can be substantial.

quiz time
Quiz Time!
  • How long does it take to cycle a freshwater aquarium? A saltwater?
  • Answer: FW – up to 45-60 days

SW – up to 8 weeks

quiz time16
Quiz Time!

How long is our saltwater guarantee? Freshwater?

Answer: We have a very limited saltwater guarantee but talk to a supervisor to help with the situation.

Freshwater is a conditional 7 day guarantee.

Fish cannot be chewed, must have receipt.

quiz time17
Quiz Time!

Is this an aggressive, semi aggressive or community fish?

Gold Gourami – semi aggressive

Angelfish: semi-aggressive

Lobster: aggressive

African Clawed Frog: semi-aggressive

Convict Cichlid: Aggressive

Tiger Barbs: semi- aggressive

Dwarf Gourami: community

Jack Demsey: Aggressive

quiz time18
Quiz Time!

Brackish water fish are somewhere between fresh and salt. They come from rivers that have salt water in them and also freshwater. Which of these fish are brackish?

Knight Goby: brackish

Puffer: Brackish

Flounder: Brackish

Red Chromide: Brackish

Dalmatian Molly: sometimes

Mono Dact: Brackish

quiz time19
Quiz Time:
  • New tanks can be stressful for fish.
  • Which of these are good to start with?

Neons or Cardninals: bad

Zebra Danios: good

Dalmatian Molly : good

Platy : Good

Damsel: good but aggressive

Pink Skunk Clown: Okay but not real hardy

end of quiz
End Of Quiz!

Platy: male


Can you tell the difference between male or female on these pictures?

Swordtail: Male

Platy: female

Boy George: ?

  • We will do our best to help solve your fish questions or problems
  • Remember to float your new fish for about 20 minutes
  • A few times a day take time to really really enjoy your aquarium. You have your own living community there.
The End

Thanks go out to all the hard working researchers

on staff at PPI.