Setting up your Tank or Pond
Finding the perfect location for your set-up is as important as the equipment you use. Factors such as temperature change, foot-traffic and direct sunlight can drastically change the eco-system. When positioned correctly, your aquarium tank or pond can provide you with a tranquil setting to relax and unwind in.
Tanks should be positioned away from direct sunlight, as this can encourage unwanted algae, and will turn your water green. Similarly, ensure that the space you have planned for the tank is not susceptible to drastic heat changes, such as drafty doorways or radiators.It is important that you place the tank out of direct foot-traffic areas to avoid the equipment being knocked and damaged or the tank disturbed too much.
- Once you have decided where you are going to place the tank, wash it down using warm, plain water, to remove any harmful residue.
- Place your heater, filter and any other equipment you have inside the tank and get it into position, as per the provided manufacturer's specifications.
- You can now add your gravel or sand, and position any decorative rock or ornaments in the base, being sure to make sure they are secure.
- Fill the tank half way with tap water, and add any plants you have, and then top up until full.
- You can now begin to turn on your equipment. Have your set-up running for a few weeks to ensure that all the everything is working correctly and that the environment has reached a stable state before introducing any fish.
Acclimatising fish into your system is a process which reduces the stress to your new arrivals and helps them settle into your aquarium with as little trouble as possible. Failure to follow these guidelines can result in shock to your new livestock resulting in an outbreak of disease or in worst cases fatalities within the new arrivals.
Turn off the lights in your aquarium and remove some water; this allows for any displacement. Now gently place your fish (still in the bag) in the water and leave for 15-20 minutes. This allows the water to reach equalise inside the bag to that of your aquarium.
Open the bag and roll down the top to create a ‘collar’ around the top. If your aquarium allows, you can also peg this to the side of the aquarium to stop it drifting around the tank or tipping on its side releasing your stock early. It is advised to avoid putting any water from the bags into your system.
Using a small container, slowly add water from your tank into the bag over a period of 30 minutes or more. The less water you add at a time and the greater the period of time this is done over will yield the best results. Ideally we recommend allocating an hour for this. Doing so allows your new fish to acclimatise to your water quality by slowly introducing it into the bag and mixing it with ours. By the time you are done you should find the water in the bag is mostly from your tank.
It is time to release your fish! Using a net, gently catch your new tank mates and release them into the aquarium. Please note we do not advise adding the water from the bag into the aquarium! This should be discarded once all fish have been released.
A few extra notes for your new fish
It is always worth keeping the lights turned off on your fish tank until the following morning.
If after an hour or two of releasing them into the aquarium, feel free to give them a small feed. This will help them associate you as the bearer of food and help them get used to your presence.
See our Fish for aquariums section to learn about the different kinds of fish you can keep, and our aquarium equiptment section to learn what they need!
You should consider the style and layout of your garden before beginning to build your pond. Do you want to be able to see it from your house? Do you want it to be the focal point of your garden? Most importantly, what do you want to keep in your pond? This will determine the shape, size and position your pond will require.
- Be aware that placing a pond close to trees or shrubbery will require more maintenance, as leave a debris will need clearing regularly. Likewise, placing a pond in direct sunlight will encourage algae and will likely turn your water green, though many varieties of surface dwelling plants thrive on it and will require at least 8 hours a day.
- Once all the equipment is turned on, keep the pond ticking over for at least 4 weeks before adding any fish, so it can stabilise fully.
See our fish for ponds section to learn about the different kinds of fish you can keep, and our pond equiptment section to learn what they need!