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How to Setup A Fish Tank in Your Home

One of the best ways to decorate your home is by adding a fish tank. Fish tanks are beautiful pieces of decor, with each having their own unique touch.

In this article, we’re going to show you how to set up a fish tank in your home THE RIGHT WAY!

How To Setup A Fish Tank(The Right Way!)


Setting up a fish tank isnt as hard as most think. In fact, there’s only 6 things we’ll need to do. Those are:

  • Buy Equipment
  • Clean The Tank
  • Pick A Good Spot To Set It Up At
  • Add Water, Decorations, And Equipment
  • Cycle The Tank
  • Add Fish

Buy Equipment

Before you can set up a fish tank, you’ll need to buy one.

When choosing a tank, decide on what size you’ll need. To do this, ask yourself these questions:

  • How many fish do I plan on keeping?
  • Do I want large or small fish
  • Do I plan to decorate a lot?

Think about your answer to those 3 questions.

If you plan on keeping a lot of fish or plan on keeping larger fish, then going with a bigger fish tank may be best. On the other hand, if you plan on keeping one or two fish here and there or want to keep little guppies or goldfish, then a smaller tank size will suit you better.

Generally, buying a bigger tank is better because this will make your tank less prone to overstocking. However,  giving 1 small goldfish an entire 50 gallon tank to itself may be a bit much.

Once you’ve decided on a tank size, purchase it and the necessary equipment such as the filter, heater, and lighting system.

When everything is purchased, you’re ready to clean the equipment.

Cleaning The Tank

When your tank and all of the equipment arrives, you’ll need to wash all of the dust out. Knowing how to clean a fish tank the right way is IMPORTANT!

In order to do this, wash all of the equipment and decorations with tap water until no dust remains.

It’s important to note to NOT USE SOAP, as this will kill off your fish whenever you add them.

Once you’ve washed everything WITHOUT SOAP, you’re ready to choose a spot to set the fish tank in.

Choosing A Spot To Setup The Fish Tank

Once you’ve bought and cleaned your tank and all the equipment, it’s time to pick a spot to set the aquarium up.

When choosing a spot, there’s a couple things you want to think about. The first is how much sunlight your tank will be receiving during the day. You want to limit the amount of sunlight entering the tank because algae blooms occur with excessive sunlight.

Algae blooms are the main cause of a cloudy fish tank. And trust us when we say NO ONE wants a cloudy fish tank.

Also keep in mind how close the spot is to an electrical outlet. Your tank’s equipment needs to be powered by electricity so be sure to pick a spot that is near an electrical outlet.

In general, the best place to put a fish tank is by a wall and away from the window.

Once you’ve decided on a spot, set the tank there and you’re ready to start adding all of the equipment and accessories.

Add Water, Decorations, And Equipment

The next step in the process is to add everything together.

First, add the decorations into the tank. Place them where you want them to be and keep them there! You don’t want to rearrange your tank’s decor after adding the water and equipment.

Once you have the decorations set, you can then fill the tank with water.

After you’ve filled a decent portion of your tank with water, you can then add the equipment such as the filter, heater, and lighting system to the tank.

Cycle The Tank

Once you have set up the tank, you may think the next step is to add the fish. However there’s one more thing we need to do: CYCLE THE TANK!

Knowing how to cycle a fish tank is important! When you cycle your tank, you’re introducing beneficial bacteria inside the tank to break down and handle your fish’s waste. Kind of like a plumbing system!

To successfully cycle, you’ll want to add a couple of fish flakes into the aquarium. Then each week test the water with an aquarium test kit. You’ll want to continually test until you cannot detect ammonia or nitrites.

Once you cannot detect any of these two chemicals, your tank has been successfully cycled!

Add The Fish

The moment we’ve all been waiting for, ADDING FISH!

When adding fish, be sure to add no more than 1-2 fish per week as this will lessen the risk of fighting over territory.

Also, don’t overstock your tank either. Generally 1 fish per 2-3 gallons of water is ideal. However, if you’re keeping larger fish you may want to adjust this rule.


Congrats! You now know how to successfully set up a fish tank.

From reducing stress & anxiety to creating a happier mood overall, setting up a fish tank has many benefits

Will you set up a fish tank? Tell us in the comments below!

Meet The Author

Hi there, my name is Gunnar Kennedy! I’m a fishkeeping enthusiast and owner of I love sharing new ideas and helping others care for their aquatic friends!  I Hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new!

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