Setting Up Your Aquarium: Equipment Checklist

What Do You Need to Setup a New Aquarium?

Are you unsure about what equipment you need to setup your first aquarium? Refer to the checklist below as a starter guide for purchasing your fish tank equipment and accessories.


1. The Aquarium

Many modern aquarium sets come supplied with all of the equipment you need to setup a basic aquarium, but as a general rule its a good idea to check that you have everything you need. Choose an aquarium that suits the needs of the fish you are keeping - you can find a handy guide to stocking levels via our fishkeeping guide - click here.

2. Water Conditioners

You will need to condition the water to make it safe for your fish. A basic dechlorinator will remove chlorine and metals from your tap water to make it safe for your aquarium, and helpful bacteria can be added to start your filtration process.

3. Filtration

You will need a filter to help circulate the water and remove any fine waste particles in your aquarium water. A good aquarium filter will eliminate ammonia and help the nitrogen cycle occur. Choose and internal or external filter that suits the size and volume of your fish tank.

4. Substrate

A layer of substrate, or gravel, is ideal for creating a suitable habitat and environment for your fish. It will also harbour good bacteria and provide nourishment for any plants.

5. Lighting

Like human beings, fish also need a day/night cycle to thrive. Investing in a good set of aquarium lighting will help keep your fish happy and your plants growing healthily.

6. Heating

If you are keeping tropical fish, you will need to heat the water to a suitable temperature that reflects the original habitat of the fish. A water temperature typically above 24 degrees celsius needs to be maintained in order to keep most tropical species. An aquarium heater will help achieve this.

7. Thermometer

An essential bit of kit for basic life support, a thermometer will tell you how hot or cold the aquarium is, and allow you to adjust the thermostat temperature accordingly. Basic stick-on thermometers can be stuck on the outside of the glass, and are no more than a couple of pounds to purchase.

8. Fish and Plants

Its a wise idea to plan what fish and plants you intend to keep before purchasing your aquarium. You will often find a description telling you what habitat requirements your fish have. If unsure about compatibility or suitability of any fish or plant species, feel free to contact us or ask your local aquatic store for advice.

9. Decorations

A good aquarium habitat will have plenty of hiding spaces and points of interest for fish. A blend of driftwood, plants, caves and ornaments will produce a pleasing display for any aquarist. Always make sure the decor you choose is suitable for the species you keep.

Aquarium Setup Checklist

(click on a link to browse examples in our store)

1. The Aquarium
2. Water Conditioners: - dechlorinator - bacteria
3. Filtration: - circulation pumps - internal filters - external filters
4. Substrate: - gravel, sand and stones
5. Lighting for the aquarium: - LEDs
6. Heating: - aquarium heaters
7. Thermometer: - aquarium thermometers
8. Fish and Plants: - live fish - live plants
9. Decorations: - ornaments - driftwood - plastic plants

Photo credit(s): Canva Pro Licence


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