• Step by step - How to set up your aquarium

    Beauty, ease of maintenance, but above all, a healthy, correct living space for plants and fish are the criteria to use, when designing the inside of your aquarium. When these three conditions are met, you will have a lot of fun.

Step by step

Step 1: Clean the aquarium
Clean the glass thoroughly with warm water and a sot
clean sponge. Chemical (also biological) cleaning agents
are strictly taboo!

Step 2: Add the gravel substrate
Plants need the correct substrate to form roots and take
up food. Also certain types of fish like to dig around in
the gravel looking for food and algae.
• Usually the best is medium sized gravel pieces
   (2 – 3 mm). Only certain fish need gravel of smaller
   size pieces or sand. With larger size gravel pieces,
   fish food remains often fall between the stones, cannot
   be reached by the fish and rot.
• Use smooth surface gravel as that the fish cannot
   injure themselves.
• Choose a natural, not too bright coloured gravel.
   (A bright substrate and reflected light can cause many
   fish to feel unwell.)
• Wash the gravel thoroughly with warm water.
• First, spread a layer of fertiliser (granulate or flat) in
   your aquarium.
• Secondly, mix a first layer of gravel – approx. 2 cm –
   with gravel fertiliser and spread this over the top.
• Thirdly cover this with a layer just of gravel –
   approx. 3 to 6 cm.

The substrate should slope towards the back, so that
debris will collect at the front of the aquarium and can
easily be removed.

Step 3: Installing electrical equipment
The equipment you use depends on the size and type of
your aquarium, the number and type of fish and you
personal preferences. Basically you need:
• good lighting
• a heater, eg. EHEIM JÄGER heater
• a thermometer as well as
• an efficient internal or external filter, filled with the
   recommended filter media

Step 4: Decoration
Stones (rocks) or wood add realism to the underwater
landscape and the fish use them as a hiding place or to
mark their territory. Don’t overfill, so that the plants and
fish have enough room.
• Clean all decorations with a brush under running water.
• Use only stones, which do not leach into the water,
   contain no lime and no metal inclusions. Avoid corals,
   marble and sea shells. Lava or slate stone are
   especially suitable.
• Before using any other woods or roots as decoration,
   get some advice from your specialist retailer.

Step 5: Add a little water
So that the substrate is weighed down and softened, add
about 20 to 30 cm luke warm water (tap water, approx.
24 °C). Take care – a good idea is to gently pour the water
in over the edge of a bowl or plate, so that the substrate
isn’t disturbed.

Step 6: Put in the plants
In the next pages you will find out which plants are
suitable, how they react and how to feed them.
Don’t forget that most plants are still growing.
• Put larger plants at the back, smaller ones to the front.
• Carefully remove all plastic and other packaging
• Cut off any dead leaves and stems.
• With rosette shaped plants, you can cut off about a
   third of the roots.
• Push the stems and roots upright into the gravel with,
   for instance a pair of flat tweezers and then pull the
   plant back out as far as the beginnings of the roots.

Step 7: Fill with water and switch on the equipment
When the electrical equipment has been installed, fill the
aquarium up with water:
• lukewarm tap water (approx. 24-25 °C),
• till just below the top of the tank (approx. 2-3 cm)
• Add water conditioner to get the best quality water for
   your fish.

So that the plants become active and the bacteria can
effectively begin to colonise, start running your aquarium:
• Switch on the lights and set the timer to 8 to 10 hours,
• run the filter constantly (day and night),
• set heater at approx. 25 °C.

Step 8: Give it time to improve the eco-system
Before you can introduce the first fish, your aquarium
has to attain an ecological balance. This maturing phase
can last up to three weeks.
• If you don’t want to wait so long, you can speed up
   the process with certain preparations and “seed“ the
   tank with bacteria.
• In order to trap toxins, you should add a layer of
   active carbon (in an external filter) (see p. 23).
• After 2 or 3 days the plants generally need more
   (AQUA FLUID 7).
• Periodically check the water temperature; for most
   fish it should be about 24 to 25 °C.
• Regarding fertiliser and water test kits, you should ask
   your specialist aquatic retailer and read the information
   on following pages.

The aquarium must be kept running the whole time
(light 8 to 10 hours, heater and filter system always
running – see step 7).