How to Make a Fish Tank

Updated February 21, 2017

One of the best pets to start out with, fish are entertaining and relaxing to watch. Fish tanks can have different themes or fish which make them unique, as well as a variety of tank decor. Making a fish tank has varying levels of difficulty, so anyone can make a very simple tank to begin keeping fish.

Begin by looking at the different types of fish you may want to have, as well as the difficulty it will take to maintain them. Next, decide on the size of tank you would like to have. Bigger tanks are usually easier to take care of, but are also more expensive than smaller tanks.

Purchase everything needed for the fish tank only. Do not buy any fish until the tank has gone through cycles and is ready to hold fish. Many pet shops offer starter sets, which are cheap options and have mostly everything you will need to start a fish tank. Choose any decorative items like rocks or figurines if you would like to enhance the look of the tank.

Find a good location to place the fish tank. Keep in mind that the temperatures can change quickly within the tank, so be sure not to place it next to any windows or vents that can make the water hot or cold. Also, avoid putting the tank on a carpet or wood floor, since any water that may spill during water changes can cause damage.

Assemble the tank and let it run through the cycles for several hours. Fish need a proper amount of bacteria to thrive, since it can help reduce waste toxicity and ammonia levels. Add the decor that you would like to the tank, and then let it sit for a few days with the filter running, so that it can be safe for fish to thrive in.

Test the water several times before you introduce the fish. Once the levels have got to a healthy point, go to the pet store to pick out fish. Buy as many fish as needed to survive in their proper environment. Any research that was done prior to making the fish tank should come in handy at the pet store.

Once the fish are home, keep them in the same baggies that were put in at the store. The water they are in is well-balanced and perfect for them to thrive in. Place the baggies into the water at the top of the tank to help regulate the water temperature for the fish. This is important to let them sit for about 15 minutes in the baggies, so that they do not experience shock going from one water temperature to another. Once they are ready, empty the fish into the tank and enjoy watching them.


Test water regularly to regulate proper balances


Do not add more fish than the tank can hold and remain in proper balance.

Things You'll Need

  • Fish tank
  • Tank cover
  • LED lamp
  • Water filter
  • Oxygen pump
  • Bubble wand
  • Thermometer
  • Water testing kit
  • Water
  • Fish
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