All fishkeepers start off initially with only basic knowledge of the hobby, the rest comes with experience when keeping fish and setting up the tanks. Nowadays there are many resources available for us to research but often these may seem a little daunting and complicated. At the end of the day there are only a few major rules that we need to apply to initially to ensure that our tanks will be a success.
The basics start when it comes to actual selecting your aquarium. The golden rule is that the larger the aquarium, the easier it is to look after. Larger water voloumes tend to be more stable and easier to control so bear this in mind.
Selecting the location for your aquarium is just as crucial, it needs to be in a space where it sits comfortably and there is acess on allsides for tank maintenance.The floor and cabinet must be capable of supporting the weight and sunlight should not hit the tank glass at anytime as this will cause problems with algae and it can also overheat the tank. Once the tank has been filled it is a big job to move it so select the site carefully and plan for all events.
Always cycle your tank before adding any fish, the filters need to be up to scratch to cope with the bio load produced by the fish waste, check that the filter is rated for the water volume in your tank, if not replace it with one more suitable. When ready to add fish, research the species properly and make a note of their adult size, most fish are sold as juveniles and they can quickly grow. Ensure that if you are keeping different species together that they are compatible, some fish will attack their tank mates with disasterous results
If you are adding plants to the tank make sure that the lighting unit is powerful enough to aid in the plant growth and keep them healthy. A dying plant can soon rot and foul the water. Use a substrate that is suitable for both the fish and the plants.
Always make sure that you perform regular water changes, the average is 10% weekly but if the nitrates are high you may have to increase this to 20%, gravel vacuum the substrate at least once a month to remove any detritus or rotting leaves. Keep the tank glass clean with a suitable algae cleaner, these are relatively inexpensive and will keep your water quality high if used on a schedule.
All of the points above are just basics but worth remembering when setting up your tank !!