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Goldfish tank set - up

Goldfish are one of the worlds most popular pets and are relatively easy and inexpensive to keep.

Equipment required -

Fish tank - idealy about 17 litres as a minimum, but the bigger the better. A tank with a cover is best as it stops fish jumping out and also keeps out any dust.You can also add some aquarium lighting,which will enhance the look of your aquarium.
A filter is useful as this removes the fishes waste products, thus requiring less frequent water changes, which is better for you and your fish. Several types are available for you to choose from.
Air pump, tubing and air stone - this will keep an adequate supply of oxygen in the aquarium.
Gravel and stones - give a natural look to your aquarium. You should only use stones which won't dissolve in water or contain harmful impurities, so it's best to purchase them from a pet shop.
Plants and ornaments - may be added to make your aquarium more interesting.
Water conditioner - this will remove chlorine from tap water which is harmful to fish and should be used when first filling your aquarium, before adding fish, and also when making subsequent water changes.
A net - for removing any debris such as uneaten food, also for catching your fish.
Plastic bowls or buckets - a couple of suitably sized containers for water changes. Keep them just for this purpose so that they aren't contaminated with household detergents which are harmful to your fish.

Step by step procedure -
  1. Wash out tank with clean warm water and wipe with a clean towel. Never use soap, detergents or boiling water.
  2. Place tank in chosen location on a sheet of polystyrene if recommended by manufacturer.
    Avoid direct sunlight, such as on a window sill, as this encourages algae growth and fluctuations in temperature. Ensure a strong solid base, as when your tank is filled with water it will be quite heavy.Remember to position near to an electric socket suitable for an air pump, power filter, etc.
  3. If you are using an under gravel filter, install it now.
  4. Wash the gravel in a bucket to remove any dirt or dust. Rinse under a tap until it runs clear. Place in tank, enough for a about 2.5 cm(1") deep, 5 cm (2") for growing live plants.
  5. Add any rocks, ornaments or plastic plants.Position them to suit your own taste. Any live plants should be added after the tank is filled water.
  6. Adding the water - fill a clean bucket from the cold tap with the required amount. The water should now be treated with a water conditioner to remove the chlorine, Follow the manufacturer's instructions. Next, place a small plate over the gravel and slowly pour the water onto it, this will help to avoid disturbing the gravel, until you have filled the required amount ( about 5 cm / 2" below the top of the tank ) then remove the plate.
  7. If using a power filter or air stone, install it now, following the manufacturer's instructions.
  8. Switch on air pump / filter and leave for couple days.This will test if the equipment is working properly and also allow the water to stabilise.
  9. Your tank is now ready to add the fish.You should float the bag with the fish in the water for about  10 minutes, this allows the temperature to equalise, then open the bag and allow them to swim out. Feed them a little food to settle them in.
  10. You can now enjoy your new aquarium adding to, or changing it, as you wish.

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