5 Tips for Starting a New Aquarium

5 Tips for Starting a New Aquarium

We asked our users on Facebook what would be the best advice they could give for someone starting a new aquarium. This blog post is a summary of the most useful advice we received from some very passionate members of the community. 

Most hobbies will cost you money, though there aren’t many that give back like starting an aquarium does. Ask any aquarist and they will say that nothing beats sitting down in your favorite recliner and watching the fish swim around the beautiful aquascape that you personally created.

1. Research, Research, Research

The best advice we received is to do research before buying anything. Do not just jump into this hobby before spending some time figuring out the type of tank you want along with what inhabitants you wish to take care of.


2. How Much Can you Afford?

Once you have figured out what type of tank you want, the next step is to figure out how much money you can afford to spend to keep the aquarium running properly. Tanks that are not cared for properly can sometimes cause the hobby to become more of a daily task and take away the enjoyment of the hobby. Initially you should spend the extra money to get good equipment that will keep the aquarium healthy and save you time and money in the long run.


3. Patience is a Virtue

After you have set the tank up and are ready to add the water, sand, rock etc., remember to be patient. Initially the aquarium should be stocked with inexpensive hardy fish. Feeding and digestion of food is going to cause ammonia levels to spike. No other fish should be added once ammonia levels are present.

tips for starting aquarium 2

Test the water frequently and once the ammonia levels are undetectable you can slowly introduce new fish into the aquarium.


If ammonia levels show up after the initial cycle that is a big problem! The three main causes for ammonia spikes are…

  1. Over feeding
  2. Over stocked tank
  3. Inadequate Filtration

Keep nitrates low by doing regular cleanings and water changes. Maintaining water parameters will increase the chances of running a successful, and healthy aquarium.


4. Regular & Proper Maintenance

The most important part of keeping an aquarium running properly is to have proper maintenance. Top off for evaporation daily if needed instead of weekly to keep a steady water level. Do regular water changes to maintain proper water parameters. Make sure to clean out shells and live rock where detritus builds up. In any type of aquarium, keeping the parameters stable will give you the best chance of running a clean beautiful aquarium.


5. Fish Compatibility

Adding fish that are compatible and will get along is very important. Adding fish that do not mingle can end up being an expensive meal. Always check a compatibility chart before purchasing new fish. Some species may not be reef safe so always make sure to buy reef safe fish if you make the decision to set up a reef aquarium.


Enjoy your Aquarium to the Fullest

It is a long and fulfilling process to see your ecosystem thrive, but keep in mind that what you put in, is what you get out of this hobby.

5 tips for starting a fish tank

Photo of one of our Trial Users REALLY enjoying their tank!

You don’t need an aquarium big enough to swim in to enjoy this hobby! Join forums, meet other hobbyists, and of course, enjoy gazing at your aquarium.

Worried about getting in over your head? Don’t! There are a lot of communities and tools to help you along the way. If you have a question, ask the community for helpaquarium enthusiasts genuinely enjoy helping new people get into the hobby!.


In Conclusion – Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You!

With proper maintenance & husbandry of your tank, you can reap many rewards from owning an aquarium. In a world where there are so many things out of our control, establishing and maintaining a healthy ecosystem with thriving fish, plants and or corals can be an extremely rewarding pursuit. Yet with negligence and lazy husbandry, you might be pulling your hair out searching the web to fix your messy situation.


After your tank has cycled

If you are considering buying Nualgi Aquarium, we recommend waiting until AFTER you tank has cycled before dosing. Once you have completed your initial cycle and have begun adding fish and corals, you can dose Nualgi Aquarium to improve water clarity, kick-start coral growth, and prevent outbreaks of nuisance algae.

Learn more from our users


  1. I not only have marine aquariums but I serviced them for businesses and private owners for a number of years. I feel the 2 non negotiable elements to keeping a thriving aquarium is maintain optimum water quality through diligent maintenance and feed your animals a varied high nutritious diet! I’ve watched animals live well over 10 years and more under those circumstances.

  2. I do not agree that you need to go big as you can. Especially when we are talking about water changes. Yeah , if you have a bigger aquarium it makes your ecosystem more balanced, but if you will have some problems, it stays longer in your aquarium, because you will need to make a much much bigger WCs.

    So if you are going to do your water changes regularly I recommend to choose smaller fish tank from 10 gallons, and do for example weekly 20%-30% weekly water change.

    Plus if you are thinking to get some plants, which helps your aquarium ecosystem too, you will need to add some fertilizers. And again, bigger aquarium – more fertilizers and other chemicals you will need.


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ATTENTION SHOPPERS, Prices on all sizes of Nualgi increased on January 1, 2021.