How To Setup A New Fish Tank

How To Setup A New Fish Tank

Ready to get started? Join along with our Boo & Bubbles characters to see how to setup your new fish tank! Read through our check list to make sure you have everything you need to start!

Be sure to place you tank on a sturdy table, away from direct sunlight. A waterproof tablecloth can be used to protect any porous surfaces.
Setup your filter and add water to your tank. Try to pre-heat your water if you are adding tropical fish! Turn on your heater and use a thermometer to make sure it is working properly.
Add dechlorinator that treats chlorine AND chloramine to make tap water safe for fish. You DO NOT need to add any other water conditioners or bacterial starter.
Rinse ALL substrate decor thoroughly before adding it to your tank. If your water is cloudy after adding the substrate and decor, perform a >75% water change to remove the particulates. 
Allow your fish to float in their bag for 10-15 minutes, until the temperature in the bag and the surrounding water has equalized. If your fish has been in the bag for more than 2 hours, you will need to add a little tank water to the bag to help slowly adjust the pH. Add 1/4 cup of water every 5 minutes until the water volume in the bag has doubled.
Catch your fish out of their bag with a soft net. Transfer them to the tank and pull out the bag of water and throw it away. Do NOT dump it into the tank.
Watch your fish carefully for 10-15 minutes. Hiding is a normal behavior. Your fish may not be interested in eating their first day in a new tank. Offer a small amount and watch to see if they are interested. If your fish stops moving, test your water chemistry ASAP.

All new tanks run the risk of new tank syndrome. Hold off adding a lot of fish at once. Start with a small bioload and your tank won’t crash.

Now that your tank is all set up, you need to take good care of it! Check out our cleaning checklist here and read the step by step cleaning guide. You can also watch our How To Clean a Fish Tank video!

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Behind the Story: Boo & Bubbles

Behind the Story: Boo & Bubbles

What does every kid want? A pet! Warm and fluffy or wet and scaly, a childhood pet is an essential tool for developing compassion and personal growth. Not to mention tons of fun! Who among us does not have fond memories of their favorite pet? Personally, I grew up with cats, dogs and fish and it turned into my career! Learning how to properly welcome a new kitten into the family started a spark that grew into a veterinary education. I had a friend for life, even though we had to say good-bye. No matter the pet, children can greatly benefit from being the main caregiver of a dependent animal.

A young Dr. Sanders reading to her best kitty friend, Frisco
A young Dr. Sanders reading to her best kitty friend, Frisco

Here enters Boo & Bubbles. Not all families can accept a fuzzy pet into their homes, so what about a fish? Fish are very smart and personable companions, even if they can never leave their underwater homes. My specialty in the veterinary community is treating pet fish. Owners can be as connected to their underwater pets as those that sleep in their beds next to them. It is my responsibility to my clients to understand this relationship and provide them with the best veterinary care and education available. Very few veterinarians are willing to even examine a fish, so I have tried to make myself as widespread as possible. In writing this book, I hope to inspire children and families to accept a fish into their home like any other pet, with proper planning and consideration.

Dr. Sanders performing surgery on a koi
Dr. Sanders performing surgery on a koi

The first installment of the Boo & Bubbles series touches on how to properly set up a fish tank for the first time. The main character, Boo, loves playing underwater and wants a friend to enjoy the water with her. Her pet cat, George, does not appreciate getting wet, so Boo asks her Mom to help her adopt a pet goldfish. We follow the story of picking her new fish, Bubbles, up from the pet store, transport home and all the assembly of Bubbles’ new home. Following books in this series are already in the works. Book two, planned for production in February 2017, will illustrate how a fish can get sick and what goes into properly caring for a wet pet. Books three and four will educate on how to add another fish to the system and transporting an entire ecosystem to a new, larger tank. This complete series will be a great asset to the entire fish-keeping community and inspire a new generation to appreciate the underwater world. This book is a great gift idea for any child who is a fan of the Finding Nemo & Dory series.

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For more information about the Boo & Bubbles book series, please see our website.

Books can be purchased through our sister company, Santa Cruz Koi. Come on down to our store at (4061B Soquel Dr, Soquel, CA 95073) or order online.