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Freshwater Aquarium Beginners Guide

So, you have decided to set up your first freshwater fish tank. That’s fantastic news, welcome to what will be a truly fascinating and rewarding hobby.


I know that choosing and setting up your first aquarium can be daunting. With a wide variety of fish tank styles to choose from, countless advice on what equipment to use, and a wide selection of fish to keep – all this can leave you wondering where to start. 


Sadly, too often, new aquarium owners have a bad experience with their first aquarium and end up giving up almost before they get started. Typically, this is due to a few common mistakes and either bad or conflicting advice. 


The old saying "put three experienced and successful gardeners in a room and ask their advice, and you will get three different answers", can be equally valid in the fishkeeping hobby. Everyone has their own experiences and have formed their own opinions based on their success. The best advice I can give is to find someone with whom you trust based on their success and who can demonstrate they have stayed abreast of the latest understanding of best practices. Stick with their approach, and you should be able to replicate their success. 


Regardless of whose advice you follow, there are three basic ground rules to ensure your success and avoid common, costly mistakes. Firstly, research and plan your set-up before you start. Secondly, ensure you follow the latest guidance on how to mature your aquarium [filter] before adding fish. Lastly, ensure your aquarium and its inhabitants remain healthy with regular aquarium maintenance sessions. 


To help you along your journey, I offer you a series of articles and step-by-step guides to help you as a beginner understand the fundamentals of fishkeeping. I hope these will help you get started and hold your hand through the early stages of caring for your new aquarium fish.


Freshwater Aquarium Set-up Beginner Guides

Recommended articles to read first:

What do I need for my first aquarium?

10 Easy steps to setting up a freshwater aquarium

Aquarium Science: The Nitrogen cycle

Setting up an aquarium – fishless tank cycle

How to maintain a healthy aquarium

Aquarium maintenance – daily checklist

Items required for aquarium maintenance 

Second-Hand Fish Tank - Bargain or Mistake?

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