Aquarium Setup Ideas: The Most Popular Tank Setup

Aquarium setups can be incredibly fun and decorative additions to any home, but they can also be challenging to create. Luckily, we’ve got some great ideas for you to get started with! Whether you’re looking for a functional setup or something more creative, these tips will help you get started.

General Tips for Proper Aquarium Setup

Aquarium setups can be as simple or complex as you wish. The following are some basic ideas to get you started.

The Right Aquarium

Choose the right aquarium. A large tank is best for viewing fish, but a small tank is better if you want to keep more cichlids. Consider how many fish you want and what type of water they will thrive in. Fresh water is fine for most fish, while saltwater may be better for some.

The Correct Filter and Lighting

A flow-through or submersible type will do the job, and a brand name is unimportant. Get one that’s easy to maintain and fits in your aquarium stand. Cheap light fixtures can cause stress to your fish and give an incorrect color spectrum – Choose the suitable substrate: Some fish prefer gravel, while others prefer smooth stones. Experiment to see what your fish like best!

Add Live Plants

Succulent plants make an excellent foreground for watching fish and can also provide hiding places and food sources. A few low-water plant water ferns will do the trick too. In addition, live plants may add more than the aesthetic value of a centerpiece.

Hot and Popular: The 40-Gallon Aquarium Setup

The 40-gallon aquarium is a popular size for both fish and plants. This variety of aquariums offers plenty of space to house a large number of fish and also provides ample room for plant growth. Some important considerations when purchasing an aquarium of this size include the type of substrate, filter, lighting, and water chemistry.

40-Gallon Fish Aquarium Equipment

When it comes to fish tanks, you’ll want to ensure that you have the right equipment. For example, a good filter will remove waste and debris from the water while providing oxygen and nutrients for your aquatic inhabitants. Likewise, a good light source should provide ample lighting for viewing fish at home or during nighttime aquarium outings. When selecting an Aquarium Stand, be sure to consider features such as weight capacity and height adjustment capabilities.


For a filter, you’ll want to make sure it can handle your aquarium’s needs. Some popular choices include biological filters and mechanical filters.


When setting up your aquarium, choose the right type of lighting for your fish and plants. When purchasing lighting fixtures, be aware that cheap light fixtures may cause stress to your fish and give an incorrect color spectrum. Instead, invest in a quality fixture to provide the perfect light for your aquarium.


When choosing a substrate for your aquarium, you’ll want to ensure that it’s compatible with the water chemistry and type of fish you plan on keeping. Some popular substrates include soil, aquatic plant material, and river sand.


If you’re keeping fish in cold climates, you’ll want to purchase a heater for your tank. Heaters are available in various wattages and can be adjusted to match the temperature of your aquarium water.

Other Equipment

When setting up your aquarium, you’ll also want to purchase some other essential equipment, including a fish net and water conditioner. In addition, you may also need to buy some aquarium accessories such as fish food, injection tools, and decorations.

Suitable Species

A tropical fish is one of the most popular types of fish to keep in an aquarium. These fish come from warm climates and can be controlled in tanks that hold up to 40 gallons. Some popular tropical species include clownfish, corydoras catfish, and mbuna barbs. If you’re looking for a less exotic option, some common community tank fishes are goldfish, guppies, and common plecos.


When stocking your tank with these fish, purchase the correct type of aquarium water for them. Many tropical fish require high-quality water that is specific to their region. Check with your local fish store or provider before purchasing any other aquatic life.

40-Gallon Aquarium Setup Ideas

If you want to set up a tank that holds 40 gallons or less, consider purchasing an aquarium stand. This will allow you to easily change the water and add/remove aquatic life without removing the entire aquarium. In addition, many of these tanks come with built-in filter systems and fluorescent lighting. Another option for a small tank is to purchase an aqua scape kit. These kits include various pieces of aquatic life, such as rocks, plants, and a water column. Once you’ve assembled the equipment, you can add water and marine life to it.

How to Setup a Fish Aquarium?

Before setting up your tank, read the manufacturer’s instructions. Many tanks come with pre-drilled holes that allow you to mount the filter and lights easily. Additionally, many tanks include a water overflow system that prevents excess water from entering your aquarium when it’s removed from storage.

Tank and Equipment Setup

Line the bottom of your tank with newspaper or a layer of commercial aquarium gravel. This will help to reduce noise and harmful fish sludge buildup. Next, add enough water to cover the gravel and fill any remaining gaps with perlite or sponges. Allow the tank to sit for at least 12 hours so that the water can reach an equilibrium temperature. If you’re using saltwater, add regular iodized table salt before the water reaches an equilibrium temperature. If you’re using fresh water, omit the salt and wait until the tank has reached room temperature.

Aquarium Cycling

Cycling your tank is essential for two reasons. First, it allows your new water and fish to get acquainted. Second, cycling breaks down organic matter and other contaminants that can harm aquatic life. To cycle the tank, add a small amount of fresh water to the aquarium, followed by a strict schedule of weekly water changes. In addition, you should adjust the tank’s temperature using a heat mat. This will stabilize your incoming water and allow you to better monitor or control its composition with filtration, feeding, and protein skimming.

Welcome the Fishes!

Now that your tank is set up and cycling, it’s time to add your new fish! When selecting fish for your aquarium, be sure to choose those compatible with the type of water you’ve selected. In addition, please note that fish need to be housed in a species-appropriate aquarium, so you don’t introduce harmful diseases.