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Getting Started With Fish Keeping: A Beginner's Guide

Welcome to the world of fish keeping! This guide is designed for both beginners and seasoned fish enthusiasts. We’re here to debunk myths and provide accurate information to help you on your journey.

A special thanks to Ali, one of our dedicated customers, who contributed to this FAQ. We hope it helps everyone in the fish-keeping community. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us on Facebook.

Let’s get started with some common concerns and questions.


My Fish Died Within 24 Hours – What Went Wrong?

At Nano Tanks Australia, we take pride in our fish keeping practices. We don’t sell fish that are unhealthy, it is against our policy. So, here are some factors to consider if your fish didn’t survive the first day:

  1. Initial Tank Setup: If your tank was set up recently, especially with cold water and without water conditioners like Seachem Prime and Seachem Stability, it can cause shock due to chlorine and temperature changes.
  2. Overstocking Your Tank: Adding too many fish to a new tank can be harmful. It’s similar to overcrowding a small room with too many people, leading to stress and poor living conditions.
  3. Stress Factors: Like humans, fish can be highly stressed by changes in their environment, such as moving to a new tank.


How Much Water Should I Fill In The Tank?

It’s completely up to you! However, we recommend filling your tank to 80-90% capacity to allow proper gas exchange at the surface.

How Long Should I Wait Before Adding Fish To A New Tank?

Patience is crucial in fish keeping. Typically, a tank needs around 6 weeks to establish a beneficial bacterial colony and initiate the nitrogen cycle. You can help this process by adding Seachem Stability to your tank. Also, adding a single fish like a Danio can accelerate this process.


What Treatments Do I Need To Do Before Adding Fish To The Tank?

We have a full treatment plan for incoming fish in our blog post. Read it now: Preventive Treatment Plan For Incoming Fish.


Do I Need A Heater For My Aquarium?

This depends on your location. For instance, in colder climates or during winter, a heater is essential to maintain a stable temperature in the tank.

Shop our range of aquarium heaters now.


What Water Tests Should I Perform And How Often?

Regular water testing is key for a healthy aquarium. Focus on:


  1. pH: pH stands for parameter hydrogen and tells you how acidic or basic your water is. Most of the fish in our shop live in a pH between 6 and 7.5. You can use the API pH Test Kit to measure your pH level.
  2. Ammonia / Ammonium (NH3 / NH4): This is basically fish pee and can occur in overstocked tanks. Ammonia in the water is highly toxic to fish and is easily detectable due to the fowl small and cloudiness in the water. If you notice your fish is always at the surface of the water, this is a sign you should test your water for Ammonia. To fix this, you will need to do a 90% water change and monitor your tank.
  3. Nitrite (NO2): Nitrite with an “I” is the middle step in the Nitrogen Cycle. When bacteria in your tank breaks down Ammonia, they turn into Nitrite. This is a normal part of setting up a new tank, you don’t need to worry too much about testing for Nitrite.
  4. Nitrate (NO3): Nitrate with an “a” is the final step in the Nitrogen Cycle. It is produced from Anaerobic Bacteria in your tank. When you start finding Nitrates in your water tests, it’s a good sign – it means you tank has gone through the full cycle and is ready to support your fish properly.


Fish keeping is a rewarding hobby that requires consistent care and attention. Stay proactive with your tank’s maintenance and always seek advice when needed. We’re here to support your fish-keeping adventure!

Questions or need assistance with your aquarium? Contact us on Facebook Messenger or use the chat in the bottom right-hand corner of the website. We’ll be happy to help!

David Lo image

Author: David Lo

Managing Director of Nano Tanks Australia

Hi, I’m a Freshwater Aquarium expert and owner of Nano Tanks Australia. I enjoy providing and helping hobbyists keep healthy and happy pet tropical fish.

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