Setting Up Your New Aquarium: A Beginner’s Guide

Ever wondered how to start setting up a new aquarium? You have all the gears and equipment but you have no idea where to start. Here are some ideas to start with as well as a few tips once you have your aquarium ecosystem all set up.

Home Fish Tank

Prepare the Location

Setting up your new aquarium on a hard and flat surface is ideal. It has to be on even ground because slanted floors can cause unnecessary stress and may even cause the aquarium to crack. Overall the chosen location must be sturdy and be able to withstand the tank’s weight filled with water. Also, do not place it near a sunny window.

Choose the Aquarium

A tank that can carry at least 20 gallons of water is recommended for beginners. Larger aquariums are more stable and easier to maintain. The higher volume of water will make the chemistry and temperature more stable in general. Remember to not change more than 25% of your aquarium water at once as this may stress the fishes and upset the natural balance.

Colored Fish in Tank

Aquarium Filter

Choose a filter that is suited to turn over at least 3-5x the aquarium volume every hour. Be picky when it comes to choosing filters. Consider the high flow rate, the reliability & ease of use of the device.

Do a Research

Before you get too excited and start getting the fishes that will make a habitat in your new aquarium, do some solid research first and be familiar with the types of aquatic fishes. Be aware of what food they eat, what environment they can live in, and what skills you need to have to maintain them.

Fish in Aquarium

Fish

Be cautious of not adding too many fishes at one time, especially in a small or a newly setup aquarium. When introducing a new fish to the tank, you need to acclimatize them first. When you have the fish in the bag, carefully place the bag in the aquarium to allow the temperature to equalize. Then, add a half cup of water from the tank into the new fish bag. Wait for 15 minutes and do it again. This can be a slow process but it will help your fish acclimatize well to the new habitat.

Feeding Guide

Look for quality fish food that is appropriate for the fish you want to have. Feed them at least twice a day. You should also regularly inspect the health of the fish, and the best time to do this is during feeding. Feed them a variety of flakes, pellets, and frozen foods. Also, don’t feed them what they can’t consume in under 2 minutes. Leftover food may cause water pollution or undue stress.

Fish Feeding Time

Now that you know the basics of setting up your new aquarium, you can start doing the next steps. It will only take some time for you to be well acquainted with the ins and outs of home aquarium setup. Before you know it, you may well be setting up more tanks or upgrading your setup to suit your needs.

How to Design Your Kitchen Space

If you’re ready to build or remodel your kitchen, take time to look into the details and create a well-crafted and solid plan before implementing the design makeover. Here are some design tips and ideas to help you start thinking about how you’d like your kitchen to look like.

Kitchen Design

Create a Floor Plan and Wall Plan

You need to think ahead of the overall layout of your kitchen. This will include the floor space and the wall space. This may take some time to measure all relevant dimensions, including the floor, windows, and doors. Take into consideration where the water pipes and gas pipes are also located.

You can have this in writing and draw on paper for better understanding and visualization. Or you can use any online kitchen planning software that will suit your needs best.

Kitchen Layout

Make the Outline of Your Kitchen

If you have the freedom to design your kitchen and decide what shape it’s going to take, go ahead and choose what you think fits your needs the best. There are kitchens that are L-shaped or U-shaped. This will also depend on the space you have available. You can also decide whether you want to get an island. This will provide more storage space and have an area for extra counter space. If you get stools for the island, this can also be an extra area for eating or simply gathering around while the food is still being cooked.

Plan the Appliances and Fixture

There are different strategies on how to place the fixtures alongside each other. However, you can start at the very basic, which is to identify the basic kitchen activities such as preparation, cooking, and cleaning. Each activity has its corresponding appliances, counter space, and storage requirements. You can list down what is needed for each specific activity that you do. For food preparation, you will need the refrigerator. For cooking, you will need the stove. For cleaning, you will need to sink or dishwasher. Then have these appliances, storage, and counter space closely available.

Kitchen Appliances

Layout a Detailed Storage Plan

Storage is a big factor when designing your kitchen layout. You can plan ahead on how your drawers and cabinets are placed. Think ahead of where you can place those silverware and cups, as well as pots and pans.

Plan the Lighting and Electrical Points

Outline the areas that you want to have sufficient lighting. If you decide to have a kitchen island, you may want to get lights directly overhead the island. Also, now that you have your appliances outlined, you can plan on placing electrical outlets in certain areas close to these appliances.

Kitchen Lighting

These are the basic things you need to know and plan ahead when you are designing your kitchen. Take your time now to measure and to outline the details, so you have a concrete kitchen plan once you start to get things moving.

How to Plant and Grow Herbs Indoors

Do you have extra space within your home garden or space? Plant a fresh herb garden that’s very accessible to your kitchen.

Kitchen plant herb

Pick a Location

The first step you need to do is pick the location for your herb garden. A good location would be somewhere close to your kitchen, ideally just a few steps away. But anywhere else is good, as long as it gets enough sun during the day, normally about six hours. If you have space in front of your kitchen window, place the herbs in small containers, and start your indoor garden.

Prepare the Area

Start by loosening the soil. If the soil is compact or consists of heavy clay, add some compost or peat moss to improve drainage. Find a good schedule, like early in the morning or late in the afternoon, to prevent the news transplants from wilting in the midday sun.

Herbal Garden Bed

Dig the Holes

When you start digging, aim to create a larger size for the planting holes. Make it twice the size or width of the root of your new plant. This will give enough space for the roots to grow in their new space.

Add Plants

When arranging the bedding plant, place them about a foot and half apart. This will give them room to spread out and grow. Ideally, the taller herbs must be placed towards the back of the garden, and then place the shorter ones at the front.

Mint Herb

Label Herbs

This will come in handy when you want to easily identify your herbs. Add a label to each of the planted herbs and when you need them when cooking, it will be quite easy to identify them.

Water Often

Give them plenty of water. Once they are established, allow your herbs to get an inch of water each week throughout the growing season.

Harvest Time

As soon as they are mature you can start to harvest your herbs, but take only a little bit each time you harvest. You must not remove more than a third of the plant at one time, as it may take them longer to recover and produce new foliage. 

Herbal garden pots

Having your own personal herb garden is very useful and practical. You get to have easy access to fresh herbs anytime and can add these herbs to your cooking as often as you want.