Setting up your aquarium is this easy!
You can „equip“ your flat decoratively and the way you like it with table, chairs, carpet and cupboards without needing hiring an interior designer or to purchase expensive art objects. The same applies to your aquarium!
The equipment in your aquarium is dependent on two factors: What demands will your fish have and what suits your personal taste? Let’s start with the second factor. What fish species would you like to keep? Cichlids from Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi? Then you need a rocky reef aquarium. Goldlfish? Then hardy plants are the only option. Or a jungle aquarium with a shoal of tetras, catfish and a pair of dwarf cichlids? Then you need wood and a lot of plants
What aquarium type suits you?
In “Essentials” you will find 4 themed aquariums with all the information you need, including a film, a setup guide, a shopping list and the electricity consumption.
Jungle aquarium type JBL Rio Pantanal®
A bit of jungle river in your living room. Lively underwater action! No problem with the JBL Rio Pantanal® aquarium
Rocky reef aquarium type JBL Malawi Rocks®
The fish of Lake Malawi are as colourful as the fish in the coral reefs. This aquarium brings a bit of freshwater reef into your living room
Goldfish aquarium type JBL Goldfish Paradise®
Lively goldfish in the aquarium enhance any room perfectly! Invite some new flatmates into your home with this goldfish aquarium
Aquascaping aquarium type JBL Dreamscape®
Mountains, valleys, meadows and fish! Create your dreamlike landscape under water with the Dreamscape® aquarium
And if you can’t find what you need with our theme aquariums, here some general tips to set up an aquarium:
First select fish stock with species which go together and you like and which also is suitable for your aquarium size.
Your selection of fish now determines how fine the Substrate needs to be and whether it can be sharp-edged or not when choosing grubbing fish. You are totally free in your choice of colours since the fish really don’t mind either way. If you want to insert a lot of plants we recommend you put in a long-term substrate fertiliser ( JBL AquaBasis plus ). Put a layer substrate of your choice over the substrate fertiliser. The ground may be flatter at the front than in the background area of the aquarium. With the help of a dedicated spatula ( JBL ProScape Tool SP straight ) you can perfectly and simply design or smoothen the ground according to your wishes.
You will find a selection of substrates here: Substrate .
Stones and roots
Now you can put in stones and/or roots. You are free to choose the layout. Remember to create a few hiding places for your future aquarium dwellers where they can withdraw. Please add larger stones BEFORE you pour in the substrate so that they can’t slip later. Please adhere higher stone constructions with JBL ProHaru Universal 80ml or JBL AquaSil transparent to prevent them from falling apart. Please take also into account that you can hide technical equipment with stones and wood (filter inlet, heater, CO2 diffuser, surface skimmer) inside the aquarium. A lot of roots are buoyant. You can test using a big bucket. If your root is floating you can tether it up to a stone with a nylon thread. After about 4 weeks you can carefully remove the thread.
Installing technical items
Now install the technical items. Attach the suction pipe of the filter (for external filters) or the complete filter (for internal filters) in the aquarium. Please then attach the water-returning pipe (filter outlet) at the same side of the tank so that water circulation can build up in the aquarium.
Pouring the water in
The basic framework has now been set up. You can now either pour in the water or insert the plants, before filling the water. This is a matter of opinion. We find it more practical to add the plants first because you can then see at once how the plants unfold in the water and how much space they need.
When inserting the plants please take into account how high the plants will grow and how much space they require at their sides. Lower remaining plants should be at the front, whereas higher plants are better positioned at the background. You can purchase a lot of plants in plant pots at specialist shops. Please remove the wool-like material from the plant roots and prune the roots with scissors ( JBL ProScape Tool S straight ). Then carefully insert the plants into the soil. Sometimes the plants get out as quickly as you insert them. A good help are plant clips ( JBL ProScape Plantis ) and long pincers ( JBL ProScape Tool P straight ).
A lot of labyrinth fish build foam nests and need floating plants at the water surface. Grubbing fish, such as loaches and armored catfish need a “soft” substrate, which means no sharp-edged grit or lava ground! Many cichlids are cave breeders and take pleasure in a new home. For this coconut shells ( JBL Cocos Cava ) or other caves are available ( JBL Ceramic spawning cave ).
There are fish species for which every plant is seen as food. For these fish you unfortunately need to forgo plants or you have to rely on plastic plants. But for many plant-eating fish species it is also possible to take countermeasures with lots of fast growing plants. Fish also jump and unintentionally depart from the tank. A good cover or a securing of the corners and loopholes in the cover pane may help against “dried fish”. It is easy to plug such holes with foam.