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How To Set Up A Tropical Fish Tank And How It Can Benefit Your Mental Well Being:: AD

tropical fish

AD – This post is sponsored by on behalf of Mars Fishcare and the API brand.

As a child I always wanted a tropical fish to keep as a pet. I would win goldfish from the local fair but to my dismay, they would never last very long. I always remember being a child and loving going to our doctor’s surgery as the had a massive tank full of all different types of tropical fish. I would always make sure to sit closest to the tank, just so I could sit in awe and watch the fish gracefully swim around. Giving me that feeling of calm.


Research from Plymouth University discovered that just watching fish in an aquarium had a significant positive effect on a person’s mental health and general well being by reducing stress as it ‘led to noticeable reductions in participant’s blood pressure and heart rate. Also Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have found that keeping fish is an effective therapy which helps with challenging behaviors in children.

Now anything that will help support the mental health and wellbeing of my family is a ‘Yes!’ from me!

Learning The In’s And Outs Of Fish Care

Fortunately for us, we have been asked to work with API and Mars Fish care where we have been gifted an aquarium and everything we need to set it up together as a family.

Being a complete and utter novice and having a poor history in fish keeping, I was delighted when I was given the opportunity to work and participate in a Zoom call with a top fish expert at API Fish Care Gary Jones. Now, this guy knows everything to do with tropical fish and successfully set up a new aquarium.

Throughout the Zoom call, Gary explained and educated me on how to set up an aquarium and how to take care of tropical fish. Answering any questions I had to reassure me and give me the confidence that I could competently set up our aquarium with my family, along with the help of API Fish Care products.

My boys were so excited to be involved in the set up process. Luckily, after attending the Zoom call with Gary I was able to educate them on what we needed to do and why.

Here Are My Top Takes From The Zoom Call To Help Me Set Up Our Community Aquarium

Equipment Needed

  • Fish tank – ours is 54 litres which is a good starting point for the first aquarium of tropical fish.
  • Heater – To keep tropical fish the water temperature needs to be around 24-26 degrees. The heater will maintain this temperature for you.
  • Filter – The filter acts as a cleaner to remove debris and toxic build-up. Also helps to add oxygen to the water.
  • Light – For your tank and fish to be healthy and thrive a light is needed to help imitate a day and night cycle. With fish needing 8-12 hours of light a day to enable them to grow and survive.
  • Gravel – This is for the bottom of the tank. Gravel plays an important part as is help with water flow and provides a beneficial home for good bacteria.
  • Plants (real or plastic) and ornaments – Plants play an important role as if you choose to use real plants they can help provide essential oxygen and nutrition for your fish. Plants and ornaments provide important survival tools for your fish. Including safe hiding spots.

Advised and Recommended API Products

API has been the industry leaders in the aquatics industry for over 60 years and provide everything you need to setting up and maintaining a tropical fish tank.

  • API Stress Coat – makes tap water safe by removing chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals. It also helps to reduce fish stress and heal any damaged tissue.
  • API Quick Start – this is perfect if you are wanting to add your fish straight away.
  • API Stress Zyme – a bacterial cleaner that contains over 300million live bacteria per teaspoonful. This helps to consume sludge and reduce aquarium maintenance leaving better water quality. If you have a busy lifestyle this is great!
  • API Accu Clear – clarifies cloudy water.
  • API Aquarium Salt – promotes fish health by improving the gill function.
  • API 5 in 1 Test Strips – you need to keep tabs on the pH ,KH, GH, nitrate, and nitrite levels in the water. These are helpful strips to quickly tell you the water is safe for the fish.

Setting Up The Fish Tank

It honestly isn’t as hard as you think to set up a fish tank.

  1. Clean your choice of gravel to make sure that the dust particles have been removed. This is so they don’t contaminate the water. Place the gravel in the bottom of the tank.
  2. Wash over any plants and ornaments that you want to add to your aquarium. Add them in to your tank after the gravel.
  3. Attach your filter and heater to the sides of the tank.
  4. Using tap water slowly fill up your tank, trying not to disturb the gravel as this can raise dust particles and contaminate the water.
  5. Once you have filled up your fish tank with water, it’s time to treat the water with the relevant API Fish Care Products. As tap water contains toxic chemicals that can be harmful to fish. Luckily API have a range of products that can be added to your fish tank water to get you started straight away. Such as Mentioned above. All have full clear instructions.
  6. Turn on the heater and filter. Wait for the water to reach the desired temperature.

Choosing And Adding Your Tropical Fish

As this is a tropical fish tank we went to our local pet store and looked at the wide array of tropical fish on offer. From Guppies, Mollies, Angel Fish, Neon Tetra and Barbs.

We wanted to start off with ‘low maintenance’ fish so we chose 8 female guppies and 4 male guppies. A nice size shoul to get us started.

We were advised to place the bags into our tanks water to allow the water in the bags to meet the temperature. This was to be left for 15-20 minutes.

Then we were told to open the bags containing our fish and mix a little of our tank water with the water in the bags. Again leaving for around 15-20 minutes.

Once this process was complete it was time to slowly allow the fish to swim and adventure into the tank and their forever home. We are feeding them twice a day with Aquarian Tropical fish flakes.

If you need any more information or help with setting up your fish tank, you can visit and

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