How to Add Water to a Fish Tank: Step-by-Step Guide

Estimated read time 5 min read

Adding water to a fish tank is a simple process once you get the hang of it. The primary steps involved in this process are as follows:

  1. Add the substrate.
  2. Add a plate.
  3. Add some water.
  4. Add other elements to the tank.
  5. Turn on the equipment and remove the plate.

Through this comprehensive guide, you can go through each of these steps in further detail while also learning when you should add the water to the fish tank. Let’s begin!


What You’re Going to Need

Make sure you gather all the essential items you will need to add water to the fish tank. These include:

  • Fish tank or aquarium
  • Clean bucket or container/hose
  • Conditioner made specifically for the water in the fish tank
  • Sufficient water supply
  • Clean plate
  • Healthy bacteria starter kit
  • Gravel and pebbles
  • Aquarium plants

Video Tutorial

To have some visual aid to help you set up your fish tank and add water to it for the first time, you can go through this YouTube video tutorial.

Now that you have a rough idea of what to do and what you’ll need, you can go through all the steps in further detail below.

Step 1. Add Substrate to the Tank

Make sure you first clean up the fish tank properly to get rid of dust or bacteria. You can then add the substrate by first washing it thoroughly.

The substrate can include gravel along with suitable rocks and pebbles. Cover the entire tank base with this substrate and even it out throughout it.

You can also use sand, corals, and river rocks to enhance the appearance and provide shelter and bacteria for the fish.

Step 2. The Plate Method

Using a plate or even a saucer to add water to your fish tank can be a good way of ensuring that the substrate stays in its place instead of scattering all around the fish tank.

Clean the plate and get rid of any soap from it.

This can keep the substrate even and uniform throughout the fish tank so that you do not need to take the additional step of making it uniform with your hands, although you might still need to do this to a certain point.

Step 3. Use a Bucket or Hose

Using a bucket can be easy to add water to the fish tank. First, however, you should clean up the bucket and rinse it thoroughly to get rid of any soap. You can then fill up the bucket with clean water that contains enough nutrients. Finally, if you’re using tap water, let it flow out in the sink for a couple of minutes.

Add some conditioner or filter it out at this stage.

You can also use a hose to supply the water to the tank directly, but make sure you sterilize the hose and filter the water.

Step 4. Slowly Add Water

You can now start adding the water to the fish tank. But, again, go slow and be cautious about aiming at the plate. Ensure the gravel does not move around too much or that too much water does not splash out of the tank.

Fill it up halfway through to leave some space for the other plants and decorations, but you can also fill it up entirely if you feel comfortable enough.

Step 5. Add Decorations & Plants

You can now carefully place the plants and decorations in the required location in the tank. Clean them up properly before doing this to maintain the pH level of the water in your tank.

Step 6. Turn On Equipment

At this stage, you should also add the air pump, filter, heater, and other essential equipment to the tank. It is only after you set up the tank and fill it up with the remaining water that you should turn everything on.

Make sure all the tubing is in place as well.

Hastening this process might harm you and the fish (if you’ve already added them, although you shouldn’t just yet unless you are changing the water).

Step 7. Remove the Plate

Now that everything is in place, carefully take the plate or saucer out from the tank or aquarium. Make sure you wash your hands properly before you take this step so that you do not transfer any bacteria, germs, or dust to the water, as this can pose a health and safety risk to your fish.

Step 8. Monitor Your Aquarium

Allow all the tools and appliances in your fish tank to start functioning. Once this is done, this will complete the process of adding water to your tank and setting it up. Yet, give it a day or so to monitor and keep track of the water in your tank and check the temperature and pH level.

You can then add the fish.

When to Add Water to a Fish Tank

Figure out when to add water to a fish tank below.

After a Water Change

You will need to keep changing the water regularly to keep it clean, so once you remove some or all the water in the tank, you can add some additional water safely and cautiously.

Water Evaporation

The water from your tank might evaporate gradually the longer it sits, especially if you have no lid or cover or frequently remove this lid. Therefore, to maintain the proper water levels and the mineral content, you should add suitable and sufficient water to the tank.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to add water to a fish tank and are aware of all the steps and times, you can try the process out on your own. It might be natural to make a few mistakes initially, so have some patience and take some time to learn and perfect everything so that your fish can thrive.

You May Also Like

More From Author