3 Tips For Setting Up A Fish Aquarium After It's Been In Storage

Fortunately, most fish aquariums hold up pretty well in storage, especially if you break them down properly before storing them and keep them in a heated unit. In order to come out of storage unscathed, glass aquariums should only be stored after they are completely dry. They should also be stored empty - placing things inside the aquarium can apply pressure to the seams of the aquarium - and wrapped up so they won't get broken. If you did all of this before you stored your aquarium, you likely won't run into any problems setting it back up. Following are three tips for setting up an aquarium after it's been in storage. 

Clean It Thoroughly

When you bring your aquarium out of storage, it will probably have white, crusty-looking stains on the inside of it. These are hard water stains and can be cleaned. The first thing you should remember about cleaning an aquarium is that you should never use soap or cleaning agents of any kind. Since many sponges have chemicals and cleaning agents built in, always purchase your cleaning sponge from a pet store. Dip the sponge in vinegar or a solution of salt and water to clean out the inside of the tank. Once you scrub it out, be sure to rinse it thoroughly to remove all odors and residue. 

Check for Leaks

Fill up your tank to capacity and let it sit for several days to check for leaks. If your tank has shifted or developed a leak while in storage, you can fix it with aquarium sealant. First you have to remove all of the old sealant in the affected area with a razor blade. Clean and dry the area as described above. Use nontoxic, 100 percent silicone to seal the area. Let the sealant cure for at least 24 hours. 

Cycle It Again

All of the beneficial bacteria that keeps your tank healthy cannot survive in storage. For this reason, you will have to cycle your tank after you set it up and fill it with water. The cycle must be complete before you add any fish. Cycling involves placing an ammonia source in the aquarium that mimics the waste produced by fish. You can use fish food, a piece of shrimp or pure ammonia. The ammonia will provide food for the bacteria you need. It can take several weeks to properly cycle an aquarium. 

It isn't that difficult to set up an aquarium after it has been in storage. However, you have to be patient. While you may want to get fish as quickly as possible, you have to first create a clean, healthy environment for them.