Now this is a question that generates many different opinions. There are many conflicting arguments regarding the maturing or establishing of a new tank, so this can cause some confusion when visiting different independent shops. However, your local Maidenhead Aquatics will provide the best advice regarding the setup of a new tank and this advice is consistent across our stores for the simple yet crucial reason that it is what is best for the welfare of the fish.
Remember, it is in the interests of an independent store owner to sell you as much as possible in one go! However, this attitude doesn’t take the welfare of the fish into account and therefore it is not something you should find at a Maidenhead Aquatics. The needs and welfare of the fish should come first and that is why we advise a decent maturing period for any new aquarium and also provide advice on which fish are best to stock once the aquarium is ready.
This principle is based on how an aquarium works. Basically, your brand-new, freshly-filled aquarium is a sterile environment. The chlorine in your tap water ensures that no significant levels of bacteria are present and without the addition of a de-chlorinator (AquaCare Water Conditioner is perfect for this) bacteria will struggle to establish. Now, bacteria may not seem like something you'd want in your aquarium, but really you do - and lots of them!
We believe the science of aquariums to be based on the idea of the "Nitrogen Cycle", where toxic and harmful ammonia is processed into nitrite and then into the much safer nitrate. What this means in brief is that without right amount of bacteria in your tank, you cannot take the ammonia caused by fish waste and transform it into nitrate, so the ammonia builds up very quickly and results in the death of your fish.
Science is still chasing the exact time-frames and pathways used by bacteria and other microbes in their digestion of fish waste, but one thing we can be certain of is that in giving the tank a period of time to establish, we can ensure safe conditions for your fish and an excellent start to your fish-keeping career!
For those that are eager to get started, there are a range of products available at your local Maidenhead Aquatics which can be used to speed up and stabilise this maturing process. Ask a member of staff for some advice on which product would suit you best.