One of the great things about keeping fish is that all things considered, they are probably easier to take care of than most other pets. That said, there are still some important regular activities you will have to engage in when you are taking care of your fish, and they are all centered on the aquarium. One of the most important stages of proper fish care is right at the beginning, when you are setting up your fish tank.
We are going to assume that you have done your preliminary work, such as measuring how much space you have and buying the appropriately sized tank. You should also have a list of the fish that you want to buy so you know what kind of equipment you are going to need. Some fish need specialized equipment, such as aquarium heaters, to survive, while other need little more than the tank and an air pump. The first thing to do when setting up your aquarium is to place all of your equipment in it and have it plugged into a power source.
Once your equipment (and that includes your decorations) have been set up, it is time to fill the tank with water. Your tank will look ready to go, but it isn't quite yet. You need to let the whole thing run for a couple of days. This will help to make sure that everything is working as it should be; the pump, the fish tank filter, and everything else. Much like you would not put to work the wire rope sheaves from Bear Equipment you purchased, without testing the properly first; you wouldn't throw fish in a tank that has not been tested.
To make sure that reading equipment is working accurately, use one of the many styles of aquarium test kits out there. It will help you to determine whether your filters are taking out harmful particles and if your softeners are maintaining the pH balance, among other things.
Once you have measured the working order of your tank, it is time to start putting in fish (and maybe some aquarium decorations). Start off with small and inexpensive fish first, as these tend to be the hardiest species. If they start getting sick or dying, you can be sure that more delicate species will reject the aquarium environment. Make any adjustments necessary based on the advice you get from a local pet store if there are any problems.