Before adding gravel you should thoroughly rinse it in a bucket. Rinse the gravel until the water looks clean. This removes dust and dirt that could be on the gravel. Cover the bottom of the tank and under gravel filter. You should have a minimum of a 3 to 4 inch gravel bed. Sloping the gravel with a high bed in the rear of the tank allows most debris to drift to the front of the tank for future cleaning. This allows for better siphon cleaning when it’s time to clean the tank.
Now you’re ready to add water. Fill the tank with room temperature water 3-4 inches from the top. When adding future water during cleaning, place a large rock or plate in the tank and pour water directly on it, this will allow you not to disturb plants and decorations.