1. It is generally recommended to use natural gravel for the aquarium. Colored gravel can be used, as long as it is professionally made, certain cheaply made color gravels can be toxic to fish in your aquarium.
2. You should be sure to rinse out all of the materials you are going to be placing in the aquarium with water. Do not use soap or detergents, soap can cause toxic results for the fish in your aquarium. Just rinse the equipment with distilled water.
3. If you use your tap water, you should make sure to remove the chlorine from the water before you add it to the aquarium. Chlorine can be very harmful to some of the fish in your aquarium. You can purchase kits to remove the chlorine from your aquarium at many retailers online.