All it takes is one glance and the carefree motion of flapping fins entrances us. Fish silently add beauty to every environment and ask for a lot less in comparison to other pets. Of course, choosing the right aquarium in a market flooded with products is enough to make you dizzy. Factoring in location, available space, and base support will make introducing aquatic life into your home a breeze.
Choosing a location before you buy an aquarium increases the likelihood of purchasing one that’s the right fit. Aquariums are heavy and fragile. It’s a good idea not to lug them around while you decide where the aquarium will look its best. When selecting the tank’s location, consider the aesthetics of your environment. Will your aquarium easily be seen? Would it compete for attention with other décor, or be complemented by it?
Selecting a location is not all aesthetics. Avoid direct sunlight and airy drafts that can affect your tank’s temperature. Save some extra “breathing room” around the aquarium for maintenance and cleaning. For safety’s sake, you should also keep the aquarium clear of high traffic areas. After deciding on a location, carefully measure the space to determine how much aquarium can fit into it. Great Danes are wonderful dogs, but they are not so great in studio apartments. This same theory applies to aquariums. With your location in mind and measurements in hand, you are ready to purchase an aquarium. You are certain to find several that will fit comfortably into your space.
Water chemistry and temperature are best stabilized in larger -
volumes of water, so it’s best to get the largest tank that your space and budget will allow. However, do not select an aquarium by water volume alone. Surface area is also a critical factor to consider. A tall twenty-gallon tank is very different from a short one that is twenty gallons. Taller tanks may take up less space, but they do not have the surface area relative to the water volume. This results in a low rate of gas exchange that is unhealthy for fish. Twenty to thirty-gallon tanks are ideal for those new to keeping fish and they allow for a nice selection of fish.
Aquariums come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are constructed of either glass or acrylic. Glass tanks are less expensive and are easier to clean. By nature, they are also more apt to crack and break. Glass aquariums were once only available in rectangular shapes that are still popular today. They also now come in octagon and hexagon models. Acrylic aquariums, on the other hand, offer more shapes and sizes than their glass counterparts. The strength of the acrylic also allows the material to flex upon impact rather than break. Acrylic aquarium owners can boast of a clearer tank and one that is easier to lift, which may offset their aggravation from the tank’s tendency to scratch. (These scratches can be buffed out with scratch-remover kits.) Many acrylic tanks come equipped with covers and fluorescent fixtures, something that you would normally purchase with your aquarium. Glass tanks, while less expensive, typically are not packaged with cover. Consider this when doing price comparisons.
You’ve got the perfect aquarium in sight and accessories in your shopping cart, but your purchase is still incomplete. On what will your tank sit? Too many new aquarium owners (and some naïve experienced ones) mistake household furniture for tank stands. A modest twenty-gallon tank weighs over two hundred pounds once it is filled with water. If your table or bookstand is not sturdy enough for a football player to sit on, then it is certainly not enough support for an aquarium? Support for your aquarium also differs according to its construction. For glass aquariums, choose a stand that supports the outside of the aquarium. Acrylic tanks require full support along the bottom, so choose accordingly. With support in place for your new aquarium, you have everything you need to start making a home for your new aquatic friends.