There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the perfect home for your fish friends. Different components such as the type of fish you want to get, the space you wish to place your aquarium in, and your lifestyle and décor will help you make your choice. Look below to see our guide on how to choose the right fish tank for your needs.
What Location Are You Placing Your Tank In?
No two aquarium placements are ever the same, whether you're planning to install one in your home or business. You'll need to assess many environmental factors to determine which tanks will perform best in your space and what accessories you'll need. The more research you do beforehand, the better off you'll be.
Place the Aquarium in a Busy Room
You want to make sure you're getting the maximum amount of joy possible from the wonders of pet ownership. Placing your tank in chilly, dark basements or rooms with minimal foot traffic will almost always result in poor fish care, raising the risk of disease and filter failure. Pick a suitable location where you can properly maintain your tank while also enjoying looking at it.
Remember, Tanks Are Hefty
Keep in mind that after you set up your aquarium, it’ll weigh at least 10 times the water capacity of your tank, and you must dismantle it before you can move it safely. Dismantling the tanks is incredibly stressful for your fish, so choose your location wisely.
Your Tank Needs a Comfort Zone
Your fish and their home need an adequate amount of free space surrounding them to help you thoroughly clean and maintain them. Choose a location that will not obstruct access to necessary equipment, such as filters at the rear of the aquarium and water changes and lights at the top. If you're going to put it in a confined area, ensure it has enough ventilation.
Consider Electrical and Water Sources Within the Space
You should have an electrical outlet as close as possible to the tank to plug in a strip outlet without needing an unnecessary cord. Also, remember that water changes will be more accessible when your aquarium is near a water source.
Figure Out the Size You Need
There's a variety of factors that will help you decide what size tank to choose. Generally, you need to know the smallest tank your fish will thrive in to learn the minimum size tank you can get. If you can't get at least that sized tank for the fish you want, it's best to avoid getting it.
What Is Your Budget?
You need to know how much you're willing to spend. Some fish require larger tanks to live, and the aquarium price rises as the size increases.
Why Larger Tanks Can Be Beneficial
Keep in mind that nearly every type of fish will thrive when in larger tanks. A more considerable amount of water dilutes toxins more effectively, making it more merciful of missteps in care. Bigger tanks also cycle quicker, resulting in a shorter period of stress for the fish.
Make Sure Your Flooring Can Handle the Weight
Installing a 30-gallon tank weighing up to 300 pounds is typically no issue, particularly if you place it against a weight-bearing wall. When you're considering something heavier, make sure your flooring can handle it by consulting an expert. You can measure the weight capacity of your flooring in pounds per square foot (PSF).
Calculate the total weight of the aquarium you're contemplating by multiplying its gallon capacity by 10 (50 gallons x 10 = 500 lbs.). Then, divide the overall weight by the number of square feet of floor area (footprint) it occupies. You can determine the largest aquarium size you should choose by learning the PSF rate of your flooring and the volume of space you have available.
Which Construction Type Do You Want?
Tanks generally come in two main construction types — acrylic and glass. Both types have their benefits, and your choice will depend on factors like your décor and lifestyle.
Acrylic is exceptionally light compared to glass, making these tanks easy to install and move around. It is also solid and tough to break. Since the material is extremely sturdy, you’ll often find custom shapes, like curved aquariums made from acrylic.
Glass tanks are very budget-friendly, which is helpful when you’re a new aquarium owner. You’ll find that it’s pretty tough to scratch these types of tanks as well, keeping their natural beauty for a long time. The material can also handle a lot of water weight inside.
Do You Want Saltwater or Freshwater?
When figuring out how to choose the right fish tank for your needs, one of the most important choices you need to make is whether you want freshwater or saltwater fish. It should come as no surprise that the two types can't coexist in the same tanks.
The key distinctions are that saltwater fish tend to be more vibrant than their less colorful freshwater counterparts, but freshwater tanks are easier to set up and support than saltwater tanks. For fish owners who are just starting out, it's best to start with a freshwater tank until you feel comfortable managing a saltwater one.
Why Can't Saltwater and Freshwater Fish Live Together?
Saltwater fish cannot survive living in freshwater environments because their bodies hold high concentrations of salt solution. Freshwater would continue to leach into their bodies until their cells absorbed enough water that eventually they would swell and die.
By contrast, freshwater fish can't live in places like the ocean because they can't handle the salty environment. The water inside their bodies would begin to leak out of their cells, leading to dehydration and eventually death. In both cases, these processes occur due to osmosis.
Pick the Right Accessories
Once you've decided on a tank, you'll need to buy the essential accessories and equipment to enable it perfectly to match your household and fish. An aquarium stand is a must-have item, for example. You should pick a stand that matches your home's decor and surroundings while being sturdy enough to carry the weight of your tank.
Fish Tanks Direct is the perfect place to help you find the aquarium of your dreams. We have a comprehensive range of choices, like a seamless fish tank that gives you an unobstructed view of your fish and plants. Feel free to contact us with any questions about our products.