Often the new aquarists end up buying the wrong aquarium. Was your experience the same? When we don’t know everything about a hobby, we invest in things that are either wrong or not required.
The aquarium is a prerequisite if one of your hobbies is fish keeping. Many hobbyists buy the wrong size aquarium and almost give up on their hobby before they get started. That is why having a thorough knowledge of the aquarium and which type will be the best for you is necessary. Therefore, considering a few basic factors and planning will avoid pitfalls that new aquarium owners often face. The same goes for experienced aquarium owners too.
Check out all that you need to do before starting the fish-keeping hobby.
Make a checklist
Now that you have made your mind to have your aquarium and you are all set to start working on it, the first step should be making a checklist. It will provide rough information about everything which is needed and also give an idea about the expense. You have to invest in buying the following-
- Hood and light
- Water treatment
- Cleaning supplies
- Fish and live plants
- Fish food
You may visit a pet store or check online the prices of these listed products and make an estimate on how much you will end up spending. You may also compare the price online to get the best deal.
If your budget is tight, you may talk to some experienced aquarists and eliminate the things that are not extremely necessary, like aquarium décor items. You may invest in them someday later.
This article is all about Aquarium Buying Guide. So, let’s discuss how to find the best aquarium and which aspects need more attention.
Size of the Aquarium
Often we think that starting with a smaller tank will be easier as it will require fewer efforts. The beginners think that buying a small-sized aquarium and keeping expensive fish in it is the best idea. However, on the contrary, a large aquarium is actually easier to maintain than the smaller one. There are a few reasons behind it-
- The large aquarium has more water that makes the ecosystem more stable for the inhabitants.
- Due to more quantity of water, the pollutants like fish excreta, leftover food, and other contaminants get dilute, keeping the water suitable for fish.
So, if you get the chance to choose the aquarium, pick larger ones for better results and let the small aquariums go with the experienced aquarists. Also, it is recommended to choose some inexpensive fish species with a large aquarium if you are a beginner. It will help you get some experience in fish keeping and learning fish behaviour which will certainly help in the long run.
If you buy expensive fish and keep them in a small-sized tank, you may end up watching them die one after the other only if you are not experienced and unable to manage proper water conditions.
Another thing that needs heed is what type of fish you are planning to keep in the tank that decides the tank’s size and shape. If your inclination is more towards having bottom dwellers, buying a shallow aquarium with a large bottom instead of a tall aquarium with a small bottom is the right thing. On the other hand, if keeping tall fish like angelfish and discus is in the plan, a tall aquarium will be the best as the shallow ones may stunt their growth. So, while buying an aquarium, you also have to consider the fish species you will keep.
How much area you have to keep the tank also decides the size you can buy. If you have a small room, buying a huge aquarium is not a good idea. If you are buying a large tank, make sure it will easily manoeuvre through the doors of the house. You may also check out the aquariums that are assembled on site. Many stores- both online and offline offer home delivery and provide onsite assembly through their workers.
There are a few points you must consider while deciding where to place the aquarium. These are-
- Try to keep the tank in your living room. In this way, you will keep an eye on your fish most of the time and enjoy watching them swimming.
- For the survival of most of the fish, maintaining a constant temperature range is essential. Therefore, there should be no heating vents, hair conditioning units, fireplaces, or vents near the tank.
- Try not to keep your tank near the window as the direct sunlight may alter the tank’s temperature. Also, the fish will get exposed to sunlight directly that may hamper their well-being. Make sure the aquarium is not in the room where direct sunlight comes for longer hours.
- There should be no speakers or loudspeakers just beside the aquarium.
So, choose the right size of the aquarium and place it accordingly. Make the right decision to avoid any chaos afterwards.
Weight of the aquarium
Apart from size, the weight of the aquarium is also an important criterion to look at. You must calculate how heavy your tank will be after adding substrate, water and other aquarium equipment and décor items. Sometimes the floor collapses when a hefty aquarium is put on it. It happens due to the long-term impact of the heavyweight on a particular spot. So, you have to be extra careful.
If you plan to keep the aquarium on an aquarium stand or furniture, you have to ensure that they are sturdy and strong enough to hold it without breaking. In general, placing an aquarium whose size is more than 20 gallons on a normal table is considered risky.
What should be the material of the aquarium?
Two types of materials are often used to make aquariums- glass and acrylic and both of them come with their own set of pros and cons.
Acrylic aquariums– Acrylic aquariums are not only stronger but also better isolators than glass aquariums. However, they are more susceptible to scratch marks. When an acrylic aquarium is brand new, the clarity will be superb, but gradually, with time, as the scratches grow and become more prominent, clarity reduces.
Acrylic aquariums are expensive than glass aquariums. You can find small and medium-size tanks made with this material. Since acrylic is easy to mould into different shapes, you can get aquariums with rounded corners. They are light in weight and can easily withstand long-distance transportation.
Glass aquariums– Glass aquariums are more resilient towards scratches and marks. They will stay clear and always have better clarity as compared to acrylic ones. However, glass aquariums are poor isolators due to more potent heating.
Glass aquariums come in two different qualities- regular glass and optical glass. Due to the iron impurities, a regular glass aquarium gives a blue-green tinge. It reduces the actual appearance of the tank’s inhabitants. This tinge becomes more noticeable when the glass is thicker. On the other hand, glass aquariums made with optical quality glass give a clearer view of the inhabitants and are more expensive.
Number of fish
Another point that will decide which aquarium will be the best is the number of fish you plan to put inside. Fish require space to swim. Some fish species get aggressive when there is not enough space to move. As a result, they either get into stress, making them susceptible to diseases or start harassing weaker fish.
Therefore, it is always good to choose a larger tank and keep it smaller and easy to care for fish when you are a beginner. Once you gain experience, you may start adding more challenging fish as per your preferences to have a good chance of success.
Important points to check while buying a new aquarium
- Make sure that there are no scratches or marks in the tank before you purchase it. If you are buying an acrylic aquarium, double-check for scratches as they are more prone to getting them. You can fix the lighter scratches by buffing with metal surface polish and rag or using fine sandpaper.
- If you buy a glass aquarium, ensure that all the edges are even and smooth to avoid any cuts and bruises while handling.
- Ensure that every part of a glass aquarium is joined together and all the silicone joints are properly connected. In an acrylic aquarium, the various parts are bonded with a liquid that joints them cohesively.
- You may buy fish species that are agile jumpers. Therefore, check whether the aquarium has a lid or not. A proper lid over the top will secure the fish and prevent them from jumping out from the aquarium.
- Check if the aquarium has inbuilt lights, or you have to get a separate light fixture.
So, in this article we talked about different aspects that need special attention buying a new aquarium. It is the best aquarium guide that will help every new aquarium owner. Keeping the points in mind will ensure that you buy the best aquarium that will meet all your needs.
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