How to choose the best place for your aquarium?

Before you start thinking about which aquarium to buy, choose its potential location. Take your time as moving an already established tank to some other place will be difficult and time-consuming. When choosing the best place for your aquarium, consider not only its size but also its potential visual effect, the safety of its tenants and the tank itself as well as its convenient maintenance. I will give you a few tips that will tell you how to chose the best place for your aquarium and which locations to avoid.

Places unsuitable for an aquarium

Avoid places which are too close to doors and heavy traffic such as corridors or halls. The prevailing traffic can be very stressful for many species of fish. In such places there is also a significant risk of accidental hits which can result in financial losses, problems with a flooded apartment and the risk of fish’s death. Places with a lot of sunlight for most of the day will not be appropriate, either. In sunny spots you can expect strong growth of algae, which are usually very difficult to get rid of. The sun will also cause large temperature changes during the day, and on hot days the fish will simply feel too hot. Yet, the aquarists quite often consider putting a tank on a windowsill. So remember that windowsill means too much light, too low or too high temperature, and difficult access to the window. Tanks placed on windowsills are usually special tanks, more of an experimental nature than a regular aquaria. So never put your first aquarium on a windowsill!

You must also bear in mind that devices in the aquarium make sounds. They can be particularly tedious at night, so it is better not to place the aquarium in the bedroom unless you are one of those people who find the buzzing of the filter and splashing water relaxing. However, make sure that other tenants feel the same way.  

Ensure convenient access to the aquarium

Some people place aquaria in wall niches or build them into walls. If you plan to do so, ensure sufficient space above the tank to be able to clean it freely with your hand, catch fish and put or pull out certain decorations. It would be best if you had 25-30 cm of free space above the aquarium.

room with an aquarium

When choosing the location, remember about access to water and electricity. A minimum of three sockets (usually more) are needed for one aquarium and using an extension cord is not convenient and does not look good. The distance from the water source is also important. The water in the aquarium should be partially changed once a week or every two weeks. Of course you can run around with buckets, but it is much more convenient to use a hose to drain water. It is therefore advisable to have the bathroom or kitchen relatively close.

Consider the weight of the aquarium

The aquarium is heavy. You can easily calculate its target weight. Multiply 1l of water by 1.2 kg and add the weight of the substrate, decoration, cabinet, lid and the tank. That’s the weight your floor has to withstand. Take this into account when planning the location of your tank. For the same reason, an important issue is what the aquarium will stand on.

Furniture to put the aquarium on

While small aquariums (let’s say up to 60 l) can be put on an ordinary cabinet or table (however, it is worth strengthening them), larger aquariums should definitely stand on dedicated cabinets. Such cabinets are properly reinforced and made of materials that are more resistant to flooding than ordinary furniture. The visual aspect is also important. The cabinet matching the lid of the tank will simply look beautiful. In the case of large tanks, the best solution is to order a durable, steel frame, which can then be enclosed with furniture boards.

aquarium set

When designing an aquarium cabinet, consider its height. The higher the cabinet/frame, the higher the upper edge of the tank will be, so any cleaning work in the tank will require the use of a ladder or a chair, which is not very convenient. But when the cabinet is too low it will make it difficult to observe the life in the aquarium or clean it.

Never place the aquarium directly on the cabinet. Use styrofoam, cork, carpet or other special mats available in pet shops. They will reduce the risk of cracking the aquarium bottom. Special frames are often used in aquarium sets, which not only protect the bottom of the aquarium, but also enhance the aesthetics of the aquarium.

Where to put the aquarium?

Now you know that your aquarium should stand in a quiet place with relatively low traffic, away from sunlight and drafts. Take you time to make the final decision. Take a close look at you apartment or house. Check where the sun is for most of the day. Remember that window reflecting in the aquarium makes it very difficult to see inside and is really annoying. Consider temperatures throughout the day and at different times of the year. Sometimes compromises are necessary, but decide on them consciously. Only then will you know how to prevent potential aquarium problems.

dr inż. (Ph.D.Eng) Aleksandra Kwaśniak-Płacheta

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