How to Choose the Location for Your Aquarium


When it comes to choosing the location for your aquarium, take the time to think ahead and consider all the relevant factors so that you get it right. It may seem obvious, but it is very important to site the tank correctly at the outset. If it is in a poor position, you will end up having to empty the tank, transferring the fish elsewhere on a temporary basis, and starting again, because of the weight of the water and decor in the aquarium. This is not only immensely time-consuming, but it would also be stressful for the fish.

Sunlight

It may be tempting to have the aquarium in good natural light, but you must avoid placing it in front of a window. Sunlight streaming in through the glass is bound to affect the water temperature, and on hot days, it may even make it rise to levels that would be fatal for the fish. Another problem is that, as the water temperature increases, it cannot hold as much dissolved oxygen. This leaves the fish vulnerable, not only to excessively warm water, but also to a potential shortage of oxygen if their aquarium becomes too hot.

The ideal position for an aquarium is usually against a wall, and possibly even in the corner of a room. This will help nervous fish to settle down without fear of being approached from all sides, although if you have made sure that there is sufficient cover for such species within the tank, they should soon settle down and will not swim around wildly for long.

Siting the tank against a wall also means that you can use a printed background scene to good effect, since only the picture on the front will be visible. These backgrounds depict a range of appropriate natural scenes, and are available to fit tanks of various sizes or may usually be trimmed if necessary.

The design of the room

The best location for the tank depends on the layout of the room, since clearly much of the enjoyment of having an aquarium will be derived from watching the fish, aside from the possibility of breeding them.

  • It is best not to place an armchair directly in front of the aquarium, simply because this will block access, which will be essential for feeding the fish and maintaining the tank.
  • A clear area is preferable, not next to a door – the vibrations as this is opened and shut will be transmitted into the tank and could upset the fish, especially at first.
  • For the same reason, it is not a good idea to select a site near a television or stereo system. There is also a risk that any water spillage will damage electrical equipment, so do not place a CD system, for example, on a rack beneath a tank.
  • Avoid placing any lamps right next to the aquarium, partly in case of accidental water spillage, and also because bright light could prove to be disturbing for certain catfish and other species that are relatively nocturnal in their habits and become active under low lighting conditions.

The power supply

Another key aspect to bear in mind when deciding where your aquarium should be sited is the location and accessibility of a power point for the various leads. Try to select a site that will allow you to connect the electrics easily, bearing in mind that the heaterstat (or the heater and thermostat if you have separate units), the filter and air pump, plus the lights will all require an electrical supply.

For safety’s sake, it is not sensible to have wirestrailing over the floor, especially if you have young children or pets. As an extra precaution, you may want to tape the plug and the switch in position, and add a label advising people not to switch off the power.

Do not overload the power point with plugs fitted into an adaptor. It is safer to connect the leads into a junction box, in the form of a cable tidy, even if you have to remove the plugs. Alternatively, use a multi-socket connector, with the correct number of spaces for plugs, and a single outlet running to the socket; this will also be fused for safety. This saves the need to rewire any equipment, solves the problem of trailing wires, and provides extra cable so the aquarium may be moved further from the power point if necessary.

Support for the aquarium

A secure base is essential for the tank, because a typical aquarium, measuring 90cm long x 30cm wide x 38cm high (36in x 12in x 15in) will weigh in at roughly 104kg (2301b) once it is full of water -that’s roughly equivalent to six big sacks of potatoes, so you can see why you should never attempt to shift a full tank.

If there is space in your room, and your budget will allow, you may decide to buy a special, purpose-designed cabinet for the aquarium. These are produced in a variety of styles and designs, often incorporating a cupboard area beneath the tank itself to house supplies such as food. Unlike standard furniture, these cabinets are reinforced to take the weight of the full tank without bowing.

A cheaper option is a metal stand, which is also built to support the tank at a convenient height so that you can attend to the needs of the fish without difficulty. Some stands even accommodate two tanks, but this is not always convenient when it comes to servicing the lower aquarium. In terms of positioning this type of stand, first ensure that the floor area is absolutely level, using a spirit level; if necessary, make any adjustments before setting the tank in position with secure wooden blocks under the feet. Any discrepancy at the base will be reflected in the water level once the aquarium is full, placing greater stress on the glass.

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Related posts:

  1. How to Choose Heaters and Thermostats for an Aquarium
  2. How to Check Aquarium Water
  3. How to Test to Dissolved Oxygen in an Aquarium
  4. How to Change the Water Safely in an Aquarium
  5. How to Choose Aquarium Substrate

Filed Under: Pets & Animals

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About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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