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Aquarium Design in San Antonio Offers Many Options
From colorful, long-tailed fancy goldfish and schools of uniquely interactive tropicals to eye-popping varieties of exotic reef and saltwater species, the fish-keeping hobby is as diverse and entertaining as any other. While picking out the fish that will eventually populate an aquarium is often considered the most fun part of starting a cold water, tropical or saltwater tank, the steps that must be followed before that can happen are the building blocks to ultimate success. Aquarium design has many elements – from lavish, unique and authentic décor and plants indigenous to a certain species’ habitat to the rudimentary neon-colored gravel and “No Fishing” ceramic and resin signs. When designing a custom fish tank, things get a bit more complex – and that’s where we come in.
We are Aquatic Interiors, the leaders in aquarium design in San Antonio, and we have all the tools, resources and experience to take your concept of an aquarium to a whole other level. The initial building blocks of any customized tank begin with professional-grade materials, and it’s our belief that two dimensions should be considered in this regard: Glass vs. Acrylic and Standard vs. Custom Sized Tanks.
While glass has always been the material of choice for building any kind of tank – whether it be a massive custom-sized job or one you pick up at your local pet shop on sale – lately the hot trend has been acrylic aquariums. Why? For one, acrylic tends not to break, leak or otherwise crack as compared to glass, and is often considered a material that’s more clearly viewable than glass. When getting into custom aquarium builds, acrylic is often the material of choice due to its availability in a plethora of sizes – there are even acrylic tanks that boast opaque-colored sides.
On the flip side of this debate coin, acrylic tends to scratch a bit more easily than glass does, and this comes into play during routine tank maintenance (i.e. cleaning), a time when the opportunity to scratch the inside walls of the aquarium are at their greatest. Additionally, acrylic tanks are often looked at by seasoned hobbyists in the world of fish-keeping as a bit less convenient in terms of access to the aquarium from the top – most acrylic tanks offer access to the surface of the water via covered “portholes.”
An advantage of a custom-designed and made tank – such as those we can create for you at Aquatic Interiors – compared to an “off-the-shelf” variant you can pick up at a mass retailer is the extremely clear glass which lacks the “greenish” tint inherent in the mass-market tanks; manufacturers such as Oceanic Systems and All-Glass work with outfitters such as us in offering baseline custom-sized tanks by which to start projects for clients. Interestingly, what comes into play here as well is the décor and/or “theme” layout design planned for the tank – in some instances, décor choices and plant selections dictate a custom-sized/shape tank be used, in which case acrylic is normally recommended due to the large selection of possibilities in customization.
Don’t Let Anyone Tell You Size Doesn’t Matter…Aquarium Design Experts Say Different
As aquarium design experts in San Antonio, Aquatic Interiors regularly suggest to our clients not to consider an aquarium smaller than 55 gallons in size. The reason for this is twofold – to begin with, and contrary to beginners’ perspectives on this matter, it is actually more difficult to maintain quality water conditions in smaller tanks. With a larger space to occupy, organisms introduced to the water column by way of “mistakes” made by the hobbyist (slacking on water changes, overfeeding, etc.) have a better chance of being “controlled” and filtered out in a larger water column. Additionally, most of the world’s more interesting and exotic fish species require the space equal to that of a 55 gallon or larger tank, not only for raw space constraints and comfort factors but also so that they are more likely to exhibit their natural behaviors.
This is merely the beginning of a foray into the world of custom-designed aquariums. Look to Aquatic Interiors when in the market for professional aquarium design in San Antonio.