Right Fresh Water Aquarium For Your Fish
When it comes to home décor, few elements are as beautiful and culturally versatile as a fresh water aquarium. A healthy population of fresh water fish and aquatic plants, however, doesn't happen without the right design and professional materials. Take a closer look at the basics of aquarium design before making any purchases or deciding whether to go at it alone or seek professional assistance with set-up and maintenance.
Fresh Water Aquarium - Choosing One For You
Several considerations are important in the choice of an aquarium, including size, water volume and material. Aquariums come in glass or acrylic with different pros and cons for each. A glass aquarium is heavier and more likely to shatter, but they generally cost less and are more resistant to scratching. Acrylic aquariums are lighter and stronger. Different color tints and shapes are possible with fresh water aquariums made from acrylic.
The choice of material may hinge on the budget. As a general rule, each inch of fish requires about 24 square inches of surface area or one gallon of water. A 55-gallon tank with a 48 by 13 inch surface area optimally supports 26 inches of freshwater fish. Wise selection of aquatic plants and other species may increase this possible amount of fish.
Fresh Water Aquarium Stands and Placement
An integral and often overlooked piece of equipment for successful establishment of a fresh water aquarium is the stand. A gallon of water alone weighs over eight pounds, so the base weight of a 55-gallon tank is 459 pounds. Adding the weight of the aquarium and other equipment takes this to well over 500 pounds. Obviously, a stand must be sturdy enough to support the entire weight.
Placement is another critical part of design. Poor placement causes rapid temperature changes and harms fish. Movement of large aquariums after set-up is not easy. General rules are to avoid placement near windows or exterior walls. Direct sunlight and placement near vents should also be avoided to keep temperatures from changing rapidly.
Lights, Hoods, Heaters and Filters
Many pieces of equipment are necessary for the health and longevity of a fresh water aquarium. Choice of equipment is often not straightforward. Incandescent lights, for instance, are a less expensive option, but fluorescent lighting is a must for fresh water plants. Non-submersible heaters are a low-cost option for smaller tanks, but they must be adjusted regularly and are less reliable.
Professional help with set-up and maintenance ensures a healthy fresh water aquarium. At a minimum, significant time must be spent researching the needs of different species, types of equipment and reliability of brands.