The first decision you must make when you buy an aquarium is whether you plan to keep freshwater fish or saltwater fish. It’s up to you whether you want to keep saltwater or freshwater, but if this is your first aquarium, then I suggest you start with a freshwater aquarium.
Here’s why: Saltwater tanks are more expensive and more complex. You have extra things to worry about such as the salinity of the water, water conditioning, and temperature. Because of this, freshwater fish are much easier to care for if you’re new to keeping tropical fish.
Here’s a few other things to keep in mind when buying an aquarium:
When you’re deciding on a location for your aquarium, remember that it can’t be placed in direct sunlight, or anywhere else that could result in changes in temperature.
Also remember that your aquarium, when filled with water, can be very heavy. As an example, a filled 20-gallon glass tank will weight about 225 pounds. Bear this in mind when you choose on a location for your aquarium…as it will be impossible to move afterwards.
You will need a level floor for your aquarium, as this will reduce stress on the tank and reduce the chance of any cracks forming over time due to the floor being uneven.
Make sure your new tank is located near an electrical outlet so you can plug in the heaters, lights and pumps.
You’ll need to have easy access to your tank so you can use the heater controls and air valves. You also need to have room for a net, and room to move decorations around.
When you’re choosing the shape of your aquarium choose short, longer shapes over tall, thinner shapes. This way there will be more surface area at the top of the water, which is much better for your fish.
It is best to choose an aquarium over 10 gallons. Why? Because it’s just easier to take care of a fish in a larger tank than a smaller one. Whatever aquarium you choose, it is going to, over time, have a build up of waste material. In a large tank these toxic materials have more room to be dispersed. This means the water stays cleaner for longer, and will require less cleaning than a smaller tank.
Aquariums can be made from glass or acrylic. Both have there pros and cons, but I recommend beginners to start with a glass aquarium. Why? Firstly, they cost less, secondly, they don’t scratch so easily, and thirdly, they only need to be supported by the edges.
As you can see, you need to put some time and consideration into where you choose to place your aquarium. All these things will play a part in which aquarium you choose to buy.