3 Things to Consider When Selecting a Fish Tank

//3 Things to Consider When Selecting a Fish Tank

The first step in bringing the ocean to your living room is to decide which type of aquarium you want. It is essential to know all your options so you can choose an aquarium that fits your lifestyle and aesthetic tastes. Here are some things to consider when selecting an aquarium:


Aquariums are available in a variety of standard sizes. You may want a large tank that serves as the focal point of an entire room, or something smaller to fit on the kitchen counter. The size you choose depends largely upon the space available in your home and your budget.

The size and number of fish you want to keep also determines the size of the tank. As a general rule of thumb, you should never have more than one inch of fish per gallon of water and I recommend keeping it to about a half an inch of fish per gallon until you are comfortable balancing your biological load (“bio-load”). Your bio-load the amount of biological activity taking place in a particular and enclosed environment (i.e. your aquarium).

 The build-up of toxins and changes in temperature and water chemistry tend to occur more quickly in smaller aquariums. For first time aquarium owners, a ten to twenty gallon tank is a good choice because it is easier to maintain and can hold a reasonable amount of fish.  It is not too big so it won’t cost an arm and a leg when you have a wipe out (all the fish dying) which is something that can happen easily to new aquarium owners.  It is also not so small that temperature swings will be a regular (and painful) occurrence for the fish.

A definite location and size will make finding the best aquarium easier. Have you decided where you want to place your tank? Think of a spot where it can be viewed and enjoyed every day, then choose the right tank that fits in that space.


Most aquariums are either made of glass or acrylic. In deciding which one to buy, keep in mind that both materials have pros and cons. Glass tanks are normally less expensive, easier to find in most pet stores, and do not scratch as easily. Acrylic tanks are lightweight, seamless, and are stronger than glass, making them more likely to withstand an exceptional blow. There are endless possibilities in customizing an acrylic tank. They are available in amazing shapes, styles, and colored backgrounds to match your home or office interior. Glass tanks can break or crack, which makes them more susceptible to leaks; however acrylic tanks are quite easily scratched, affecting their clarity.  Smaller glass aquariums are repairable, but it is almost always more cost efficient to just replace a broken glass tank.  An acrylic aquarium can be repaired and any smaller scratches can be buffed out of acrylic, bringing back the original clarity.

 As we build larger and larger tanks, acrylic is quickly becoming our medium of choice because almost ever tank over 250 gallons is considered “custom built” — even the rectangular ones.



Aquariums come in different shapes but the traditional rectangular fish tank is ideal and the most versatile as it can be used in any setup. Whether you choose a tall or wide aquarium, it will be a matter of personal taste.

Cylindrical and tall hexagonal fish tanks are extremely attractive and popular among experienced hobbyists. Tall aquariums have smaller bases allowing them to fit easily into a room, while still providing enough swimming space for the fish. When installing a tall aquarium, it is important to leave enough room above the tank for maintenance access.

Rectangular tanks look best against a wall, are easier to clean, and have a greater surface area allowing for better water circulation and oxygen exchange. Most fish prefer a wider area in which they can swim freely, laterally and for a longer distance.

Now go ahead and purchase your aquarium. Then decide what fish you like the most and what equipment you will need for your fish to survive. No matter what size, shape, and material of aquarium you decide to buy, you can have a healthy, appealing and beautiful environment for you and your fish to enjoy!

If you live in the New York metro area and are looking for someone to build you a custom aquarium, or if you are looking for someone to install a large standard aquarium, send us an email and let Aquarium Network build your dream tank today!


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