Choosing a Tank
Choosing a Fish Tank : With the many different tanks to choose from, you can easily feel overwhelmed just walking into a pet store to purchase one. If you haven’t thought it out, you might not leave with the best tank for you or your fish.
The first thing is to decide exactly where the fish tank should be in your home. Find a place out of direct sunlight and drafts. The area should be large enough to allow you to move around the fish tank and stand. You will need to have enough room for easy maintenance, as well as space to sit and enjoy your new hobby. In other words, the more room the better.
There are two ways to look at fish tanks when it comes to size. Some people say that you should get the biggest tank that you can considering the amount of space available for it and the price. Other experts suggest starting off with a 10-to-20-gallon tank and working your way up.
What We Recommend When Choosing a Fish Tank
A Big Tank We're going to recommend that you purchase a larger tank - as big as your room and budget can handle. This is simply better for everyone, because the more room your fish have, the healthier they're going to be, as a larger tank will have more oxygen in the water. But that's not the only reason. A large fish tank distributes toxins in the water much more evenly than a smaller one, so a large tank is much more forgiving when it comes to toxin levels than a small tank with less water. Besides, caring for a larger tank is not any harder than caring for a smaller one: The fact is, there's no real difference!
With a freshwater tank, you also need to consider the size of the heater. Tanks larger than 50 gallons may need two heaters to evenly distribute the heat. It’s a good idea to have a spare tank, too, in case something breaks at a critical time. The filter is another essential for fish tanks. A general rule is that your water should pass through your filter at least four times an hour. Doesn't make sense to you yet? Try this: A 30-gallon tank requires a flow rate (check the packaging) of at least 120 gallons per hour (GPH). If you have the choice between a higher and lower flow rate, choose the higher flow rate. You can't go wrong with more, but you could have a problem with less.
Note: Sometimes the initial set-up of a fish tank can be quite expensive, especially if you decide to go with a larger size. If price is a concern consider these options.
You can search for sales online, as many businesses buy in bulk and pass on the savings. Another option is to buy equipment from popular auction houses like www.eBay.com, where people may be selling their filters and heaters for various reasons. You stand a chance of getting an amazing deal on something that's new or barely used. You also do not have to purchase all the required equipment at once. You can buy these things a little at a time - purchase a fish tank one month and set it where it needs to go. The next month purchase the filter and heaters, and so on.
The Shapes Oh My!
More and more, aquariums are being used for decoration. Because of this, you can find aquariums in several different sizes, shapes, and yes, even colors. The best shapes have the most water exposed - you can comfortably house more fish in a tank that is 80 gallons and long and short, than in a tall and thin 120-gallon tank. There are some companies who craft made-to-order tanks, allowing you to have any shape or size - look at some restaurants that feature a fish tank as an entrance to a second seating area! Arching like a doorway, fish tanks give a restaurant a relaxing and interesting look.
A Combo Pack?
When choosing a Fish Tank You're probably going to stumble across combination packages of all shapes and sizes. Many times, these packages include the filter, heater, and fish tank all wrapped in one. This can be a really wonderful option, but beware. Often the savings you get from this is because of the cheaper quality parts - check what's in the package deal and compare before you make any purchases.
Wait, Wait... Wait!!!
Stop right there. Put the aquarium down and step away from the specialty store. Don't touch that wallet! You're not ready to get an aquarium just yet; there's an important factor we still have to cover. Before you purchase a tank, think about the number of fish that you want in it. There's an easy way to calculate how many fish can go into a tank, so break out those calculators!
Multiply the length by the width of your potential aquarium and divide the answer by 12. The number in inches is the inches of fish that the aquarium can hold. Keep in mind that this calculation is for an average aquarium – one that is shorter and wider, rather than tall and thin. You really don't have to worry about this unless you're planning on reaching the maximum number of fish the aquarium can hold.
We will talk more about what fish live well together in our article about choosing your fish friends.
Thanks for reading our article on choosing a fish tank.