People value things differently and the value we attach to prized possessions is often reflected in the degree of care we exhibit towards such things. While most persons may see as a fish as just another creature that makes up the population of an aquatic body, a few others see one (fish) as a friend that has to be closer to them than anything else. These few, as you must have perceived, are definitely aquarium hobbyists.

But desiring and owning a fish as a pet should not be seen as an end in itself; it is an exercise that could be quite demanding, especially considering that you, being an aquarist, are going to be bringing home a creature which is usually comfortable in its natural ‘estate‘ – or maybe some that looks like it – into a home that it is not familiar with. That takes some work, as well as acquiring the right set of accessories, and the very first accessory that comes to mind is an aquarium.

With many models of aquarium in the market or pet shops, the task of picking an appropriate one (that is, aquarium) could prove arduous or maybe unyielding – if you fail to put the first things first.

Now, talking about putting first things first; we have decided to share with you, in this article, some of the factors you need to keep in mind before setting out to make a purchase [of a choice aquarium]. So, read on to discover what we have for you as we hope that you build your aquatic pet(s) nothing but a home of convenience.

Size

What Size Tank

The number one factor that springs up is that which hovers around size – the size of the fish on one hand and that of the aquarium on the other. It is important that you get an aquarium that would be large enough for the species of fish you intend to keep. Nano tanks may work for some fish types – those that are small in size – but will definitely come up short when you consider keeping large(r) fish stock.

It is therefore imperative that you take note of the growth rate of your favorite aquatic creature particularly in the scenario whereby you will be breeding them.

Closely related to size is the number of fish species that would be occupying the tank. Do you intend keeping a mix of compatible fish species in the same or are you more about having a tank you could use for breeding? These are just some of the pertinent questions that should not be waved aside.

It must, however, be stressed that the size of the fish may not necessarily be all that you have to consider when focusing on the size of the desktop aquarium; the activity level of the fish also has to be looked at. Active swimmers like swordtails, zebra danios, angelfish, Odessa barbs and suchlike would normally require a lot of space to roam about within the internal space of the aquarium, therefore, a considerably large tank will be fitting for them.

You will have to look out for an aquarium that can adequately accommodate the number of fish species [you have in mind] without impeding their growth and development. More so, the lifestyle habit as it concerns whether the fish is a schooling type or a solitary one should also be weighed in on.

Irrespective of the lifestyle habit, swimming characteristics or size of the species of fish you have in mind, it has been established that large tanks are easier to maintain as they allow the water to cycle more readily and are more forgiving in case of error ensues in the course of keeping your aquarium fish. This is why individuals that are still learning the ropes as aquarium hobbyists are usually advised to start with large tanks.

Space/Positioning

Home Space for Fish Aquarium

Another factor that cannot be undermined while choosing an aquarium for your fish is the space or position you wish to set the aquarium after you must have obtained it. Will the aquarium fit into the space available or is the position such that would promote good/healthy living condition within the aquarium?

Bear in mind that having the aquarium in a position where sunlight easily and consistently gets to it could eventually encourage the growth of algae which, in turn, could prove detrimental to the well-being of your fish. In the same vein, positioning the aquarium in a place with sharp or regular fluctuation in temperature may also stress the fish.

Again, you should factor in the flooring or stand upon which the aquarium will sit. It (that is, the stand or flooring) should be solid enough to support the weight of the aquarium you are bringing in – you wouldn’t want to return home after a long day at work to meet the contents of the aquarium spilled all over the floor, right? From the foregoing, it behooves that you also look at the weight of the aquarium – you will get to read more on this when we get to talk about the material used in making aquariums.

Function

Aren’t aquariums meant to house or hold up aquatic species – be it plants, fish or any other one of the sort [you may ask]? Well, this is not lost on us but when it comes to specific function; one may get to consider the fact that some aquariums are built to keep either freshwater or saltwater aquatic species.

Though this is overlooked most times, anyone who does not want to end up spending more or wasting his/her time and effort in the course of running maintenance must make it a point of duty to know the kind of water the pet fish he/she is rooting for grows in so that the right pick [of aquarium] can be made.

Material

Material can be said to be a major determinant an item’s durability and how well it would be able to withstand certain insults [like scratch or chemical in this context]. The most commonly used materials for making aquarium are acrylic, plastic and glass. Though each of these materials is preferred for varying reasons, acrylic is vastly embraced by most aquarists. The reasons for this wide acceptance is not far-fetched; for one, the ultra-clear view presented by acrylic is acclaimed to beat that from any other material – this alone delights many aquarists to a considerable degree.

But that is not all; acrylic is also known to be very durable and would even withstand impact force, unlike glass which is fragile in most instances. Additionally, acrylic aquariums are generally pretty strong despite being a light-weight/thin material.

Nonetheless, acrylic does not have an appreciable anti-scratch property; this is why a couple of aquarists may prefer glass aquarium [over the one made with acrylic].

Design

Decorative Fish Tank

Upon the thought of the design of an aquarium flashing in your mind, you may most likely be carried away by the need to have a decorative piece that will add some aesthetic value to the interior space of your home or office as the case may be. Inasmuch as this is not out of place, it has to be noted that design goes beyond aesthetics, it also has to do with the body outline and swimming habit of your fish.

As it is, design is most times a function of shape, and while the conventional and commonly used type of aquarium usually come in rectangular form, there are now an ample of shapes [of aquarium] that can be found in the market – you may come across cylindrical aquarium, hexagonal aquarium and cuboid aquarium to mention just a few.

It is also important that you have it at the back of your mind that fish species with lengthy/long(er) body outline or those that are active swimmers may not thrive in an aquarium with a cylindrical design as they would appreciate a good space [as it is probable in a rectangular aquarium] that will enable them to stretch their body and have a good degree of freedom.

Budget

As aquariums are of varying sizes, designs and shapes, so do their prices vary; there are high-end ones as well as cheaper ones – there is an aquarium for anyone who desires to keep a fish within his/her interior space. Even if you are on a low budget, there is a possibility of getting an aquarium that is of good quality and highly functional for housing your favourite aquatic species.

The consideration given to budget does not [and should not] however end at the point of purchase. You have to also review the cost of maintenance. In this wise, you will have to factor how easy it is to clean and operate whichever aquarium you must have set your eyes on.

Once again, the durability of the aquarium should be brought into the limelight here; while acrylic aquariums are known to be relatively more expensive [than glass aquariums], they tend to stand the test of time better – this could mean saving cost in the long run.

Further along the line of budget, you should endeavour to know what (accessories) you will get from the package you will be ordering. There are a number of aquarium kits that come as a complete package – in them, you get to have some extras like LED lighting, thermometer, fish-net, filtration system, pump and so on. Having a kit such as this should yet help you to save some cost on accessories.But be careful not to go for a kit that has substandard accessories regardless of how low-cost it may be.

Besides these, however, it is pertinent that a good aquarium has certain features on its own. For instance, having a hood affixed plus an effective sealant which ensures that the product is leak-proof. Again, the material should be finely cut and the product well-finished.

Bonus Points

Manufacturer

Talks about pondering on the makers of aquarium when making a choice of a befitting home for a fish may be viewed as being less significant or inconsequential amidst the many options there are in the market. Notwithstanding, there is a peace of mind that comes with buying a product from a trusted name, and with respect to aquarium [and its accessories], names such as MarineLand, Tetra, Aqua Culture, Aqueon, SeaClear, etc readily come to mind.

Apart from the quality of the products that these trusted names etch out from their production line, there is also a high tendency that they ensure commendable customer satisfaction which means that you will less stress as you focus on the task of installing and operating your aquarium. Additionally, the products from these companies usually come with a warranty.

And, as you consider the manufacturer, you should also be mindful of the store you will be getting your aquarium from; you should be sure that it is not one that sells substandard/undervalued products.

Reviews

Having said all that we have, you will get to see more (details) about the particular aquarium you are trying to settle for by reading through the reviews submitted by those that have once used [or still using] it. Hence, you should not neglect what they have got to say about the aquarium you have in view.

Moreover, hearing from others could help you gain crucial information about how best to operate and maintain yours after you must have made a purchase. Learning from other people’s experiences is certainly a wise line of action to tow while choosing an aquarium as this would prevent you from spending money on expenses that are avoidable or on a less valuable product on the whole.

Parting Shot

As we draw the curtain on this article, we will like to drop the following line: your aquatic pet deserves the ‘painstaking‘ effort you take in ensuring that you get the right aquarium for it upkeep. As such, you should research all you can, take your time in scrutinizing and comparing the options available, and then make a purchase you know you will be comfortable with in the future.