Let’s start with the basics for new aquarium owners and future aquarium owners.
The most important things to consider when selecting your aquarium are:
l Your budget
l The amount of space you have for an aquarium
l The kinds of animals and how many animals you’re going to be housing in the system
l Do you want a glass aquarium or an acrylic aquarium?
Once you’ve answered all of these questions we can begin to decide what size you want and what type of aquarium you will want.
Let’s get down to business and figure out what aquarium is best for your needs.
Your budget will be an important factor in choosing a system.
It is important to bear in mind that a beginner aquarium owner should always seek to buy at least a medium-sized tank or bigger. The importance is to shy away from small tanks when you lack experience because a mistake made in a bigger tank will have less detrimental effects on the animals living within the system, as opposed to a small tank which will have less water to dilute your mistake.
The availability of space for your aquarium will bottleneck your choices.
The amount of space you have will be important in the decision of both what aquarium you’re going to buy and what kinds of animals you’re going to seek to house within the system safely. A very important factor is to consider the weight of the water. An aquarium can weigh over ten pounds per gallon, so it is important that this weight load will be stable wherever it is going to be housed.
So what kinds of animals would you like to house within your aquarium?
Do you want fresh water fish? Would you prefer salt water fish? Are the fish community-friendly or are they aggressive? These are the most important factors when determining what kind of aquarium you’re going to want to purchase. Community-friendly fish can be housed together, but aggressive fish must be housed separately to avoid any unfortunate incidents.
It is very important to consider the size of the aquarium when determining the amount of fish you’re going to house. To be safe you should consider having only one inch of fish per net gallon of water in your tank. It is better to err on the side of caution and when in doubt go with a bigger aquarium (if space permits) or go with fewer fish to ensure there are no issues.
Acrylic or Glass?
l Standard stock sizes and replacements are easy to find
l Very easy to clean
l Does not require a stand, like acrylic does
l Does not scratch easily, like acrylic does.
l Cheaper than the alternative
l Offers a less distorted view of the fish than glass
l Much more lightweight than glass
l Has smooth edges that do not chip, unlike glass.
l Highly customizable
So what are the most popular sizes?
A popular size for your first aquarium is 29 gallons. This is a basic standard that as long as you have the room for it allows you to have several small fish and will give the kids plenty to look at and enjoy. If size is an issue any tank ranging from 10-30 gallons is useful for beginners assuming you follow proper housing guidelines and as I said before the larger the tank the more protected the animals are.
If you’re feeling particularly bold another standard size tank that is generally longer is a 55 gallon aquarium which allows fish to have more personal room within the system and provides you with many more options.