Nothing is more frustrating than having to move an aquarium because you put it in a place that isn’t working out for one reason or another.
Aquariums are very heavy when fully loaded and must be drained to be moved to a new location. Don’t spend a lot of time setting up a tank if you’re not completely sure about its location.It’s better to take a day or two and look over your options than to just put up the aquarium without any forethought.
Start out on the right foot if you want to be successful.
- Understanding room temperature and your fish
- Running your fish ragged
- Finding a water source
- Considering space, electricity, and cleaning
Finding a Good Location for Your Aquarium
When you are looking for a good place to set up your aquarium, keep in mind that physical aspects of your home can have a major effect on its success or failure.
Carefully inspect the area where you plan to set up your aquarium to check for a few easily avoided hazards. A little good judgment and patience goes a long way.
We examine a few common physical problems that can occur when aquariums are placed in inadequate spots. (Check out Ultimate Beginner Guide on Aquarium Tank and Stand for some of the psychological aspects of tank placement.)
It is better to start your aquarium in the right place from the very beginning. It will save you a bunch of migraines later on.
Room Temperature and Its Effects
Most aquariums need a stable water temperature.
Extreme changes in temperature can lower your pets’ immune systems and increasetheir risk of contracting disease, and even cause your fish to die in a tropical tank.
Heaters can keep your water temperature high enough to preventyour fish from becoming floating fishcicles.
But if you place your aquarium in a room where the temperatureis 20 below zero, your heaters are going to go south for the winter,and your aquarium is going to be an ice sculpture.
The point is, your heaters can only handle so much. Poor water conditions such as fluctuating temperatures can cause another problem: As water temperature rises, the water loses oxygen.
After a shortperiod of time in a hot tank, your fish start gasping at the surface and can eventually die of asphyxiation. Extreme temperatures can damage their scales, fins, and other physical aspects as well. One piece of equipment designed to keep water temperature downis a chiller, but this can be very expensive.
Windows may seem innocent enough, but an aquarium placed near one is going to have several problems.
When normal, direct sunlight shines on an aquarium, the water temperature can reach lethal levels in a period of just a few hours if the windows have thin curtains or blinds.
Placing your aquarium near a window may also promote a tremendous overgrowth of algae. Once algae begins to overrun your aquarium, it can be really difficult to get rid of.
There are two types of doors in most homes: Interior doors that connect rooms and exterior doors that lead outside. Both types can wreak havoc on your aquarium in different ways:
- Exterior doors – Every time someone opens a door in wintertime, cold air seeps in and can hurt the fish
- Interior doors – They can be deadly if they hit your aquarium. It seems that most doorknobs are at a perfect level to slam into the glass on many tanks
One important thing to remember when placing your aquarium is the availability of a water faucet. Nobody wants to spend hours of backbreaking work hauling water around.
You have to have water to fill up your tank when you first set it up, and you also need to top off your tank from time to time as the water evaporates.
And don’t forget those weekly water changes. All that water lugging gets old quickly.
Checking the source
Make sure that the water you are going to use is free from heavy metals and other hazardous content.
Take a sample to your local water company or university and see if they will test it for you to make sure that it is safe for not only your own consumption but for your fish as well.
City water has chlorine, but that can all be removed using dechlorinator from your local fish store.
A Python is actually an amazing aquarium vacuum that is found in fish stores. It’s a long, clear water hose with one end that connects to your sink faucet.
The other end of the Python has a large plastic tube that suctions up water and gathers debris from around the substrate (gravel or other aquarium floor covering).
The faucet end has a little gadget that you push up or down to direct the water to either go from the faucet to the end of the hose or to suck water from the other end so that water spills into the sink.
Pythons are usually available in many lengths at pet shops. Get one long enough to hook one end up to the sink and suck the water out of the aquarium with the other.
To replace the water, reverse the python’s plastic switch, put the other end in a clean bucket by your aquarium, and fill it up. After adding dechlorinator, pick up the bucket and slowly pour the water into your aquarium.
Make sure the water you are adding is the same temperature as the water in the tank by using a thermometer.
There are a few other things to keep in mind when deciding where to place your tank.
Make sure you have enough space in your home to add your aquarium without having to sell any furniture.An easier method is to make sure that you have enough room for the tank you buy. Measure the intended spot so that you know exactly what size tank you can buy before you buy.
Check for electrical outlets near the place you want to set your tank. Nothing is more frustrating than setting up a tank only to find out that you have nowhere to plug in your aquarium equipment.
Make sure that electrical outlets are in good working condition and are close to the tank so you don’t have extension cords lying around, which can short out, look messy, are difficult to clean around, and can cause peopleto trip.
Be aware that your outlets are up to code. If necessary, get a professional electrician to install a new outlet; or use a multi-outlet strip.
Once in while, you have to do a little cleaning and maintenance on your aquarium. Leave enough room around the tank so that you can easily reach all sides of it without pushing against the tank itself. Trying to squeeze in behind a tank that is too close to the wall is flirting with disaster.Make sure when you are setting up your tank that you haveplenty of space to take care of any problems that may occur.