Many people are discovering the beauty and joy of having an aquarium in their dwellings and in the United States alone, an estimated 7.2 million homes have at least an aquarium or fish tank. Aquariums offer several benefits such as the ability to see different kinds of aquatic life, relaxation, and improved well-being. They are also versatile and can be set up as a built-in or as a stand-alone tank. If you’re planning to install an aquarium at home or in an office, a good design, proper set-up, and regular maintenance matter so that you can get the most enjoyment out of your fish tanks.

Design & Set-Up

One of the factors to consider before building an aquarium is to select a good location for your tank. It should not be placed in an area near a sunny window or in a drafty space. A location near a wall is ideal and it should also be accessible for cleaning and maintenance. When designing the aquarium, consider the materials that you will be using. For example, tanks come in different sizes and shapes, but are made of only two materials – glass and acrylic. Glass is cheaper, hard to scratch, and has a higher index of refraction while acrylic is more expensive, distorts less when viewed from an angle, and is harder to break. The size and shape of the tank is completely up to you, but bear in mind that the number of fish it can safely house depends on the volume and shape.

Choosing a base for your aquarium is the next step once your tank and stand are ready and placed in an ideal spot. The substrate which sits at the bottom of an aquarium is critical in ensuring that you have a healthy aquarium. Sand or gravel are the most common choices. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Both materials make your tank look attractive as they come in a variety of colors and sizes. Beyond their aesthetic purpose, substrates provide a home to beneficial bacteria helping eliminate waste from leftover food and plant debris. Substrate also creates a good habitat for your fishes offering places to burrow and forage. It improves the chemistry of the water and helps keep your plants alive by offering an area where they can root.

Maintenance Of Aquariums

The time you devote to basic aquarium maintenance is related to the rules of fishkeeping. Moreover, if the tank is properly set up, you should not have any trouble keeping your fishes and their environment healthy. First, you must avoid overcrowding your tank which will result in high levels of ammonia and nitrite and even aggression among fishes. Overfeeding your aquatic animals is also not a good thing as failure to change the water regularly.

To keep your aquariums healthy, make it a habit to look at the fishes daily or every two days. Check water temperature to ensure that they are at good levels usually between 76-80°F. Clean the inside of the front and side glass once a week and replace 25% of your tank’s water bi-weekly according to a Duke University primer. Filters must also be cleaned or changed every 2-8 weeks depending on the type of materials used.

Aquariums are attractive, relaxing, and calming. To ensure the health of aquatic animals and their environment, it is essential that they are designed and installed properly, and maintained regularly.

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