Pet fish and aquariums products have the highest sales following cat and dog products, making them a very popular addition to any home, office or waiting room. Aquariums add a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere to a room and can fit in with any decor style, from country to modern. When choosing an aquarium there are many factors to take into an account to get the right one to suit you, your space and the type of fish you want to keep.
The cost of an aquarium
Before purchasing an aquarium, you may think that buying a tank and some fish will be relatively cheap, with many start-up kits available. Your perfect aquarium needs to be an appropriate size for the amount and type of fish you want to keep, you’ll need a filter, water treatments, decorative ornaments, plants and food which can all add up. Once you’re all set up the monthly fees of running a large aquarium is up to $200, not including if you want to purchase new fish, with some rare and exotic ones coming in at over $100 each. It can be an expensive hobby, but also a very rewarding one.
Glass or acrylic tank
The type of fish you want to keep will play a role in what kind of tank you need. Glass aquariums are usually cheaper and scratch-resistant, but will be heavier, with a 5-gallon tank weighing in at around 60 lbs. An acrylic aquarium will be stronger and lighter, so if you like to move your room around often acrylic will make this easier. Acrylic can also be made into more interesting shapes, so depending on your decor, it may fit in better with your room.
How big is too big?
The type of fish and the amount of fish you want to keep will determine the size of the aquarium. If you have the space for a large tank you may be thinking “how big is too big?”. You need to work out if the floor can withstand the weight of your aquarium. A 30-gallon tank will weigh around 300 lbs, which is usually okay, but anything bigger and heavier may be a problem. To work this out take the number of gallons the tank holds and multiply by 10. Divide this by the square foot floor space the aquarium will use and that is the pounds per square foot. You’ll need a professional to work out how many pounds per square foot your flooring can support. Generally, the larger the footprint of the aquarium, the better, as the weight is distributed over more flooring.
Choosing your fish
Some fish are easier to care for than others, depending on the type of water they need, how often the water will need changing and if they are prone to diseases. Fish for beginners include danios, which are small active fish that like to be in groups of at least six. Danios can survive in a 5-gallon tank, but these hyperactive fish will thrive in a 10-gallon tank. Black mollies are also a beginner’s fish, these like to be kept in groups with 3 females to 1 male recommended to avoid aggression. Four black mollies together will need at least a 20-gallon aquarium, but ideally 45 gallons would be best.
Betta fish, also known as Siamese fighting fish, come in beautiful rainbow colors. True to their name, if you put two males in an aquarium together they will fight, often until one of them dies. Betta fish are associated with living in fish bowls or flower vases for decorative purposes, but they won’t be happy in these small environments due to lack of ornaments or plants. A 2.5-gallon tank is recommended as a minimum, but 5 gallons will provide more space to keep your betta fish happy.
Deciding on which type of fish and how many you want to keep are the biggest factors when it comes to choosing the perfect aquarium. The bigger the aquarium, the more expensive your new hobby will be, but your fish will be happier and healthier having more space to swim around and explore, which is the most important part. Your new aquarium will give your room a calm ambiance and your fish will undoubtedly become a part of your life.