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Before Getting Started

aquarium with external filter

Before you invest in an aquarium there are several different elements you need to explore: your available space, budget, desired aquarium inhabitants, and intended aquascape design. Once you determine the size, placement and aquarium design you can choose the right aquarium equipment to keep your aquarium clean and healthy.

Aquarium Location

Aquariums can bring a lot of life and delight to any indoor space. Ideally you want to place your aquarium where it can be easily observed, making the most of your beautiful aquarium. 

Make sure to place your aquarium near electrical outlets to easily connect and hide power cords.  If you find an ideal location and there are no outlets nearby, consider hiring an electrician to add an outlet in your ideal location.

Protecting your aquarium from direct or continuous sunlight is important to your water quality and visual experience; algae is more likely to grown in water exposed to sunlight.

Vibrations caused from closed doors, high foot traffic, and movement of the air conditioning units and your home’s heater can cause agitation and stress for your aquarium inhabitants. Consider placing the aquarium along a longer wall to avoid these stressors.

Aquarium Design

It is very important to do your research before deciding on what aquarium inhabitants you will be caring for and before deciding on what your aquascape design will be. When designing your aquascape, keep in mind any specific needs of your fish or plants to create the perfect habitat for them. Your maintenance routine will be dependent on the fish and plant life in your aquarium. Read our Fish & Plants article for more information before selecting aquarium inhabitants and plants.

Aquarium Size

Picking an aquarium shape and size is based on your set-up location, budget, potential aquarium inhabitants, and intended aquascape. You want a size that is not only appropriate for your space but also for your aquarium inhabitants.

Aquarium Storage

It is important to consider the weight of the aquarium to determine what type of cabinet or stand the aquarium will be placed on. Some cabinets come as a set with an aquarium; however, if you decide to purchase them separately, consider a cabinet that can withstand the weight of your full aquarium and is proportional to the aquarium you have chosen.

Weight = 8.3 lbs. x Total Gallons

Aquarium Equipment

Aquarium equipment is needed to maintain the ecological balance in the aquarium.  In any variety of aquarium setup, you will find a filter and a heater. Read the Aquarium Equipment section for helpful tips and product suggestions.