How to start your first fish tank – what to consider

Dimensions of the fish tank

Aquarium surface area is important. This will contribute to providing superior oxygenation and facilitate the creation of an attractive aquatic theme. Height needs consideration. Marine and fresh water environments can benefit from taller aquariums, which can provide superior conditions for certain species of fish and plants.


A 20 gallon aquarium kit is great to get starting


A filled, complete aquarium setup will weigh approximately 10 pounds per gallon. The use of a proper aquarium cabinet or stand, and verification of the floor’s capacity to support the weight, are necessary. Large aquariums should be positioned close to a supporting wall. Placing the aquarium on a bookshelf, dresser, or other household furniture is not recommended as they are not sturdy enough to withstand the weight.

Type of aquarium

Two basic materials are used for aquarium construction, glass and acrylic. Glass is preferable due to reasonable cost, and superior ability to resist scratches and discoloration.


Aquarium Location

Place the aquarium away from sources which will influence temperature (radiators, fireplaces, windows), create vibration (high traffic areas) and allow light entry (windows, sky lights). A conveniently located, grounded electrical receptacle is important for heater, canopy and filtration components. Select a position where appreciated. Under no circumstances should any household electrical appliances be placed under or in close proximity to your aquarium.

Aquarium Preparations

Gently wipe down the aquarium using wet filter wool or a clean cloth and rinse with lukewarm water to clean your aquarium before filling. Never use a commercial glass cleaner, detergent, or chemical cleanser to clean inner or outer aquarium glass. Never use a bucket that has been exposed to soap, detergent, or and chemical cleaners to transport water for your aquarium. A mild aquarium cleaner can be used to clean inner (empty aquarium) or outer glass surfaces.

Canopies and Hoods

An aquarium hood is required to prevent water evaporation results in a lower water level that may damage aquarium filters and heaters. It also causes a build up of carbonates, minerals, or water hardness as water evaporates and minerals remain in the aquarium. An aquarium cover also prevents contaminants from getting into the tank.

aquarium hood

In addition, a hood will stop fish from jumping out of the aquarium. A completely closed cover has also been shown to be a major factor in maintaining aquarium temperature and keeping electricity costs down.

Aquarium Cabinets and Stands

Its strongly recommended to place your tank on a stand or cabinet designed for that purpose. Before placing the aquarium, it is suggested to level the stand. Proper support for the aquarium is essential at all four corners to prevent stress along the length of the sides.. Don’t forget that an aquarium weighs roughly 10 pounds per gallon so the stand needs to be very solid and level to protect it from being broken.


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