The success in the aquarium hobby requires research, learning, and patience. Most people do not spend time researching and discovering the current aquarium choices at home. Due to lack of research, many people have failed to maintain an aquarium successfully. Every year, thousands of new fish keepers will discover the natural wonders of the aquarium. In doing so, they discover aquatic life and observe their behavior directly. We advise researching about the material that is ideal for your aquarium, the aquarium systems available and the shape or size of the tank ideal for your fish type before venturing into fish keeping.
Aquarium Materials: Glass, Acrylic, or Plastic
When you start searching for a tank, you will realize there are a lot of options out there. I suggest looking at the material type in which the home aquarium is made. Hobbyists have the opportunity to choose between glass, acrylic, or plastic aquariums.
• Glass Aquariums
Glass aquariums are the most common nowadays. I would recommend a glass aquarium to beginners who want a tank of 150 gallons (568 liters) or less. Acrylic aquariums should be handled with care to avoid scratches, especially during the cleaning process, unlike the glass aquariums. The glass aquarium is easier on your wallet too.
• Acrylic Aquariums
Acrylic offers several great benefits that glass does not provide. Acrylic tanks have its advantages like being lighter, which makes it ideal for large tanks.
• Plastic Aquariums
Plastic aquariums are less popular than before. Plastic tanks are easily broken and are very likely to crack. In most cases, the small amount of water in the tank and the light often supplied causes severe problems of overheating and waste accumulation. Because of it’s small size, the water parameters can get bad pretty fast, and it is difficult to regulate the temperature. It would be wiser to stay away from plastic aquariums altogether since the disadvantages surpass the benefits.
Types of Aquarium System
• Freshwater Aquariums
This is the most common type and great for beginners because:
- They are inexpensive
- They are easy to maintain
- They offer a wide variety of fish
• Freshwater With Live Plants
In short we call them planted aquariums. Aquatic plants are kept and grown in this type of tank for the benefit of the environment inside the closed ecosystem and visual pleasure. When live plants are grown in a planned way with a combination of rocks, bog wood, sand and other natural elements they are called aquascaping. Aquascaping requires planning, patience and practice. But they are astounding and greatly rewarding.
• Coldwater Aquariums
Some fishes prefer colder water and some fishes like the tropical ones like warmer water. Usually an aquarium is considered coldwater tank if the temperature is below 70 degrees. One of the most common cold water species is goldfish. Gold fish tanks are the most common type in the entire fishkeeping hobby. However goldfishes are not the only coldwater species that you can keep.
• Brackish Aquariums
The brackish aquarium is a combination of salt water and fresh water. There are some fish to choose from, the most popular being the pufferfish (Tetraodon nigroviridis). People are generally less successful with brackish fish because it is difficult to maintain water quality, and most salt fishes are poorly housed before finally entering your aquarium.
• Marine Aquariums
I suggest that you should get used to caring for tropical freshwater fish for a while before venturing into marine tanks. The reason is, marine aquariums need salt water for the fish to survive. You must buy salt and prepare the saltwater mix before adding to the tank. There are so many small things and water parameters that should be closely monitored and controlled for a marine tank.
Marine aquariums contain beautiful fish, colorful corals, and spectacular invertebrates. These specimens are generally much more expensive than tropical freshwater specimens. Marine fish are somewhat sensitive to water conditions, and some fish & corals need a particular diet. In some places, it is difficult to find a supplier or a fish store. Marine aquarium equipment is more expensive in general.
• Marine Reef Aquarium
For many, living room reefs are an absolute dream. Reef aquariums are the most difficult ones in this hobby but that shouldn’t be discouraging you anyway. Before jumping into marine reefs you should gather some experience with the freshwater stuffs and get used to with the common terms like tank cycling, maintenance, water changing etc.
At the beginning you need not go after a large reef tank as that is going to surely cost a fortune, because being new you are bound to make mistakes. And that will increase you cost. So what I suggest is go for a nano reef tank instead and gather knowledge as much as possible.
Fish Tank Size And Shape
• Best Size Fish Tank For Beginners
Large tanks are more expensive, but they are easier to maintain and make it easier for beginners. The newly installed aquarium is biologically unstable. Levels of ammonia and toxic nitrites increase, and even kills the fish. In small aquariums, these levels increase more rapidly and at higher concentrations. There is not enough time to take action to solve the water problem. However, as the amount of water increases, things happen gradually and the time required to implement some possible solutions increases.
• Fish Tank Shapes
Active fish like barbs and danios need a longer aquarium, which means that the rectangular design has more horizontal space and is ideal for them. Territorial fish such as cichlids need a lot of space at the bottom. If you want to keep this type of fish, keep it away from narrow or tall aquariums. However, some fish also like high aquariums. They may be ideal for less active fish such as angelfish, discus and gourami. The tall, narrow shapes do not provide a swimming area or sufficient area for gas exchange. You should try to avoid them.
Round shaped aquariums should be avoided as well. Round shape is not good for swimming and it is stressful for your aquatic pets.
Once you are done with the selection process you may look into the ideas of fish tanks.
When you decide to buy your next or first aquarium, consider the type of fish you want to keep and the space you have, then purchase the largest aquarium that meets your needs. As always, the real fish species are studied to ensure the purchase of the correct amount of fish corresponding to the amount of water contained in the aquarium. The glass and acrylic tanks are fixed with a silicone sealant (100% transparent for the most part). When selecting a fish tank, carefully inspect all joints to ensure that the silicon is not damaged. Poor sealing or silicone damage can cause leaks and headaches.
Table of Contents
- Aquarium Materials: Glass, Acrylic, or Plastic
- Types of Aquarium System
- Fish Tank Size And Shape
- Final Words