Aquarium Design

Some beginners will throw together a tank and in their enthusiasm to have it up and running and stocked with beautiful fish, will fail to realize that a bit of forethought into their aquarium design could have prevented them having to re-design their tank later.

First, think about what type of fish you’d like to keep. If you’re planning on a tank full of fancy goldfish, you’re choices for aquarium design are essentially limitless, as goldfish will readily adapt to many different environments. Just about any aquarium design will make a goldfish happy as long as the water is filtered properly!

With any long-finned tropical fish, you need to consider your plants and decor as to make it safe for the delicate finnage of your fish. Sharp-edged rocks or plastic plants will not be safe for this type of tank.

Also, will you have just a couple types of fish? You’ll need to research to be sure they are compatible in temperament as well as water temperature, pH, etc. If you decide on a community tank, you’ll have much more research to do in terms of fish characteristics and your aquarium design.

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Generally speaking, a tank can hold one inch of fish per gallon of water. In my tanks, I’m usually a bit more conservative, as I want my fish to be as happy and healthy as they can be. My personal rule-of-thumb is one inch of fish for every two gallons of water. This way, your filtration system won’t get overloaded and your water will stay cleaner longer. This will also cut down on algae and fish diseases and sickness.

Some other things to think about in aquarium design are:

  • Will you use plastic plants or real? Plastic are easier to deal with, but real aquatic plants will make the water healthier.
  • Where will your tank be located in your home?  This is important as your tank should not be in direct, or even bright, indirect sunlight. Too much sun and you’ll see what a complete pain it is to try to get rid of algae in your water.  (Ask me how I know!)

Putting some thought into your aquarium design before setup will save you much time and hassle in the long run, and you’ll be much happier with yourself for it!

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