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Choosing the best location to set up your aquarium

Choosing the best location to set up your aquarium

When it comes to setting up an aquarium, location matters. If you’re new to aquariums, there are a few important things to consider before setting up your tank. Even if you’re just moving an existing aquarium to a new home or apartment, it’s important to make a plan before filling the tank with water. You probably have a few places that seem like good spots for the aquarium, but not all of them may be suitable. This article will take you step-by-step through the process of determining the best location to set up your aquarium.

Aquariums are heavy!

That empty ten-gallon aquarium may seem like it’s heavy now, but once it’s filled with gravel and water it will weigh almost 100 pounds! And here’s why: each gallon of water weighs about nine pounds, so a twenty-gallon aquarium will weigh around 200 pounds once you add gravel and fill it with water! The first step is figuring out if that counter or table can hold the weight of it. Kit furniture—made of pressboard—may look nice, but it’s not designed to support heavy loads. Another potential spot for trouble is a child’s dresser or chest of drawers. The dresser may be able to support a small “kid’s aquarium,” but the extra weight could make the dresser top-heavy. If a child were to climb on an open drawer, the dresser could tip forward, aquarium and all, so it’s better to place the tank on a low table where the child can see the fish without having to climb on anything. If your floor is uneven, level the aquarium’s stand before placing the aquarium on it. Never level the aquarium by placing shims under the tank; it puts stress on the tank’s seals and can cause a leak. The bottom line is to make sure the aquarium is sitting on a strong, stable piece of furniture. Choose a purpose-built aquarium stand, which is designed to support the weight of the tank, water, gravel, and ornaments.


Avoid drafts and warm areas

Water temperature directly affects the fish’s health. Your fish will stay healthy when the water temperature remains stable. If the water is too cool or the temperature fluctuates, the fish will be stressed. An aquarium heater will automatically increase the water temperature, preventing any problems caused by temperature drops. If your aquarium is placed near an air conditioner or HVAC duct, it may get a blast of cold air. The same goes for heating ducts, and it’s not a good idea to put your aquarium near a woodstove. You may have been told never to set up an aquarium near a window, too. Placing an aquarium directly in front of a sunny window could cause the water temperature to rise, though in modern climate-controlled homes and offices, this is unlikely.


Electrical safety and your aquarium

Your aquarium will need electricity to run the power filter, light, and heater. A single wall outlet will easily provide enough electricity for the aquarium. It’s recommended that you use a high-quality power strip, positioned away from potential water drips. Make sure all the equipment wires form a drip loop. The loop prevents water from running down the power cord and into the electrical outlet. Your equipment manual describes how to create a drip loop. Don’t ignore this safety precaution!

Your equipment manual describes how to create a drip loop. Don’t ignore this safety precaution! 


Water for the aquarium

If you’re new to aquarium keeping, get ready to carry water. There’s the initial fill-up of course, but you’re not done yet! Aquariums lose water through evaporation. Every three to seven days, you’ll need to add water to keep the tank full. Partial water changes are also required to clean the gravel and change out old water. Water changes are one of the most effective ways of keeping the water clean and clear. This means monthly maintenance of removing old water and replacing it with new water, so it helps if you have a water source close by. You can run a hose from the water source to the tank, using a ready-made aquarium hose kit.

Avoid high-traffic areas

Aquariums are made from glass, plastic, or acrylic. The tank can be accidentally scratched or chipped by things like a vacuum cleaner, mop handle, toys, or any other solid object. Aquarium stands can also be scratched when something rubs against the finish. When choosing a location, think about who and what uses the area around the aquarium. For example, placing your aquarium next to a busy doorway is probably not a good idea.

When choosing a location, think about who and what uses the area around the aquarium. 



It’s exciting to set up your first aquarium. Thorough location planning will make it a lot easier to set up and maintain a beautiful aquarium. The time-tested factors listed in this guide will ensure your new aquarium will be placed in the best spot for your home or office.

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