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How To Select Your Aquarium

Aug 17, 2007
Far too many people start off on the wrong foot by acquiring an aquarium first and deciding what to do with it afterwards. Sometimes this turns out well enough, but it is equally likely to cause a good deal of difficulty and expense.

In selecting your aquarium there are three things you must consider. Where you are going to locate it; what size will be right; and what style you should choose. As there are certain conditions that must be observed in order to have a successful aquarium, we will discuss location, size and style separately.


Naturally you want to look at your fish, so choose a spot that will allow you to view them while you are seated comfortably. You will be watching them for hours.

Keep in mind that the beautiful colors of the fish are due to reflected light from their scales, so place your aquarium in a corner or along an inside wall where you have top or front light exclusively.

Although most tropical fish will withstand moderate variations of temperature it is best to avoid sudden or extreme changes. Remember that air circulation is a principal reason for varying temperature. This means that your aquarium should be located in a quiet place away from heaters or draughts or open windows.

Excessive light should be avoided also. Placing an aquarium in front of a window, or having a bright light shining in your aquarium, will cause the growth of disagreeable algae. Many kinds may form - some adhere to the glass, others form in filaments or strings throughout the aquarium, still others float and color the water green. You will then have the trouble of cleaning out your aquarium.


There will be a natural inclination to begin by buying a small tank to see how it goes, with the possibility of getting a bigger one later if successful. This may appear wise on the face of it, but experience has shown that the smaller sizes of aquaria are much more liable to have things go wrong than the larger ones, and the chances of the initial cost- being wasted or additional cost being continually incurred are greater with small tanks.

So we strongly advise you to get the largest tank you can accommodate or afford. This is simply because a large body of water is not so liable to sudden changes of temperature, and is less likely to be affected by small amounts of harmful matter that may get into the tank; while the added space gives the fish better exercise and a chance to get away from the occasional bully among them.


Today you can purchase an aquarium and style it to fit any decor - from traditional to modern, from handsome hardwood to wrought-iron, from knotty pine to polished chrome or plastic. You will find tanks finished so nicely that no other decoration is necessary - rectangular tanks with smooth or stippled stainless steel frames, modernistic flared styles where the top is wider than the bottom and is supported from the top of the tank, even large glass balls some two feet in diameter. Make your choice. Your own taste will dictate the tank you want to fit your location and size.

Keeping goldfish in small glass bowls is a form of cruelty which should be beneath the dignity of all people who call themselves civilized. Goldfish can be kept very successfully indoors in a properly filtered aquarium. They are ideal pets, being among the most colorful and easily cared-for fish, and do not require special heating. They must not be crowded, however.

Once you have considered the location, size and style of your aquarium, you are ready to buy one, and begin the wonderful hobby of fish-keeping.
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