003: Finding An Appropriate Location to Set Up Your Aquarium

Every aquarium needs some space to call its own within your home. And while there are likely numerous places in your home where your new tank would technically fit, finding one that’s just right is crucial to your long term success- or to keep you from pulling your hair out at least! You probably have already picked out a spot you think will be suitable for your new tank. But before you go dragging your aquarium into place it’s a good idea to make sure the location you’ve chosen is right for it. Finding a different place now will be infinitely easier than finding one once the aquarium is filled and running.


A Few Guidelines

To make things easier, your aquarium is going to need two things close by- water and electricity. Make sure there are adequate outlets nearby to run all the equipment. For the average tank oneĀ  should be enough, although two may be needed for a larger setup with lots of equipment. As for water, ideally there is a supply on the same floor as the tank. Carrying bucket after bucket of water up or down stairs gets old quick. And the more work maintenance is the less it usually ends up getting done.


Your tank doesn’t exist in isolation. The environment that surrounds it is important as well. Your aquarium should be placed away from direct sunlight. Sunlight will encourage excess algae growth. It can also cause the tank’s temperature to get too high. Along those same lines, the tank should be located away from the direct path of any vents or baseboard heaters that could affect the temperature. Finally, bathrooms should be entirely ruled out due to particulates from things like hair spray or soap as well as temperature fluctuations every time someone takes a shower.


Finally, and this should be obvious, but choose an area where the tank will be seen. Not only so it can be enjoyed, but also so it receives the care and attention it needs. Tanks stuffed away in a basement or back room often fall into neglect from a lack of attention. Problems can arise unexpectedly and catching them early is key to success.


Getting a Closer Look

Once you’ve found a decent looking spot you need to check out the what lies beneath. Make sure the floor where you want the aquarium to sit is strong enough to support it once fully filled. The weight of a filled aquarium can be roughly calculated as ten pounds per gallon. The floor also needs to be flat, level, and firm. Use a level over the entire surface to confirm its suitability. Check that the floor doesn’t flex or give when you stand on it. For larger tanks, above a few hundred pounds, weight can become a real limiting factor. For carpeted areas, try setting up the aquarium stand with some weight on it and check how it settles. Some stands may sink into carpet unevenly. If you have any doubts, consult a professional to verify the floor can withstand the weight.


Besides the floor underneath the tank, the area surrounding it is important as well. You’ll want plenty of room not only to run any tubes and cords for the equipment, but also for yourself to move around the tank with ease. Also consider the path the tank will need to take through your home to get to it’s final position. You don’t want to buy massive tank for your basement only to find it won’t fit down the stairs.


Finding just the right spot for your tank is critical to long term success. The wrong location means lots of extra work for you or even worse potentially severe damage to your tank or home. With any luck, using what you’ve learned here, you find the perfect spot the first time and are that much closer to having your first aquarium up and running.


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