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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Choosing A Fish Tank

by: Daci Georgieva

People think that if you choose to have a fish tank it is a simple decision, but it can become, instead of a pleasurable hobby but, a big disappointment. So consider several things to before you decide to buy it:

Location. To decide where to locate I you should consider not only its size but also its shape. Usually tanks have every gallon of water 8 pounds weight plus the weight of the tank itself. Rocks ornaments, filters, stands, hoods and gravel add the additional 4 pounds per gallon. A 50 gallon tank can weigh over 500 pounds and it can be positioned to a small floor area of your home. There could be an unexpected problem if your corners have been cut with the floor joists by the builder so first you should inspect the floor before choosing where to place it otherwise your tank would shake every time someone walks by,.Even you can find it find it downstairs which is the worst of all. Room temperature is also very important because heat can cause a lot of problems while excessive cold means additional expense in order to maintain a suitable temperature. Direct sunlight is also undesirable as it may cause an algae growth.

Shape. Shape of the tank is the second you should think about. There are huge numbers of options to choose from and this will make your decision hard . Different species need different tanks. If you want to have a show tank, then the viewing area is the most important. High tanks are best for Angelfish and Discus , shallow tanks with more surface area are better for fish like Danios or Goldfish which are fast moving species. Shape also affects aquarium plant life. Amazon Sword plants which other name is Echinodorus amazonicus need a wide, high area because they grow large , Egeria densa or so called Anacharis and Cabomba ( that is Cabomba caroliniana actually ) grow long and tall.

Octagonal tanks even tall ones limit your choices to select fish and plants nevertheless they create visual interest. The proper portion of water volume for the specific surface area is an important part in order to have healthy fish. It will take more time to maintain tanks with a smaller water volume; you should change the water more frequently. The best shape are rectangular tanks because they have best amount of water volume which provides the best gas exchange. You can yourself find out what size is the surface area of your tank by multiplying its length by width. Then divide that number by twelve to determine the maximum fish size in inches which you can have in your tank. If you do not want to calculate, just follow these tips: freshwater fish need approximately 12 square inches of space , cold water fish require 27 square inches and for marine fish this figure is 47 square inches.

Size. It is simple- just buy the largest tank that you can afford that fits the space in your home which you have selected. Larger tanks need no many efforts to maintain the tank and only a few water changes comparing to smaller tanks .Also you do not have to monitor the water quality very often. But maybe it is a good idea to to start with a 20or 30 gallon tank if you are beginner because larger tanks are daunting.

Construction. There are two different materials for fish tanks: acrylic or glass. You may think that traditional glass tanks are better as they are traditionally used,but have in mind that acrylic tanks have a number of advantages. They are available in any type of shapes you can imagine and they are also 17 times stronger because they flex rather than break, which makes them more impact resistant. One more plus is the view; acrylic tanks give a clearer view than glass tanks, their optical rating is 93% which is equal to that of optical glass. Acrylic tanks maintain better water temperature because their material is a good insulator .

Notice that their weight is by 50% lower than glass tanks. Another disadvantage of glass tanks is that they use silicone which can cause leaks which are rare in acrylic tanks. The solvent is not harmless to fish because itdissipates upon drying. The main disadvantage of acrylic tanks is that their surface scratches much more easily than glass surface so you should do interior cleaning very carefully by using special materials made for acrylic tanks. You can find cleaning pads at tropical fish stores which you can use for inside and outside maintenance of your acrylic tank. Acrylic tanks are more expensive than glass ones, but they surely worth the investment. You will notice that every public aquarium is made of acrylic

We think that after all those mentioned above you now probably have a better idea of what kind of tank is good for you.


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