Monday, December 15, 2008

Choosing an aquarium

How big should your aquarium be? Aquariums come in many shapes and sizes. It is
advisable to choose an aquarium that is at least 10 gallons/ 40 L, since small aquariums
are much more difficult to maintain. The waste build up in small aquariums is quick and
quite large in comparison with a larger aquarium. A small aquarium will therefore require
very frequent water changes. Changes in temperature or water chemistry will also take
place more quickly in small aquariums. Rapid changes in the temperature or water
chemistry are harmful for fish.
I would recommend a 30-gallon/120 L aquarium to novice aquarists, since this will
provide enough room for more fish and is easier to maintain as it has enough water
volume to dilute fish waste. A larger aquarium will naturally be even easier to maintain,
but the benefits of an aquarium that is larger than 30-gallon/120 L is not as significant as
the difference between a 30-gallon/120 L aquarium and a smaller one. A 30-gallon/120 L
aquarium is large enough to buffer against to rapid changes in water values. 30-
gallon/120 L is therefore an ideal beginner size.
Fish aquariums come in many shapes ranging from rectangular to hexagonal or even
cylindrical. While making your purchase, it is not only the beauty of the piece that
counts. Mundane matters like how easy it will be to clean out the aquarium regularly, and
how to keep all the nooks and crannies hygienic are important considerations.
The height of the aquarium is also a very important aspect. An aquarium that is very deep
is complicated to keep for the beginner aquarist. Increased height means greater difficulty
when cleaning and your aquarium might therefore always carry some amounts of waste
even after a thorough clean up. Poor light penetration is another problem with a deep
aquarium. Plants will not thrive in water that has poor light penetration and special
lighting is therefore needed in deep planted aquariums.

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