If you have decided to include a custom or built-in aquarium in your home, you may not be sure just where to start with your plans. Unfortunately, many people greatly underestimate the amount of time, planning and effort involved in a custom aquarium. Here are some factors to take into consideration before you being.
A Proper Home for the Life Inside
The dimensions and layout of your aquarium will be partially dictated by the life you plan to keep in it. Corals and sponges require special care, as do certain saltwater setups. Think very carefully about the inhabitants of your tank before drawing up the plans.
You will need to factor in more than enough space for proper ventilation, especially if your tank is going to be built in. Overheating the aquarium can not only destroy your pumps and filters, but it can destroy the delicate balance of the life inside the tank. Cooling systems are huge investments, so save yourself plenty of frustration and plan for good ventilation from the beginning.
Space for Easy Maintenance
You will want to include space above the tank so that cleaning the aquarium is possible without major contortions. You will also need space above the tank for adding and removing elements such as decorations. If cabinets or shelves are to be placed above the aquarium, make sure they can be removed easily.
Adequate Space Below the Aquarium
The filters, pumps and lights necessary can be placed under the tank on the floor below it, if you plan this before having any aspect of installation done. Not only does this allow for more room and easier maintenance of the equipment, it can also decrease the chances of the motors overheating. You will likely need to have access holes drilled through the floors, so think of this before you have hardwood or carpeting installed.
A Realistic Time Line
The delicate balance of an aquarium can take months to reach. Even after installation, the water’s temperature and ph must be correct and you will need to slowly introduce all of the living elements into the habitat. Don’t expect to fill it up and have the entire aquarium perfect within a week.
Planning out your custom aquarium is an awesome project, but there are a lot of factors that go into making it a success. If you need help with any aspect of your aquarium, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Jason Denton is a writer for SeaQuatic Aquariums, the premier custom aquarium designers. We are an acrylic tank manufacturer.