Are you looking to buy your first fish tank or even upgrade from the one you currently have but are stuck and unsure of what to buy? On this page we are going to look at some tips to help you make the right choice.
The first step in the process of buying the right tank is to ask your self what fish you want to keep? For example, the type of tank required for you to keep goldfish will be a whole lot different to one if you want to keep neon’s etc.
Have a budget in mind! Setting up your first aquarium is going to be quite expensive, no matter if its fresh water, salt water or marine. Having a budget in mind will help you be able to find what’s right for you! Plan the fish you keep around what you can afford!
Smaller tanks obviously cost much less to buy, set up and run! They require smaller filters, smaller lights and more importantly less chemicals, which over the lifetime of which you own the aquarium can save you a considerable amount.
The downside to smaller aquariums is the limit on the amount of fish and in some cases the type of fish you can keep. Goldfish are pretty messy fish and can grow really big which not a lot of people ever consider when buying! Thankfully nowadays respectful aquatic shops ask how big your fish tank is and how many fish you have before they will allow you to buy fish.
Larger aquariums not only look the part but also open the doors to you being able to keep more fish in terms of quantity together with larger sized fish. The downside to this is they will use more electricity to run (pumps, filters and lights) together with requiring more chemicals such as water conditioner and medicines, not to mention the amount of maintenance they require.
- The next thing you need to consider is where you will be keeping the tank! Make sure you do your research here in terms of finding the maximum measurements you can accommodate! Don’t guess! The last thing you want is buying a tank that’s too big for where you want to place it! The most important thing to consider here is, where you’re placing the fish tank strong enough to accommodate the weight of the tank when it’s filled up with water? For some fish tanks you can buy a cabinet specifically built to take the weight of the tank, but for others you need to provide your own placeholder so to speak! It’s said that a litre of water weights roughly 1kg in weight! So base that on a 125 Litre fish tank! That’s around 125KG of weight! Are you really sure little coffee table can hold that kind of weight :D, just some food for thought!
When choosing the location of your tank. It’s worth considering these two factors! Where possible do not place your tank near to windows and doors! Lets start with windows! Keeping your tank near a window can cause a few problems! First it can alter the temperature of your tank together with accelerating the growth of algae!
- Time! How much free time do you have? Do you have the time to keep on top of cleaning a large aquarium? Lots of new fish keepers do not realize how much time looking after a fish tank takes! It really isn’t as easy as putting your fish in water and leaving it! They require weekly water changes, gravel vacuuming etc. In a large aquarium this can add up to quite a long time!
- Now you have an idea of your budget, the kind of fish you would like to keep and the size of the tank your able to fit in your house, you can begin your search! This should be the fun part! What id say is always choose a reputable / popular brand such as Aqua One, Fluval or Juwel. These companies specialise in manufacturing tanks and they are superior quality. There are tons of shapes from curved to square, tower and bowls. Read reviews, speak to experts but more importantly shop around!
- Fish tanks are expensive! There is no getting away from that! If you’re on a really tight budget it certainly doesn’t mean you cant have an impressive tank! You can often pick some pretty awesome tanks up on the second hand market! Check out places like Gumtree and eBay! You can often pick a tank up for less than half the price of what it would have cost new!
Buying a second hand fish tank tips:
- If buying second hand, make sure you view the tank before entering in to any kind of bid / buy it now contract! 9 times out of 10 the tank will be exactly as described but sometimes there can be a bad egg amongst the mix. If you can’t view before the listing ends check the seller’s feedback! If they have a good feedback score it can put your mind at ease!
- Make sure you inspect the tank for damage! Check the seals between the glass panels! Do they look intact? Are there any chips in the glass etc.? If anything looks dodgy, walk away! The last thing you want is to go to the extent of setting your tank up, getting your fish to have a leaky tank!
- Remember your budget! Don’t get involved in a bidding war, which takes you over it! There will ALWAYS be another tank that comes up.
- Make sure you can transport the tank from the seller to your home! It’s no good turning up to pick a 200+ litre tank up in a tiny car! It’s going to be a bit difficult!
- Make a list of everything that was included in the listing and make sure its there when you collect! I’ve forgot to pick the odd thing up in the past, which is just silly and annoying.
- Remember if something sounds too good to be true, then it normally is! If you see a tank that would normally cost £1000+ going for £50 something is a miss!
- Ask any questions before making the leap in to buying! Make sure the heater, filter, lights etc. all work! If something isn’t working factor in how much a replacement will cost! When I bought my aqua one 500 I bought it knowing that only one bulb was working! I priced a replacement bulb up which was £7 (Not bad but an extra cost to me)
Now you have your tank, you will need some ornaments to fill it with. Obviously you can get a lot of these from your local pet shop but one place you should definitely consider is “The Range”. They have some fantastic items and rock bottom prices!