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The Basics

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Deciding on a location.

Aquariums can really be put anywhere in a home utilizing today's technology. The ability to choose between a free standing unit or a built in unit allow you to compliment your interior design, rather than hinder it.

There are a few location considerations. You really don't want a tank next to a radiator, or over a heating/cooling vent. Direct sunlight can also create problems and should be avoided if possible. Your going to want a power outlet close by.

All of the above are obvious, but this factor may not be. Water is heavy, 10 lbs. per gall a 48 x 18 x 18 aquarium holds 55 gallons = 550 lbs. + 60 lbs. of live sand + any rockwork + the tank and stand all of which could come to a whopping 750-1000 lbs. Most of the aquariums we do are 120 gallons and upward, with weights exceeding a ton. So make sure the floor is sound and use a properly constructed cabinet or stand.

Most importantly make sure it is placed somewhere that allows you to sit and look at it comfortably, that is the main point of it after all.

What size should I get?

As big as you can. I'm saying that more so as an aquarist than as a salesman. Get the largest size that fits the room and your budget.

This is mainly due to the fact that the greater the size of the aquarium, the more biologically stable it will be. Another reason; Livestock. A larger tank means you can have more fish. But more importantly you open up the availability of more species. Many marine fish grow quite large and all marine fish need swimming room. Length is the most important dimension. If you can do a 6 foot long tank do it. Our optimum tank size would be 120-180 gallons. That allows you to keep most species kept in saltwater aquaria. We've done tanks up to 1200 gallons.

Stability of the environment is the most important aspect of successful fish keeping.

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