How to Choose The Right Custom Aquarium for You?
The type of custom aquarium setup you choose depends on many factors. For example in saltwater aquariums the first choice is whether a fish only system comprising of fish and rockwork is wanted or a reef system with coral, fish and invertebrates. Secondly the space you have available and also your budget.
Generally you will want to purchase the largest custom aquarium you can afford that will fit comfortably in your living space.
A larger custom aquarium will afford the opportunity to keep a larger array of species and stock in good health.
Likewise a custom aquarium with a larger surface area will afford better oxygen exchange, than that of a smaller surface area. The more oxygen that is allowed to enter the tank the greater the amount of harmful gasses such as carbon dioxide are driven out of your aquarium.
The oxygen content of the water is also influenced by temperature. In general, the warmer the water, the lower the oxygen content will be.
Most marine species from the tropics live in water that is 75 °F (24°C) or higher so this means that less oxygen is going to be available to them. This is when it becomes important to increase the surface area of the tank by making sure your custom saltwater aquarium setup is as large as possible.
There is no typical aquarium setup or size. Custom aquariums can almost come in any shape or size imaginable. However it is the shape of the aquarium not the volume that influences surface area. This means that two tanks with identical volume may not have the same surface area depending on their shape. An aquarium that is tall and narrow won’t have the same surface area as say a long aquarium. This is why it’s important to work out the available surface area so that different filtration methods can be utilized to accommodate any given shape or size.
Once you have chosen your tank it’s time to start thinking about the inhabitants. The size of your tank will dictate how many fish and invertebrates it can house. The main thing to avoid in your custom aquarium setup is overcrowding. Too many inhabitants may overload your filtration system. Fish living in cramped conditions can become stressed and this may lead to illness and death.
You can calculate how many fish your custom aquarium setup will hold. Initially stocking one inch (25mm) of fish per four gallons (16 Litres) of water over a period of six months. This means that a 40-gallon aquarium should not contain more than 10 inches of fish for the first six months.
So for example a 40-gallon custom aquarium may contain one 3-inch dwarf angel, two 1-inch clownfish, one 3-inch regal tang and two 1-inch blennies.
Of course, your fish are going to grow in your custom aquarium so you have to adjust for the increasing size of your fish. Fish size and compatibility of species are very important and will be covered in another article.
There are various options when first considering a custom aquarium. Firstly material, custom aquariums are available in either glass or acrylic. Glass is the most common for a custom aquarium below 72” (180cm) in length, and less than 30” (75cm) in height. This is due to its availability and lower manufacturing costs. Glass custom aquariums can also be built quickly. Onsite custom aquarium construction is also possible.
However for larger custom aquarium acrylic is the preferred choice. Acrylic is ten times stronger than glass and half the weight. It can therefore be formed into almost any shape or size. It also has the advantage of having no distortion, eliminating the ‘green tinge’ as seen on thicker glass. Acrylic is used in public aquariums and in many commercial fittings. Modern acrylics are more resistant to scratching however any minor scratches can be removed with ease.
Whatever custom aquarium you choose we will make sure it provides a healthy environment for your fish. Another thing to consider after purchase is maintenance, you may want to undertake this yourself however we are able to offer a full maintenance package to suit any situation so that you can sit back and enjoy the beautiful underwater world of you custom aquarium.