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How to choose an aquarium – useful tips for beginners

Hello everyone, dear readers of Aquablog. Glad to contemplate you again on the pages of this resource and as a thank you from me, I have prepared for you another article on the topic: How to choose an aquarium? And indeed, many novice aquarists ask this question, and they ask themselves very much in the subject, unless of course they have already bought it, and then ask if I took it.

In this article, or rather in the first part of this article, I will try to reveal to you, dear readers, the maximum subtleties in this difficult task – choosing an aquarium. So. let’s start 🙂

First, let’s first determine what kind of aquariums are. At the moment there are two main types of aquariums: decorative and special. These are such large groups that they had to be divided into subgroups, which we will now also analyze.

A decorative aquarium can be a collection, species, paludarium, Dutch or terrarium.

Special aquariums are subdivided into the following subgroups: incubator, spawning pool, quarantine aquarium, nursery and experimental. Most beginner aquarists begin their journey by choosing the shape of the future aquarium, its size and finish.

So, the shape of the aquarium, you can choose, in principle, any, ranging from round columns to conventional rectangular aquariums. The main thing when choosing an aquarium, harmoniously fit it into the design of the room where it will be installed. There is another option: you want to put the aquarium in a special niche in the closet and you need an unusual shape aquarium.

You will not be able to make an aquarium with rounded glass yourself, so it’s better to order from a master or buy it in a normal store.

Often, aquariums of unusual shapes are used as partitions between rooms, in furniture niches. But with all this, aquariums with unusual shapes, embedded in niches are somewhat inconvenient to maintain.

If you want to buy products of our specialists, buy a company, just get ready to pay a decent amount for it! Only you can just sniff and fake, as is often the case in other areas of trade, but at least I have not heard of that.

As they say, forewarned – armed.

Most of the current aquariums are glued, so when you buy a ready-made jar at a pet store, inspect it carefully for cracks, chips, bumps, scratches or broken corners. Pay special attention to the seams, the silicone should be evenly distributed throughout the seam and it should be without voids. All of these points above play a key role, as an aquarium with a broken manufacturing technology can play a cruel joke with you.

Let’s take a look at the parts of the aquarium in more detail!

As I have already said, the shapes of the glasses can be different and they are usually made of acrylic glass (or plexiglass) and silicate glass (the so-called display glass). By their qualities, they differ significantly from each other. If your area allows and the interior of the room requires a large aquarium, it is better to stay on an aquarium made of acrylic glass.

Aquariums of medium and small volumes can be made of display glass.

Acrylic glass is substantially less silicate in density. Take two aquariums made of acrylic glass and silicate and you will feel the difference in the weight of the can.

Only now it’s not the frame itself that puts the main pressure on the cabinet on the aquarium, but the water itself and the interior decor. If you buy a large-volume aquarium, you must select an appropriate tank for it, so that it does not sink under the weight of all this mass and does not give distortions.

In no case is a moment allowed for the parts of the aquarium to protrude to the limits of the pedestal; let the best base of the pedestal be two or three centimeters larger than the bottom of the can.

Aquariums made of plexiglass will be better to keep the heat of the aquarium water, which is very useful for our post-Soviet countries, as it can turn off the light for several days in winter in the cold, and the aquarium is not heated all the time.

Silicate glass is hard to scratch and it is harder, although quite fragile. Scratches on the glasses significantly reduce their strength, because the surface tension of the glass itself is broken.

If, however, the scratch is on the glass, you can hardly get rid of it without a trace.

Standard rectangular aquariums are made mainly of silicate glass. Just the technology of making curved glass is quite complicated.

For example, for me, aquariums with curved glass do not like for one simple reason – they distort the inner world of the aquarium.

Another advantage of acrylic over silicate glass is that you can drill in acrylic, which is very useful when you want to attach a terrace or a shelf for plants to the wall of an aquarium inside. Acrylic itself is a soft material and more plastic and lightweight. Smashing it is much harder, but easier to scratch.

To avoid scratching the acrylic glass, wipe it regularly with a soft flannel or other soft cloth. Just before wiping the glass, carefully inspect the wiping material, abrasive particles can get on it and you can aggravate the situation.

Acrylic glass is most widely used in the manufacture of panoramic aquariums of various shapes. And one more plus of acrylic – it is safety, plus the bottom of acrylic glass will be more reliable if the base is uneven.

The glass should not have scratches, cracks, chips and shells. When buying an aquarium, carefully look through the glass: even the smallest scratch can catch the eye after you pour water into the aquarium and cut in the light.

What can you say about the thickness of the aquarium glass? The larger the volume of the aquarium, the thicker should be the glass from which it is made. I have a post on the blog about making an aquarium myself, so there is a picture that shows the dimensions of the aquarium and, accordingly, the required glass thickness.

Remember one thing – the higher the tank, the thicker you need glass.

If you take two aquariums of the same volume, only one rectangular and the second corner, an aquarium with curved glass will be more expensive. This high cost is justified by the number of bent walls, the number of operations for the manufacture of stiffeners, curved bottom and so on.

Therefore, I advise you to best buy a standard type of aquarium – rectangular without any show off. And of course there is your business, perhaps your interior design requires only a fenders aquarium.

Aquarium seams can say a lot, for example, the quality of the product as a whole. At the seams should not be any growths, or mounds, and other defects. If on the walls of the aquarium you can see silicone rubbish, then you can congratulate you – you bought a product of poor quality.

The color of the sealant does not play any role. You can take both black silicone and white.

According to numerous experiments, it became clear that with normal bonding technology, the glass in the aquarium would burst faster than the seam would break.

Pay attention to the ends of the glasses on the aquarium. If they are polished qualitatively, then this is a good indicator. An aquarium made by handicraft methods will definitely be cheaper.

Glasses with polished ends will be safer during gluing, plus microcracks are removed by grinding. It is because of these microcracks that aquariums of large volumes are destroyed.

Glass strips are used as stiffeners to strengthen the walls of the aquarium. The thickness of the ribs will be the same as that of the main glass and the width they can be up to 5 centimeters.

If the aquarium is longer than half a meter, then the presence of stiffeners is a mandatory aspect.

Glue stiffeners perpendicular to the glasses of the aquarium (front and rear wall in 2-3 centimeters from the top of the aquarium). In addition to strengthening the aquarium, stiffeners are used to put a cover glass on them.

In addition to the ribs, screeds are also used, but only if the aquarium is longer than one and a half meters. The width of the ties will be the same as the stiffeners.

This concludes the first part, subscribe to the blog posting so as not to miss the output of the second part, in which I will talk about the tank under the aquarium and other necessary attributes for the successful maintenance of the aquarium. I was glad to write this post for you, I hope you put into practice the advice that I gave you and everything will be fine with you.

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