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How to choose the right home aquarium: tips for beginners

Aquarium at home is a piece of the underwater world with its beautiful inhabitants and various plants. This is a stylish element in any interior.

The beautiful decorations of the aquarium in combination with interesting pets can bewitch for a long time period and cause you pleasant emotions.

To do this, you need to choose the right capacity and equipment. How to choose an aquarium for the house – a question that interests many beginners.

We will tell about it in today’s article.

But before we proceed to the tips, we suggest that you answer a few questions:

Do all homes agree with this purchase?
The aquarium is somehow a device, it murmurs with filters and shines with lamps. He will not disturb anyone?

You already know where you put it?
Two old stools with a mezzanine, which you did not know where to put, will not work. Even 10 liters of water on the floor look almost like a flood, and 100 liters is a real disaster.
The most appropriate solution for large aquariums (60+ liters) is to buy them complete with a pedestal. Weight 100 liter aquarium can exceed 120 kg!

But the most important thing is that the plane under the aquarium should be even, overhangs or inclinations are unacceptable. All this will lead to trouble!

Do you understand that you need to care for him?
Fish feel hunger, pain. They are scared.

They are prisoners of our hobby and we just have to provide them with the most heavenly living conditions. And for this you need to clearly understand that when you start an aquarium, you must change a part of the water in it at least once every 2 weeks (in smaller volumes more often), clean it, feed your fish. It requires a certain organization.

During the week of your vacation, if there are plants in the aquarium, the fish will not die of hunger, this is not a cat, but for a longer period they cannot be left completely without food. The question can solve the automatic feeding!

But you must be prepared for these costs.

These are not complex issues, but they need to be resolved before purchasing an aquarium.

What sizes and proportions are more suitable for the first aquarium?

When selecting an aquarium, pay attention to the size and aspect ratio. It is known that an aquarium has a depth, width and height.

The length can be twice the width, and the depth can be much less than the width. What does it mean?

This means that the aquarium can be long and narrow or long, wide and shallow. Speaking about the choice of the size of the aquarium you need to understand what you want to buy and why. A narrow screen, an aquarium for comfortable observation of fish or for the rapid rise of fry.

These types of combines a rectangular shape, but distinguishes the aspect ratio, which affects the purpose.

For home, choose a deep and wide aquarium. This aspect ratio will facilitate the content and provide the right amount for professional design.

Volume is the second important characteristic of an aquarium. It determines the number of fish that you can keep and the design that you can do. A well-known fact, the larger the aquarium, the easier it is to keep it.

This is one of the basic rules that beginners constantly ignore, preferring small aquariums.

In a large aquarium, changing the ecosystem occurs more slowly and this allows you to have time to react to a negative incident: from aquarium filter failure to a serious outbreak of bacterial infection. In a small volume aquarium, negative changes occur quickly and are fatal in nature to fish and aquarium plants.

From the height of personal experience, I recommend choosing an aquarium with a minimum volume of 60 liters. The optimal volume, I will call 100 liters.

Difficult to answer. Each of these materials has advantages and disadvantages. Glass is easier to clean, it does not scratch when washing.

But the glass surface reacts with water, which changes the level of acidity.

Plastic is safer for both humans and fish. You can not be afraid of sharp fragments in the case of a second awkwardness. In glass aquariums, the eggs of some fish die more often.

However, plastic quickly fails, losing its former appearance. To increase the service life of the surface is cleaned with a nylon sponge or nylon bag filled with fine salt.

Aquarium species. How to choose: corner, wall, panoramic, rectangular or round?

Consider which aquarium to choose for your home. Here are the main varieties:

People often buy such a model because of space saving, which is suitable not only for the home, but also for the office. It has a large width and depth of the glass part, so it fits perfectly into different interiors.

Due to its spaciousness, the corner “vessel” creates a unique decor in the house in the form of a beautiful underwater harbor or a blue lagoon.

These models have narrow forms of tanks, it is difficult to care for them, not all varieties of aquarium fish get along there. For a long time such containers caused suspicion among amateurs and professionals. Currently, manufacturers have coped with this problem.

The wall-mounted aquarium world in its modern variation is fascinating and enthralling. Also, the maintenance of life inside the reservoir is a complex system of technological and innovative computer solutions.

The peculiarity of the model is in a curved viewing window, which can be of three shapes: rectangular, round, angular. Thanks to the “magnifying glass” effect, you can see all the details of water pets.

In another way – the classic, because it can ideally contain all types of fish. An important condition is the coincidence of the width of the tank with the height. With these parameters, the water space is well enriched with oxygen, and the fish swim freely.

Rectangular models are very comfortable, they easily recreate the ocean and marine underwater landscape. Placing such a tank indoors is not easy, but it will justify your efforts.

Capacities of such geometry are usually chosen by professionals who are well aware of how to care for fish in an aquarium. This housing is perfect for skates, catfish (which need a wide area of ​​the bottom), as well as piranhas, discus, scalar (which require great depth).

One of the most popular varieties, which is ideal for complementing any interior – from a strict business office to a children’s room. Due to the small size of the water in such an aquarium is quickly polluted, therefore, to maintain the comfortable living conditions of its inhabitants, you need to carefully select the equipment and know which fish are suitable for small tanks.

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The aquarium is essentially a life-support complex of the organisms that are in it. Professional aquarists use the following requirements for the definition of a tank class for fish:

  • Water quality in relation to indicators of biochemical and biophysical parameters;
  • The habitat of the fauna and flora that they plan to inhabit;
  • Capacity and its functional purpose.

A modern aquarium is primarily a reservoir with a life support system that includes a variety of equipment (filters, heaters, lighting, pipe system, etc.). Forms and sizes of home aquariums can be very different, it all depends on your financial capabilities.

You can purchase a separate tank, and then up to equip it with everything you need, or you can buy a ready-made aquarium, fully equipped with built-in equipment and a stand (stand) for it. The latter option is the most preferable for beginners and even experienced aquarists, since it significantly saves time and effort, and its cost often turns out to be lower than if you build and equip a tank with a similar volume for an aquarium yourself.

A separate category includes aquariums from professional specialized companies that can build almost anything for the appropriate amount, but they are not the subject of this site.

Thus, the choice of aquarium depends entirely on your preferences, financial capabilities and experience. In turn, the aquarium industry and specialized companies are able to satisfy any requests from a small desktop nano-aquarium to a huge biotope of thousands of liters.

Before proceeding to the selection, it is worth answering a few questions for yourself:

  • What material should the product be made of?
  • What shape?
  • Where is more convenient to buy?
  • How the chosen cabinet will fit into the interior?

The aquarium stand should be made of waterproof, durable material. When cleaning, replacing the aquatic system, inevitable liquid will hit the surface. Over time, this leads to deformations.

To minimize the moisture-absorbing properties of wood, use chipboard or MDF (from the fine fraction). When buying a consultant, you need to say that you need a special cabinet.

Note: In the stand, you can hide various equipment designed to ensure the vital activity of aquatic flora and fauna.

Choosing a compressor for an aquarium, you need, first of all, to focus on its performance. The desired value of this indicator is directly dependent on the volume of water that needs to be saturated with oxygen. It’s easy to calculate sufficient performance.

It is enough to multiply the displacement of the aquarium by 0.8. It is this performance per hour per liter of volume that will be quite sufficient to provide the required degree of aeration. Although, as experts note, in some cases this figure can be reduced to 0.5 l / h, and in some cases it is better to increase to 1 l / h.

It all depends on what kind of inhabitants will inhabit the aquarium. After all, each type of fish feels more comfortable in conditions as close as possible to the natural.

The most important condition for the favorable life of your aquarium is to maintain a certain temperature, optimal for a particular type of fish. Usually the fish need a temperature of 22 to 32 degrees, depending on their species.

Until recently, aquarists actively used simple heaters. In some specialized stores, heaters are sold now, but it is not recommended to purchase them. Now came the blessed era of thermostats.

Power thermostats depends on how large the aquarium. Experts recommend a power of 1.5 watts per 1 liter of water.

For example: an aquarium of 100 liters will require a 150 watt heater.

Fish owners should also be aware that the colder it is in the room, the faster the water in the aquarium cools, and the greatest cooling threatens aquariums with a large area of ​​its walls. Therefore, it is best to purchase heaters “with a stock”, ie, more powerful. Such heaters easily and quickly cope with a decrease in temperature, operate smoothly, without overheating, and last much longer.

But powerful heaters must be of high quality.

It will not be out of place to know also that the cost of a heater is not particularly dependent on its capacity, and energy consumption, too. The whole question is about the reliability of the device, i.e., the thermostat and the heating element.

When the thermostat of a powerful heater breaks, the inhabitants of the aquarium have two not very encouraging options – to die either from cold or from the unusually high temperature of the water. Some, in order to avoid such sad consequences, acquire 2 heaters of average power.

If one thermostat fails, the other will support the optimal habitat. If one of the thermostats breaks, the water will not reach the critical temperature, and the fish will eventually be fine.

But, as you know, good cheap does not happen. A couple of high-quality heaters will cost you twice as much as one simple.

The right to choose is yours.

When choosing a lighting lamp, there are many nuances that ultimately make the water space more saturated with colors. Many aquarists use different calculations when choosing lighting lamps and now we will give some examples (Figure 10):

  • According to the electric power consumption of the lamp (on average, 1W per 1cm length of the capacitance);
  • According to the efficiency of light (30-50 lumens per 1 liter of capacity);
  • By area (0.7W per 1 sq. Decimeter);
  • According to the volume of the tank (0.5W per 1l capacity).

However, one should not forget that part of the light produced can be transformed into heat or dissipated in water. To prevent this, you must use a light reflector, which can direct up to 95% of the light inside.

It is also not recommended to make the lighting too intense, as this can cause overheating of the water and the multiplication of pathogenic microorganisms.

How to choose the best internal filter for water purification in the aquarium

The choice of internal filter should be based on the characteristics of the filtering material and the power of the compressor.

The larger the aquarium, the more powerful the compressor should be. A foam rubber sponge often acts as a filtering element; in addition, sand and other materials are used.

The internal filter is suitable for aquariums of no more than 200 liters.

In Russia, most aquarists prefer to buy an internal filter for a Tetra aquarium. This universal device is suitable for almost all small aquariums, is sold at an affordable price, different compact size.

Installing the device is performed on the back or side wall on the suction cups and even on the bottom.

Aquarium feeders are automatic and conventional. Conventional feeders can be seen on the surface of the water or attached to the wall using a suction cup.

This trough is a barrier for dry feed.

At the same time, automatic feeders can be programmed to issue feed at a specific time and the desired portion. Food using automatic feeders through autonomous and central power supply. Mostly such feeders are provided for dry feed (flakes, granules, tablets) and protect fish food from moisture.

Automatic feeder is ideal for people with frequent trips or long trips, because at this time you need to feed your water pets remotely.

The aquarium is a beautiful fish, fascinating sea gardens, artificial or natural corals and other invertebrates, successfully fits into a silent idyll. Well, and of course the equipment, a lot of equipment: filters, pumps, aerators, flow simulators, heater, thermometer, etc.

Understandably, the thing is that the marine surroundings, against the background of which a brilliant heater pipe is seen, looks, to put it mildly, not very. However, to gracefully hide the equipment inside the aquarium will require considerable skill and creative thinking.

It will not be easy for newcomers here, but you can get rid of the kind of electric filters, wires and air pumps behind the aquarium using only the background.

At first glance it may seem that there can be difficult?

In fact, the color and texture of the background has a serious impact on the final perception of the surroundings as a whole. In conversations about backgrounds, aquarists often touch ready-made photo landscapes: the cheapest, and the simplest solution for those who do not plan to do aquascaping.

The fact is that such landscapes cast a massive “shadow” on all other accessories, behind which are the distinctive features of plants, stones and snags.

Amazing and original design solutions in the presence of such vivid photo-landscapes are transformed into a simple pile of plants and accessories, the thin line between art and the forced filling of empty space is erased, natural colors are smeared. And if you plan to show off to the guests not just an aquarium as such, but its inhabitants and decor, preference should be given to a one-colored backdrop.

Many novice aquarists, in order not to bother with the strengthening of cardboard backs, simply paint the glass in the desired color. But everything is not so simple.

First, most of the solvents and coloring components are toxic to the inhabitants of the aquarium, therefore it is necessary to ensure that the paint does not get into the water. In addition, to paint the glass quality is not easy: there are stains and areas with a smaller layer of paint, through which light penetrates.

So it is necessary to hurry, and the painted wall will look poor. Finally, if the result does not impress you or the color eventually becomes boring, it will not be easy to get rid of the old paint, you know. And if you are a person of impermanence, the cardboard backdrop will suit you much better.

But we must pay tribute – professional glass painting gives a more saturated color. Given the cheapness of cardboard backs, I was able to try out many color solutions, so you might find some of my subjective impressions of using different colors, mixed with the theory of design skill, useful to you.

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