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Aquariums: Types and Shapes

Make sure you choose which is best for you.

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Thursday, 19 de February 2009

Aquariums: Types and Shapes
Nowadays, it is extremely easy to find an aquarium that fits your taste; even if you don’t find it, you can always order one that’s customized to your liking. Whether it is made of glass or acrylic, rectangular or round, furniture built-in or isolated, what’s most important is finding an aquarium that fits your fish, your experience and your taste.


Round or rectangular?


Round aquariums are not really appropriate for accommodating fish and, in fact, keeping goldfishes in spherical aquariums is forbidden in some countries. Also called fish bowls, this sort of aquarium is generally too small and makes fish swim in circles, which they don’t quite like.

Due to its spherical shape, these aquariums also make it harder to add on the filter, which is an essential device on an aquarium, especially on cold-water ones that are usually filled with more polluting species of fish.

Given the facts above, it is totally understandable that rectangular aquariums make the best houses for fish. They also let you recreate the fish’s natural habitat with all the visibility that you need, and with no interference on the pet’s health whatsoever.


Glass or acrylic?


Acrylic-made aquariums are much more resistant, given that they won’t break so easily. These are also much lighter and longer-lasting. These might be the main reasons for acrylic aquariums to be more expensive than glass-built ones.
On the other hand, though, the acrylic-build aquariums are more easily scratched and, once scratching happens, it will hardly ever disappear.


Large or small?


Large-sized aquariums are mostly suitable for beginners in fish maintenance. The survival of the fish depends almost completely on the conditions in which the water is kept. Such conditions are much easier to manage on large aquariums than on small ones, given that an eventual ammonia situation will spread much faster on a small aquarium and thus more quickly reach intoxicating levels that put every fish’s life at risk.
The water’s temperature fluctuates more, as well, in small-sized aquariums, reaching up to a 10ºC oscillating range on the ones with the lowest litre capacity.


Type: fresh or seawater?


Seawater aquariums are the hardest to maintain, given that those require you to control one more aspect: the saline levels. In case that wasn’t enough, seawater species are also less resistant in captivity, especially the ones that demand a higher temperature. Cold-seawater species are also usually too big for home aquariums.

Even though they call for a much higher level of involvement and care, tropical seawater aquariums are most probably the most sought-after by fishkeeping experts, whether because of the challenge it represents or the higher diversity of habitats that it enables to replicate. Nevertheless, tropical fresh water aquariums are the most popular of all types in the world. Within these, you can find a wide range of different types to choose from.


Temperature: warm or cold water?


Cold-water aquariums are generally inhabited by larger fish, in opposition to warm or tropical water ones. Therefore, if you are seeking a low-volume aquarium, you should go for a tropical one.

There is a lot less cold-water fish species on an aquarium than warm-water species. This clearly means that if you wish to have a wider variety of fish species, you should then acquire a warm-water aquarium.


Placing the aquarium


Always keep in mind that each litre of water corresponds to a kilogram, thus the bigger the aquarium the stiffer its support has to be. If you stick to the thought that it all seems pretty safe to you, you could end up with damaged furniture or a shattered aquarium.

There already are aquariums being sold together with an integrated support piece, which is generally able to put up with the aquarium’s weight. In case you actually already have a fairly resistant piece of furniture at home, that will be the most economically friendly option for you to arrange an effective support for the aquarium.
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