An aquarium can be set up by anyone, but simply not everyone should. How to get down to it at all?

First of all, you need an idea. If you have it, everything becomes easier. However, it’s hard to develop a concept if you don’t have the knowledge about the topic. This post is meant to help you learn about various issues related to aquarium management. Not without significance are also various technical and environmental conditions, which may constitute a barrier or facilitation for the aquarium hobbyist.

Do you have time for this?

Before we decide to set up an aquarium, we should first of all consider whether we will have time to take care of it and its inhabitants. An aquarium requires some attention, it can also teach systematics, but as I wrote – you have to have time for it. How much time? I devote about 5-10 minutes a day to this hobby, plus once a week an additional 2 hours. It is about 3 hours a week.

It is known that every day you have to feed the animals and check the general condition of the aquarium, and once a week change 15-25% of the water. From time to time you have to cut the plants and blow the bottom off, which can be done just by changing the water. That is all.

Do you have room for an aquarium?

If we already know that we have time, we should consider whether we have a place where the aquarium could stand. It should be noted that this type of tank cannot stand just anywhere. This is very important. Depending on the size of the aquarium, one should pay attention to its base.

Aquariums are very, but very heavy, so their base should be solid – the best for this purpose are custom-made or ready-made tables, which apart from a flat surface offer the aquarium keeper drawers, lockers, cable trays, and sometimes even a part of the necessary electrical installation.

However, such tables can cost a lot of money, which is their main disadvantage. A certain difficulty is also the need to adjust the material and color to the current decor of the room in which such a table will be located. For these reasons, many people resign from buying a table and use furniture that is already in place. Apart from the base of the aquarium, the place where it will stand is very important – you should think about many things.

An aquarium cannot be too close to the passageway, door, in corridors, on stairs – where there is a lot of traffic – because it will unnecessarily stress its inhabitants, and in addition can physically expose the tank to damage.

First shopping

The next step after choosing the place on the aquarium is to choose the tank itself. The choice is really huge, but it mainly boils down to determining the desired length, depth and height. In addition, a very important element is the thickness of glass from which the aquarium will be or is made.

I recommend to check this parameter before purchasing or impose it when ordering the execution of the tank in a glass factory. A detailed list of recommended glass thicknesses depending on the length and height of the aquarium can be found here. As far as novelties are concerned, recently aquariums with convex windscreen have become popular – I personally do not recommend this solution.

In my opinion, it has its drawbacks – it distorts the image, makes cleaning difficult, disturbs the harmony of appearance and generally makes an aesthetic rape of the observer, who after a short observation will hurt his eyes.


A purchased tank is good to wash. Of course, it is not about washing with caustic cleaning agents, it is about simply overflowing with warm water. Then, after a thorough wipe from the outside, you can place it in the intended place. Beforehand, however, I recommend sticking or fixing the background, because after flooding the tank with water it can be very difficult.

In addition, aquarists often use various types of pads under the aquarium, which are to protect the furniture on which the tank stands (e.g. a piece of thick glass). I have a funny (but very effective) pad, because it consists of a piece of cardboard that I wrapped in foil.

Selection of animals and plants

If we have time and space, or even the aquarium itself, then the rest is actually pure pleasure. Think about what we actually want to keep in our aquarium. Of course, we have fish, plants, shrimps and even small frogs to choose from. You can create tanks of various types, e.g. species, environmental (biotope), Dutch, spawning or simply general (social). What do these names mean?

Species – an aquarium in which fish belonging to one species are kept. When designing such an aquarium, the specific conditions in which the species lives must be taken into account in order to reproduce them in the best possible way.

Let’s go!

When we already know what kind of fish we want to breed and put the tank in its place, haste is not advisable. There is no person who in such a situation would not want to have a ready-made aquarium right away.

However, you need to think about the substrate you want to use first, where to lead the hose from the aerator, where to install the filter and heater, and then select any stones, roots and other decorations. Together with such things in the shop we can buy more durable plants, which we will plant directly after flooding the tank.

Of course, we select everything according to the selected aquarium type, taking into account the preferences of the fish we want to keep. It is also worth checking if the fish we would like to have in the aquarium every day are at all available in our area.

Ned L. Bennett