How to Choose a Fish Tank and Tank Stand Do Know It Aquarium Tank and stand or cabinet styles are very much a matter of personal taste and there is a wide range of designs to choose from. How to choose... 72 72

How to Choose a Fish Tank and Tank Stand

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Tank and stand or cabinet styles are very much a matter of personal taste and there is a wide range of designs to choose from. How to choose a fish tank? Your main considerations should be: the available space in your home; how much you want to spend, the number and size of fish you want to keep, which in turn will be governed by surface area, and how you are going to transport the tank and stand home.
Image of a 90 gallon glass fish tank
A 90 gallon glass fish tank

Tanks are normally rectangular and constructed of glass sheets bonded together with silicone sealant. Retailers carry the standard sizes, but customized sizes can be made to order. If you take this route, remember that your cabinet or stand will also need to be custom-made. Some tanks are supplied complete with hoods. They are either the standard shape that we will demonstrate in this book or an integral hood. The choice is yours.

Good-quality aquatic outlets will advise you on the best choices within your price range and many will offer to deliver bulky items that will not fit into your car, but some may charge for this extra service.

Image of metal aquarium stand
The majority of available metal aquarium stands are of one-piece construction and are ready for the tank to be set in place. Some wooden stands may require assembly, but this is often done by the seller.


Image of fish tank with stand as a complete unit
The trim at the top of the tank should match the color of the stand and hood to help create a complete unit, rather than something that has been thrown together. 

Acrylic tanks

Acrylic tanks are usually more expensive, but are becoming a popular alternative to glass. They are a great improvement on the old-style plastic aquariums that scratched and stained easily.

Tanks are heavy

Given the weight of a furnished aquarium full of water, you are strongly advised not to use an existing piece of furniture as a stand. It will not have been constructed to support such a heavy weight and could collapse.

Standard tank sizes

You can buy all-glass aquariums in a range of standard sizes, in combinations of the following dimensions:

Length: 60, 90, or 120 cm (24, 36, or 48 in).
Width: 30 or 38 cm (12 or 15 in)
Depth: 30 or 38 cm (12 or 15 in)

Tank
Volume
Weight of water
20x10x12 inches (50x25x30 cm)
10 gallons (37.8 L)
83 lbs
(38 kg)
24x12x12 inches (60x30x30 cm)
15 gallons (56.7 L)
125 lbs
(57 kg)
24x12x16 inches (60x30x40 cm)
20 gallons (75.7 L)
170 lbs
(76 kg)
30x12x12 inches (75x30x30 cm)
20 gallons (75.7 L)
170 lbs
(76 kg)
30x12x18 inches (75x30x45 cm)
29 gallons (109.7 L)
240 lbs
009 kg)
36x12x16 inches (90x30x40 cm)
30 gallons (113.5 L)
250 tbs
(113 kg)

Sizes and capacities of standard tanks

Secondhand tanks

Local papers often carry advertisements for secondhand aquariums and if you know what you are doing, you might find a bargain. However, if you are a complete beginner, they can be a nightmare, as they often come complete with livestock that you have no idea how to care for. You also have no redress if the tank leaks or the equipment fails. Some aquatic dealers will offer secondhand tanks but these are often sold "as seen" and if they leak, too bad!

Fish tank cabinets

Right Unassembled or ready-made cabinets are usually available in a choice of finishes. Some have cupboards below them in which you can safely and neatly conceal lighting units, external filters, and cables. You can also buy complete setups with integral, ready-wired hoods and filtration systems.


Once you have plugged them in, simply add water, plants, and livestock.

Image of tank as cabinet


Above: Tanks and cabinets such as this are designed as pieces of furniture and you can order a veneer to match your decor. The hood is part of the unit, as are sliding glass trays that form a condensation tray and give access to the tank. There is a shelf for the light to rest on and space at the rear of the hood for the lighting unit. Cutouts at the back allow for cables, air lines, and filter pipes.

5 Aquarium: How to Choose a Fish Tank and Tank Stand Tank and stand or cabinet styles are very much a matter of personal taste and there is a wide range of designs to choose from. How to choose...

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