Having a hard time deciding where to put your aquarium? You can check out Aquarium Blueprints’ fish tank location guide to get some ideas flowing.
Leveling Your Tank
Perhaps the most important element to consider when it comes to deciding where to put your tank is that where or not it will be leveled. An unbalanced aquarium will create pressure points that could lead to breakage over time.
To test whether or not your tank is leveled in your location of choice, fill it with water and then use a ruler to measure the water line from one end to another. You have to do this from both front to back as well as left to right. Alternatively you can use a long level tool to see if your aquarium is leveled (we recommend the STABILA 4 Level Tool Set, which you can find on Amazon with this link).
If the difference is at quarter of an inch at most, then we recommend using a wedge (like the Wobble Wedge you can get from Amazon) at the corner end of your stand that you need to lift, to make up the difference if you don’t feel like moving to a entirely different location.
If there are differences of more than a quarter of an inch, then it may be best to look for a new place for your fish tank.
A lot of fish keepers avoid having any kind of sunlight, direct or indirect. This is because the sun can cause an algae boom, which could take over your tank. As a result, you may end up spending a lot of time cleaning algae off the glass/acrylic panels, decorations and equipments. Not to mention that direct sunlight could also raise the temperature of the water to potentially dangerous levels.
With that said, it doesn’t necessary mean that you can’t keep a fish tank in a room with windows. Dark colored drapes can easily block out sunlight from the room.
From our personal standpoint, we keep my aquarium near windows and even open the blinds during the daytime. Since we have a lot of plants in my fish tank, we don’t have to worry about any significant algae issues as my plants use up all the excess nutrients. Even then, we have ballder snails and ramshorn sanils that will eat the algae. We currently use Java Fern and Java Moss, both of which requires very little lights and very hard. We also use Pothos as an emergent plant as I keep its leaves above the water line while the roots stay submerged.
Another factor that you might want to consider is the ambient lighting. Algae don’t just boom from sunlight, it can also grow from ambient lighting as well. These lights include room lighting fixture and even your television and computer monitor.
Like we mentioned above with natural sunlight, this is something you most likely won’t have to worry about if you have enough live plants growing in your aquarium as they will out-compete the algae.
If you don’t plan on getting live plants, then you might want to consider placing your fish tank in a location where you have direct control over much light it gets.
A fish tank requires regular maintenance, which includes changing the water. To make cleaning easier for yourself, you might want to consider placing your aquarium close to a sink as you can easily dump the old aquarium water and then replaced with fresh water from the tap. This is especially important if you have bigger tanks as repeatedly going back and forward with buckets of water over long distances is no fun.
Fortunately, there is a product that will make removing used tank water and adding fresh water easier over long distances. The Python No Spill Clean and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System, which is available on Amazon, is a tool that allows you to pump water from your tank to the sink as well as from the tap to your tank. It is available with tubes that are 25 foot long, 50 foot long, 75 foot long and 100 foot long.
Another factor you may want to take into consideration is the height of your aquarium. Of course, you want to setup your aquarium to be at eye level. With that said, you should take tank maintenance into consideration as you will need a couple of feet free space on top so that you can comfortable reach inside the aquarium to clean it.
If you tank is too high, then you may have to use a non-slippery stool to reach into the tank. This can be problematic, especially if you are not good at keeping your balance, as you can fall. So it’s best to keep your tank at a height where can comfortable service your tank without the added complications of using a stool.
Water and electronics do not mix. So it’s best to keep your tank away from being too close to your television screen, computer and anything else that use electricity. If you home use WiFi, then the large body of water in your aquarium will also weaken your signal if it is in between your router/modem and the device you are trying to connect WiFi to.
If you are using a power strip to run your aquarium’s bubbler, filer and/or heater, make sure it is waterproof. If not, try to cover it and/or move it somewhere to ensure that water from your tank won’t make contact.
If you are living in a multi story home, then we recommend putting your fish tank at the bottom-most level if you have the choice.
Let’s say you have a huge aquarium filled with water that end up breaking. When left unattended, the water will soak through and potentially damage your flooring. If there is another level below you, the water could also damage its roofing of the lower floor.
If you have keep you tank in the lowest floor, you only have to worry about the flooring being potentially damaged during a large water spill.
Of course, you can avoid damage to your floor if you have a drainage hole. A lot of fish keepers like to keep their tanks in the basement for this reason as the drainage hole can prevent the floor from being flooded if your tank unexpectedly break.
When picking a location to place your aquarium, you should think about the excess lighting that could lead to unwanted algae bloom and ease of maintenance. While algae issues can be easily resolve, we recommend placing your tank as close to a sink, while having enough free space at the top, to make maintenance easier for you.
You should also take into account the worst case scenario, which is your tank suddenly bursting and causing a flood. If you have a big tank and are paranoid about the potential damage to your house, then we suggest keeping your aquarium in the basement.