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How to choose your beginner tropical fish tank

If you are new to fish keeping, it's important that you know what type of beginner tropical fish tank will best suit your preferences. Decide carefully based on size, shape, design, colour and other factors so that you can enjoy this hobby for years to come!

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Top 3 Mistakes Newbies Make Setting Up Their Fish Tank.



Generally, aquariums come in various sizes and shapes.

As any beginner's fish tank guide will inform you, the bigger the fish tank, the better.

Typically, the generally recommended beginner tropical fish tank size is about 20 gallons.

The reason for going for larger fish tanks is that they are usually more stable, and easier to set up than smaller fish tanks.

Unfortunately, one major mistake that numerous individuals looking for an aquarium will make is to opt for the smaller options while starting with the idea of ​​eventually shifting to a larger one.


As a first, fish tend to grow in length over time; and depending on the number of fish you stock in your aquarium, the chances are that you will eventually need a larger fish tank.

What's more, unlike small tanks, large tanks allow you more time to spot a problem before it spreads around to the rest of the species.

For instance, in case of an infection, it is easy to save the fish that are not affected before it spreads and in extension avoid a total disaster! 

big tropical fish tankbig tropical fish tank

Glass Or Acrylic?

Similarly, when choosing your beginner tropical fish tank, it is essential also to consider what material it is made of.

Typically, the most popular options are glass and acrylic .

Before you choose your tank, it is crucial to understand what each material offers as well as the setbacks that come with it.

With acrylic, it often scratches (though it may be buffed) and can usually distort from some angles.

What's more, acrylic tanks boast smaller access holes compared to glass fish tanks, subsequently rendering access quite a challenge.

Even so, acrylic is, however, a better insulator compared to glass; although if your beginner tropical fish tank features a lot of lighting, this may mandate for you to look for a chiller.

In comparison, while glass tanks allow for easier access due to their relatively larger access holes, they can unfortunately, be quite heavy.

Moreover, besides being somewhat costlier than acrylic tanks, glass is susceptible to getting smashed or damaged especially if you have children around.

Nonetheless, there is no wrong or right choice.

Ultimately, it is upon you to decide what best serves your needs as well as the type of tank you are setting up. For instance, acrylic tanks are perhaps the most appropriate option for a FOWLR tank setup especially if you have kids around or you are working on a limited budget.

Do You Require A Stand For Your Beginner Tropical Fish Tank?

A strong base is necessary for supporting an aquarium full of water and aquatic life.

An unstable frame will put undue stress on the glass and hardware which can lead to leakage or breakage.

Fortunately, many manufacturers sell stands and tanks together so there won't be any mis-matches between the parts which will leave you frustrated.

fish tank standfish tank stand

Choosing The Best Location For Your Fish Tank

Identifying a suitable spot to place your tropical fish tank is another vital consideration every beginner, and even professional should keep in mind.

This is particularly important for various reasons among them being that it is part of what determines whether or not your fish survive not to mention that depending on the size of your tank, it can be quite tricky to move.

You need to be careful about where you ultimately decide to place your beginner tropical fish tank.

When choosing a suitable location for your fish tank, there are various factors that you need to bear in mind. First and foremost, place your fish tank in an area where you can comfortably observe it and which allows you easy access to the fish tank for maintenance.

What’s more, it is crucial that you pick a spot that is NOT exposed to direct sunlight.

Typically, a beginner tropical fish tank which is directly exposed to sunlight can be hard to manage since natural sunlight can result in excessive algae inside the tank.

With algae taking hold in your fish tank, it can quickly spiral out of control and start affecting the overall health of the fish species inside. 

Similarly, any beginner looking to have a healthy and thriving aquarium should set their tank in a spot that is properly-ventilated with relatively cooler temperatures.

It is also essential to keep in mind that, larger tanks are relatively easier to maintain compared to the smaller ones.

Other factors to consider when picking out a suitable location for your aquarium include: 

Ensure that your aquarium stand can adequately support your fish tank’s weight not to mention the floor beneath also being sufficiently and similarly strong. 

Be sure to keep your fish tank in a location that has minimal disturbances.

Also, ensure that your stand remains in an upright position and is absolutely LEVEL ; otherwise this may result in water leakage not to mention causing stress on one side of your aquarium, a factor that may result in cracks. 

Finally, once you have decided on an excellent place to set up your aquarium, it is also vital that you ensure that this place is situated in a spot that has enough electrical outlets where you can plug in the various necessary accessories such as the lighting system and filter.

Keep in mind that placing a filter or heater on the aquarium may require additional space around your fish tank.

Next :

What Equipment and Accessories Do You Need

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