New Aquarium Planning
Choosing an aquarium involves a great number of decisions. Good decisions will lead to an aquarium that is the both the center piece of your home or office, and contains a beautiful community of thriving animals. Poor decisions, or just a simple lack of knowledge can lead to a true eye sore and sick, unhappy creatures. Here are just a few examples of areas that should be considered:
- Size: Common sizes range from about 12 gallons to 210. Some aquariums are as small as 2 gallons, and others are well over 1,000 gallons
- Shape: Rectangular 4 and 6 foot long tanks are the most common and dominate the 55 to 180 gallon range. However assembly line aquariums include: bow fronts, octagons, wave, semi-circle and more. Custom tanks can be made to nearly any shape and size.
- Material: Glass or Acrylic? Each has pros and cons. One is usually a better choice given other factors.
- Glass: Dominate the 210g and under range, less expensive, readily available, more durable (fewer scratches,) easier access into the tank, stands are easier to find / make and cheaper since only corners must be supported.
- Acrylic: A better decision in large 300 gallon + aquariums. Clearer than glass (normal aquarium glass has a slight, nearly unnoticeable greenish tint,) lighter, more expensive, stands are less common especially for custom tanks and are harder / more expensive to make as the entire bottom of the aquarium must be supported.
- Location: Small aquariums can go anywhere. Large aquariums can weigh more than a fully loaded sport utility vehicle. Care must be taken in choosing where they will be placed. Access into the aquarium, lighting and filtration must be taken into account.
- Stand & Canopy. Stands from plain to impressive are made by the same companies that produce aquariums. Better cabinetry can be made by many craftsman and contractors. The best of the best: custom furniture grade stands are made by skilled woodworkers that specialize in high end aquarium products.
What type of animals will you have? Choices include:
- Large aggressive fish
- Peaceful fish
- Feather dusters and other invertebrates
- Liverock types and amount
- Low light coral
- Medium light coral
- High light coral
- Filter feeding coral
- Delicate small polyp stony (SPS) coral
- Bare bottom (no sand)
- Fine, coarse or mixed sand bed
- Deep sand bed
- Surgeonfish (Tangs)
- Compatibility of all of the above!!! Some fish will fight, others will eat certain types of coral, some shrimp don't get along with others. There are a lot of conflicts in nature, we will try to keep them to a minimum in your living room.
Some of these decisions will be related to the size of the aquarium. For example some fish need more swimming space than other, and some small aquariums just can not have enough light and water flow for specific corals. Other decisions made here will dictate the type, and cost of equipment that will be required. (For example: to keep bigger fish, you need bigger filters, if you want medium light requiring coral you don't need to spend as much on lighting.)
When done correctly, most of these items are either out of sight or are part of a seamless appearance.
- Water purifier (RO/DI)
- Water top-off
- Light timers
- UV sterilizers
- Wave makers
- Power strips
- Chillers / fans
OKAY, SO HOW MUCH???
With all theses decisions to make, and several options in each area, the possible combinations are limitless. For example a 90 gallon aquarium could cost anywhere from $700 to $7,700 or more.
Please give us a call, or drop us an email. Let us know what you are considering and what your limitations are (usually related to space and cost.) We know all the questions to ask to start narrowing things down, and eventually we will work up a quote for you.
Smaller aquariums 50 gallons and under can be rented / leased, including all equipment, livestock and service. You just feed the fish and follow a simple instruction sheet.
Rental rates start as low as $225 per month with everything included, but again there are a huge number of options. Please contact us for more details.