There are several common misconceptions surrounding aquarium size. One of the most common mistakes a novice aquarium hobbyist can make is to think that a larger tank is more work to maintain than a smaller tank. In many cases, the opposite is true. When choosing the right size aquarium there are a variety of factors to consider including the level of maintenance you are willing to perform, the space you have available in your home and the types of fish you want to raise.
If you set up your tank with the right equipment there should be relatively little maintenance involved, regardless of your tank size. Your aquarium filter will do most of the work in keeping your tank water clear by filtering out waste and toxic substances. Larger water volumes equate to a greater level of forgiveness for mistakes on the part of the aquarium hobbyist because higher water volumes dilute toxins better than small volumes. The water in smaller tanks must be changed more frequently than that in large tanks to prevent it from becoming too hard.
How to Choose the Right Size Aquarium Tank
The size and location of the space you have available in your home should be one of the major factors in considering the right size for your aquarium. You need to be able to place your tank in a low-traffic area out of direct sunlight in order to prevent accidents and excess algae growth. Before you shop for your tank, measure the space where you intend to install it and be sure you have a sturdy cabinet or stand large enough to accommodate the tank size you want. You should also keep in mind, when selecting a location for your tank, that you need to be able to access it easily in order to perform routine maintenance tasks.
Type of Fish
It may seem counterintuitive to select your aquarium fish before purchasing a tank, but doing so will help you to determine the right tank size. If you plan to fill your tank with small community fish like tetras and guppies you probably will not need anything larger than a 20- or 30- gallon tank. Larger fish, however, such as cichlids and many saltwater fish require upwards of 50 gallons of tank volume. When determining the proper size for your tank, consider the full-grown size of your fish – not the size at which you plan to purchase them. If you are just starting out, stick to the rule of purchasing one inch of fish per one gallon of tank capacity. This rule will help to prevent overcrowding in your tank.
Other Tips for Maintaining Your Tank
Choosing the right size tank for your fish is one of the simplest ways to ensure that they are able to enjoy a healthy environment. The larger the tank you select, the less you will have to worry about toxicity and overcrowding but not every hobbyist has room for a large tank. No matter what size tank you choose there are a few simple things you can do to keep it clean and healthy. Introducing an EcoBio-Stone, for example, is an easy way to boost the nitrogen cycle in your tank, ensuring that the water stays clean and clear. EcoBio-Stones are made from natural volcanic cement and infused with special beneficial bacteria. Once introduced into your tank, these bacteria will multiply and establish a colony of beneficial bacteria that will work to revitalize your tank water, remove odors and reduce the amount of necessary maintenance you have to perform.