Where to put an aquarium

Where to place your aquarium is likely to be a question for you, whether you are planning to get an aquarium, or already have one. Possibly you have a location in mind already and are wondering about its suitability.

Aquarium placed on a table
Do you struggle to find the perfect location for your fish tank? Photo: Vladimir Dimitrov

Below is a list of things to consider when choosing where to locate your aquarium:

  • The sight of your new fish tank can indeed be a number one deciding factor in choosing a location for your aquarium. After all, that’s probably why you decided to get a fish tank in the first place—to look at it! And why not, as long as the location you like meets the needs of your fish.
    Place you aquarium in a central spot, somewhere that is visible as soon as you enter your living room. Another good location might be your bedroom, as long as the noises coming from your fish tank won’t disturb your sleep. (Aquariums are quiet, but the filters are audible if everything else is quiet .) If you are choosing fish tank for your office, make sure visitors will be able to see it. Besides, if your aquarium situated where there is a lot of ‘people traffic’, fish get used to seeing humans and learn not to hide when someone approaches.
  • Furniture supporting the tank must withstand its weight. We don’t think you would place an aquarium on a small, wobbly kitchen table, so let’s not even consider it. The ideal solution is a custom-made stand built specifically for your fish tank, but any other sturdy furniture can be used, especially for smaller tanks. A cabinet with thin walls won’t do the trick, unless you reinforce it with DIY vertical supports inside it. The water alone in a 30 gallon tank weighs close to 300 pounds, so, for anything this size—or larger—we recommend you get an aquarium stand made specifically for that size.
  • For safety’s sake, make sure the aquarium can’t break or water spill from it. The good news is that fish tanks are sturdy and only heavy items can break them. For obvious reasons, ensure that no swinging doors or windows can make contact with the fish tank or its stand, and make sure no shelves with heavy objects are above it.
  • A stable environmental temperature will help ensure that the water temperature in the tank will remain stable. Do not place your aquarium near a heater, outside door, a window that you open often, or anywhere direct sunlight can fall on it and heat the water unnecessarily.
  • Electricity needs cannot be neglected. You need to power pumps, lights, filters and any other stuff you or your fish need. However, it does not mean you need a series of outlets right besides your tank. Although there may be several appliances that need to operate, their power consumption won’t be that great and it is okay to feed them from one line. Is there only one outlet a few meters away from your ideal position? No problem: there is no safety breach if you use an extension cord with several sockets.
  • Light used to be an important factor in selecting a spot for aquariums; however, that’s no longer true. The only concern you need have is to ensure that no direct sunlight falls on your tank, as mentioned before. Otherwise, it’s standard for aquariums to have their dedicated lighting, and forgetting to switch it on in the morning won’t be an issue if you operate it on a timer. Mechanical plug-in timers are affordable, easy to set up, and more than suit the purpose.
  • Maintenance must be easy, and it is convenient to have a nearby bathroom or kitchen where you can pour out the water . Having such a huge house that you have to carry a bucket of water across several rooms is definitely a first-world problem, but, with a large aquarium, carrying all that water around can be problematic. For example, an 80-gallon aquarium can require 10 bucket changes once a week. Isn’t it more convenient if the sink is around the corner?
  • Storage must also be considered. You don’t need much stuff: just a bucket, cleaning equipment, fish food, water-testing kits, and maybe some spare bulbs or aquarium decorations. The easiest solution is to place your fish tank on a stand that can hold items inside it, but if you don’t have that set-up, the next best thing is just to store those things in a corner, in a cupboard, or on a shelf near your tank

As you can see, finding a good location for a fish tank is easy in most homes, since there aren’t too many crucial “don’ts.” Use common sense and make sure that the things mentioned above are, if not doable, then at least considered. Place your aquarium in an appropriate spot and display it proudly.