Expectations With A Large Fish Tank Or Aquarium

When starting out choosing a large fish tank over a smaller one is very difficult to resist. In fact choosing a very large tank can be a good choice too for many reasons. A bigger aquarium allows the fish, inverts, or reptiles lots of room to grow into. Snakes can grow very large, and fish can be very aggressive and territorial if they are not given enough room to roam and hiding places. The general stocking rule of thumb is to allow one inch of fish for each 4 gallons of water in a saltwater aquarium, freshwater fish can withstand slightly worse water conditions that is created by overpopulation but I wouldn't go far over this mark in that case either.

Large aquariums are also beneficial because they are more diluted making them easier to handle and more stable to withstand water parameter changes, when a fish dies for instance or leaves rotting food behind it puts off a great amount of ammonia that is toxic to aquatic life, this ammonia has a much smaller impact on a large system that dilutes it giving the natural and mechanical filtration a proper chance to clear out the ammonia or convert it to another less harmful compound. This is again more important when starting a saltwater system as the livestock can be particularly more susceptible to the affects of natural water pollution, but this can be very important in freshwater tanks too especially planted tanks.

Bigger tanks also have a large surface area, the surface area is the only place where oxygen can enter the water. Aquatic life doesn't actually breath water they filter oxygen out of the water with the function of their gills. Water movement caused by pumps and power heads creates disruption of the water surface this allows oxygen into the water and the carbon dioxide that the living things give off within the tank can escape the same way. This is a consideration to take into mind even when purchasing a smaller tank as tall thin tanks obviously have a smaller surface area than their shorter wider counterpart.

All that being said, there are also several downsides to a large tank. First off by large tank I am mostly referring to aquariums over four feet long, usually six feet long. Having a large tank may not even be a possibility, as you may not have enough room in your desired spot, or have the capability of getting the aquarium into the room or floor of your house you want it in. Or the weight of a large tank might be too much for the upper level of your house that you want it on. If any of this is the case then the decision is clearly made for you. Also large aquariums can be hard to get your hands into, no matter what you set up your going to find that sooner or later you need to get wet, if your aquarium is 2 feet deep and 6 feet off the ground it can be very difficult to reach the bottom, there are ways around this but it is something to consider.

Another pitfall that is likely the most obvious is cost, the cost of a large aquarium is much higher than that of standard or small sized aquariums. Also the cost of the proper equipment to maintain it as well as extra cost in food, supplements, and added electrical bill.