A lot of thought, preparation and effort should go into putting together a first-rate aquarium. Ideally you will create an aquarium that matches your house or apartment's décor, provides an interesting variety of aquatic life, and satisfies your aesthetic sense.
Seeing the colorful fish glide through their silent, lush miniature undersea world, almost like dancers in a tiny ballet, can be the perfect calming influence after a hectic and stressful day of work. For this reason one often finds aquariums not only in homes but also in the waiting rooms of doctors and dentist, in physiotherapy or massage therapy rooms, hospitals and psychiatric clinics, and even prisons.
Glass Aquariums—the Tank
Typical sizes are 10, 20, 29, 30, 40, 50, 55 gallons and larger, all the way up to 400 gallons. The standard aquarium axiom applies—the bigger the tank the better, because a larger aquarium will tend to have much more stable water conditions. Compare a five-gallon tank to a 55-gallon tank. The five-gallon Glass aquarium tank may fluctuate in temperature as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit daily whereas the temperature will not be as likely to fluctuate as much in the larger tank. Having more water will also give you more time to correct anything that is going wrong. Tanks can be purchased from your local fish store, online, or built by a custom aquarium builder, so one way or another you can have the Glass aquarium you dream of.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Glass Aquariums
Acrylic is lighter, stronger, and more durable than glass. On the other hand, an acrylic aquarium will scratch much more easily and can be very difficult to repair when scratched. Glass is cost-effective compared to acrylic.Glass is available in a variety of colors, and colored glass tends to look better than colored acrylic. Glass is far more breakable than acrylic, however, which can result not only in the death of your fish but a real mess in your tank or apartment. Also, glass tanks are more prone to leak than acrylic. Even empty, glass aquariums are much heavier than their acrylic counterparts. With proper handling and care, however, you can avoid the pitfalls that may come with a glass tank and reap the advantage of a far more scratch-resistant, and thus more beautiful, aquarium.
Glass Aquariums—the Stand
Water is very heavy, so your glass aquarium will need adequate support. An aquarium typically weighs at least 10 pounds per gallon of water it holds. Thus a big 55-gallon aquarium could weigh 550 pounds! Typically, glass aquariums are small enough to be placed on sturdy furniture or desks, but you may want to consider a custom stand not only because it is designed to bear the weight but also because aesthetically a glass aquarium on a custom stand is typically more aesthetically pleasing. Regardless of whether you use a stand built to hold an aquarium or regular furniture, make sure it is level and more than strong enough to hold your tank, and thereby avoid any fish tank tragedies.