How To Get The Most Out Of A Small Aquarium

We all know how hard it is to maintain a conventionally sized tropical fish tank and the bigger models can prove to be a bit more work than some people are willing to undertake. Having a small aquarium could be the perfect solution, especially for people who do not really have a lot of home, office, or room space that can be dedicated to a bigger fish tank. Besides, having fish for pets is ideal for people who do not have the energy to spend with more energetic (and mobile) pets such as dogs, cats, rabbits, or other small animals.

However, there are still some people who are a bit hesitant about buying a small aquarium. They think that such a limited space does not really allow for a variety of tropical fish to be kept. Fortunately, that is not the case at all. There are many ways for anyone to make keeping a small aquarium really fun and worthwhile. Here are some tips.

1. Keep colorful pets: the more colorful the better. Some of the best fish pets of the kind are the Japanese or Siamese fighting fishes. These pets easily thrive in fish tanks as small as one gallon if properly cared for. Due to its very territorial nature, it is advised to keep only one male betta per tank. Several females can be kept quite nicely in 7 to 10 gallon aquarium and they are just as colorful as their male counterparts.

2. If you would rather have more than just one pet fish inside your aquarium, you may keep a whole school of small fish all at once. Guppies, swordtails and tetras would make fine pets. Not only are these quite hardy and full of color, but these fish require low maintenance care as well.

3. There are also aquarium reptiles and amphibians you might want to take care of. Aquarium frogs, newts, crabs, salamanders and even small freshwater snakes can be considered for a small aquarium.

Clearly much fun can be had even if one is limited to a small fish tank. Whether someone chooses bettas, guppies, mollies or any of the non-fish pets to keep in their fish tank it is not hard to find a combination of pets that will fill the small aquarium with colorful and energetic fish.

Aquarium tank – guide to fish tank sizes

Aquariums are available in a huge range of sizes and shapes and the options can be daunting to anyone new to the fish hobby.  With all these options, it can be easy to get lost and not know what size of tank will be appropriate for you.  I will list the most commonly found aquarium tank sizes and dimensions in the hopes that you can better choose which fish tank to buy.  All dimensions are in inches and in the format of Length x Width x Height.

A small aquarium tank would be in the range of 2 to 15 gallons.  These tanks are typically best suited to smaller community fish such as danios, some tetras, guppies, mollies, etc.  Single bettas will appreciate the extra space as well.

2.5 gallons – 12x6x8.
5.5 gallons – 16x8x10
10 gallons – 20x10x12
15 gallons – 24x12x12

Medium fish tanks range from 20 gallons to 40 gallons.  If you buy an aquarium tank in this range, you will have a wide variety of fish to display in it including cichlids, goldfish, plecos, and all sorts of common (and rare) community fish.

20 (long) – 30x12x12
29 gallons – 30x12x18
38 gallons – 36x12x20
40 gallons – 36x18x16

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Though an aquarium tank can be custom made in sizes of 500 gallons or more, I will consider the large fish tank range to be anywhere from 50 gallons to 150 gallons.  People can house such fish as oscars, piranhas and other “tankbuster” fish.

55 gallons – 48x13x20
75 gallons – 48x18x21
90 gallons – 48x18x24
120 (long) – 60x18x26
150 gallons – 72x18x24

As you can see, there are limitless options for common aquarium tank sizes.  There are also ones that come in “long” or “high” varieties meaning they are either longer or higher than a basic tank that holds the same volume of water.  Examples of uses include high tanks for seahorses or long tanks for arowanas.  If you are buying your first fish tank supplies and aquariums, many used options are available online and you can get great deals!

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Refugium DIY – Tips and Plans

If you are looking to setup a refugium for your reef tank, but do not want to spend the money on an expensive refugium, DIY may be the best route for you.  There are many things to consider when it comes to setting up your own DIY refugium.  These include the location of your refugium, the source of the water, and the aesthetics.  The refugium plans are also very important, and you should consider buying a proper set of DIY instructions.

  • location – will your refugium DIY project eventually be on a table next to your show tank?  If so, you will need to pump water back to the main aquarium.
  • water source – do not use the water surface itself as the source of water for your refugium.  This will lead to oils and dissolved proteins being added to your refugium that can harm your algae or other inhabitants.  Instead, have a water source that is below the water surface.
  • aesthetics – your refugium may be in a visible spot.  If this is the case, make it aesthetically pleasing by adding live sand and live rock before adding any inhabitants

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Finally, rather than scouring the internet for questionable refugium DIY plans, its often best to spend a few dollars and purchase plans from a reputable source. The same goes for supplies for your refugium.  Quality refugium plans will include a full set of materials needed for the production of the refugium.  They will also include any tools needed for the DIY project to go smoothly.  Any decent DIY plans will include step by step directions with well thought out pictures showing the major steps being accomplished.  This is important and will help make sure you can easily follow the DIY instructions when it comes time to actually build your DIY refugium.

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