Custom Fish Tanks
Custom Fish Tanks
Custom fish tanks come in all shapes and sizes and in different materials. They are usually designed to fit a specific space in your home or office. Some people like to put an aquarium into a wall space while others just like unseal shapes. Custom aquariums are by definition more expensive than the fish tank you buy from your local pet store. You will often see them in fancy offices or stores where the owners like to amuse their customers while they are waiting to be served.
Regardless of whether you are buying custom fish tanks or the regular mass produced ones, the same rules about being responsible fish owners apply. In their natural environment fish are well developed to look after themselves. Obviously they don’t survive every threat but they have self preservation instincts to act on. When they are hungry they hunt down food and when they are under threat they seek shelter. Some species thrive in a shoal environment and will die from loneliness if placed in an aquarium on their own. Others are quite happy to mix with other species of fish provided of course they are not sharks or other predators.
Whether you set up custom freshwater fish tanks or a marine aquarium you are taking responsibility away from the fish and imposing it on yourself. You become responsible for their food, water, oxygen levels and basic survival. You have to educate yourself about the species of fish you put in your fish tank and be careful not to put those that are known to be aggressive in with those that cannot defend themselves. It also makes a lot of sense not to put large fish that eat the smaller fish in the same tank. Obviously you would keep freshwater fish separate to those that live in salt water. You could always have two custom aquariums, one for each type although if you are a beginner you should learn how to manage one type before trying both.
If you decide to install custom fish tanks, be careful to put them somewhere that will tolerate water spillages as these are common. You need an electric socket nearby for the filter system and/or lights. It also helps to be relatively near a source of water. You do not want to put the fish tank on a window sill as you cannot properly control the temperature of the water if it is subject to direct sunlight.
As we mentioned you have to control the quality of the water in custom fish tanks. Fish in the wild do not need to worry about being surrounded by their own waste products as the sheer volume of water takes care of any issues. This is not the case in the aquarium. The fish are dependent on waste products being removed either by natural filtration devices or mechanical or a mixture of both. If you go on vacation it is very important that you leave your fish in capable hands as they will not survive in dirty water for long. The hardness of your water supply will be a factor in the quality of water in the first tank. There are commercial kits available to test this for you.
You will need to invest in custom fish tank stands. Do not try to make one at home. You should buy the stand at the same time as you order the tank. An aquarium will get very heavy given the quantity of water it contains and it needs to be kept level at all times. You will also need a custom made hood as some fish are very good jumpers and will not survive for long periods outside water. It is best to prevent them being able to leave the tank in the first place.
You will need to set up your custom fish tank before you buy the fish. Usually you would put a layer of gravel at the bottom of the tank. This serves a number of purposes. It provides a place for some species of fish to bury themselves just as they do in the wild. It allows for the growth of bacteria organisms whose job it is to remove the nitrates and other waste materials from the water. It also provides a base for filters so don’t buy the very fine gravel as it will block the filters. You should purchase the gravel from the aquatic dealer as you do not want to upset the quality of the water by introducing the wrong elements. Some people will tell you to buy coral sand. This is perfect for a saltwater fish but not for custom freshwater fish tanks.
I would not be in a hurry to add live plants to your custom fish tanks. You will have a lot to look after in the first couple of years of owning your fish particularly if you are new to this. Looking after live plants as well may be too much. You can always add them at a later date and do with artificial plants for now. You can buy decorations such as rocks and other formations from the aquatic center. These will not only make your custom fish tanks look pretty but could provide shelter and homes for your new fish.
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