How to Get the Best Aquarium or Fish Tank for Yourself? (Complete Guide, FAQs & More)

You’ll agree with us when we say that it can be quite daunting to get a fish tank that will suit all of the needs of both you and your fish pets.

Luckily for you, we’ve asked the experts and experimented ourselves in order to bring you this comprehensive guide so you can accurately judge what kind of fish tank is best for you.

In today’s post, we’re discussing the things you need to keep in mind when getting a fish tank for yourself.

1. Figure out what type of Fish you’re getting

It is important to research the type of fish you’re getting before you buy your aquarium. Different fish have different needs and you’ll want to make sure that the fish tank you’re getting is suited to support all of these needs. 

2. Cost 

A lot of aquarium owners see cheap price tags on aquarium kits and think they can get started very cheap. We strongly warn you to not fall for this trap. In order to make this a worthwhile and rewarding experience, you have to be willing to spend at least $150 – $200 in order to get decent equipment that will be able to sustain your fish and provide them with a healthy lifestyle. 

3. Weight 

An aquarium filled with just water approximately weighs 10 pounds per gallon. This is without including the weight of the aquarium itself which, in the case of glass aquariums, can be a lot as well. When you add décor, lighting, filters, heaters and fish into the mix, the weight will increase even more. Keeping this in mind, you need to invest in a stand or a base that can handle this weight. This is something that you cannot afford to be cheap on. If your base breaks or is unable to support your aquarium, the consequences will be catastrophic. 

4. Consider how big your Fish will get 

How to Get the Best Aquarium or Fish Tank for Yourself?

This is something that new fish-keepers do not think about. They look at the fish they’re getting and get a tank according to that without researching how big their fish can ultimately grow up to be.

If your fish eventually get big and you haven’t accounted for this, this can lead to a myriad of problems such as stunted growth, aggression, stress and physical deformities.

We strongly urge you to find out how big your fish can get and get an aquarium according to that.

5. Figure out whether you need a Heater or not 

If you’re getting cold water fish such as Goldfish, you’re not going to require a heater.

However, if you’re getting tropical fish that require the water’s temperature to be maintained, you’re going to want to invest in a heater.

This is something you should keep in mind when going to buy your aquarium as some aquariums are not built to accommodate extra equipment such as heaters. So, you need to figure out beforehand whether you’re going to need a heater or not before you go out to get your fish tank.

6. Consider what your Pet Fish are going to Eat 

Although most commonly found tropical fish thrive on a normal flake or pellet diet, some fish require special food or special feeding methods. Some fish require to be fed in a feeding ring; Other fish may be herbivores that might eat your aquarium plants. These are all factors to think about when getting your aquarium.

If you get an aquarium that can’t accommodate a feeding ring, you’ll be stuck with fish that are refusing to eat. 

7. Decide on the Material of the Fish Tank 

Aquariums come in two forms of material: Glass or Acrylic. Both of these have their own advantages and disadvantages and people’s preference differs depending on who you ask.

Glass aquariums are sturdier and don’t wither over time. They are also relatively cheap but they can be heavy and difficult to relocate or set up.

Acrylic aquariums can scratch easily and yellow over time. However, they are very light and easy to handle. They can also be very easily customized to accommodate custom-built equipment or plumbing within the aquarium

8. Consider the Amount of Fish you’re going to Keep 

How to Get the Best Aquarium or Fish Tank for Yourself

The number of fish you’re going to keep is a very important factor as if you don’t consider this, it can lead to overcrowding. Overcrowding tends to cause aggression and stress in fish which will reduce their lifespan, health and growth.

It is normally a rule of thumb to have about 1 inch of fish for every gallon of water. So, you should think about this and get an appropriately-sized tank in order to keep your little aquatic pets happy and thriving.

9. Consider the Location of the Aquarium in your Home

It’s very important to keep your aquarium in a place that has a consistent and steady temperature and humidity. Drastic changes in these factors would mean an imbalance in your aquarium which would cause unforeseen problems such as algae breakout, bacteria booms, diseases in your fish, etc.

It is important to keep the aquarium away from windows or direct sunlight. Sunlight is not a consistent form of light for your fish and can cause severe algae problems in your aquarium

10. How Big is the Opening of the Aquarium? 

This is something that most new fish-keepers don’t even think about but it’s actually very important to consider.

You see, fish breathe and thrive on oxygen just like us. The way oxygen enters the water is through the opening of your aquarium. If the water doesn’t have enough oxygen for all the fish in it, they will start to suffocate and have breathing problems.

So, the thing to note is that the higher the surface area of the water that is in contact with the air, the higher the oxygen content of your water. 

11. Should You Consider Kits? 

As soon as you go out to your local pet store or even go online to look for equipment to get started on your fish-keeping hobby, you will be bombarded with these aquarium kit deals. They often look quite appealing. These kits often include an aquarium, a net, a water-conditioner, a heater, a filter, lighting and an air pump. All for a very cheap price. Sounds like a great deal, right? Absolutely not.

We strongly urge you to avoid these kits at all costs. While they may look appealing, the quality of all these products in these kits is often severely lacking. Not only will you have to replace certain equipment after some time because of their poor quality, your fish will be unhappy because of the equipment’s inadequate performance. 


You’ve made it this far and we hope that now you have all the information you need to go out and get your first aquarium. We advise you to really take your time when investing in one as they can’t easily be swapped or exchanged once you’ve bought one.

Let us know your stories of how you got your first fish tank in the comments.

You Might Be Interested In...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *