Wall Mounted Fish Tanks
Written by Katherine Barrington
Advantages and disadvantages to a Wall Mounted Fish Tank. Installation. Accessories.
Have you seen a wall mounted fish tank advertisement and want to know more about them? How do they work? A Wall Mounted Fish Tank is a fish tank that is mounted onto the wall. They are also known as portrait aquariums or wall aquariums. The tank is either actually hung on the wall using studs to help support the weight. Wall Mounted fish tanks vary in size but typically they are 4 to 6 inches thick, 16 to 18 inches high and 18 inches long. You can find larger models that stretch to 4 or even 7 feet long.
Advantages to a Wall Mounted Fish Tank
The advantages to having a wall mounted fish tank include:
- A wall mounted fish tank is perfect for when you really don't have a lot of floor space for a fish tank.
- For an unusual design feature, you can install a wall mounted tank into a wall between two rooms.
- Wall mounted fish tanks make it easy to see and enjoy your fish as they are mounted at eye level.
- The wall mounted fish tank's compact design often includes filter and light that fits tank.
- Wall mounted fish tanks are great for places where you have a lot of foot traffic and wouldn't normally risk having an aquarium that could get knocked over. Wall mounted fish tanks are great for banks, doctors' offices, and other lobbies.
Disadvantage to a Wall Mounted Fish Tank
The disadvantages to having a wall mounted fish tank include:
- A wall mounted fish tank limits water to air exchange because of the reduced surface area of the "tank."
- A wall mounted fish tank requires strong wall support with studs (or concrete) to hold up the tank. A small wall aquarium can weight 75 to 100 pounds when full. A large wall aquarium can weigh close to 300 pounds when full of water.
- Wall mounted fish tanks are more expensive than regular fish tanks (the same way a laptop costs more than a regular computer).
- A wall mounted fish tank will limit your fish selection as you can only get small fish that would be happy in such a "skinny" tank. Fish size is limited to the width of the tank (usually 4 inches)
Where to find Wall Mounted Fish Aquariums Online
If you're interested in a Wall Mounted Fish Aquarium, here are some sites where you can buy them online:
- Bizarre Aquariums has a wide range of wall mounted aquariums that they'll ship out with instructions and fish purchasing guides. Bizarre Aquariums uses FedEx to ship out and offers a 1 year warranty against any defects. They'll guarantee delivery in perfect order as long as you contact them within a week of receiving your aquarium. You can return your purchase minus S&H costs or any custom charges if you're not 100% satisfied with your tank. Here's what they have to offer:
- Wall Aquarium (32" L x 4" W x 16" H) for $199.99 plus $19 S&H. The wall aquarium package includes the fish tank, the lid, the light, and mounting brackets.
- Portrait Aquarium (32" L x 4" W x 16" H) for $259.00 plus $19 S&H. The portrait aquarium package includes the fish tank, a wooden "portrait" frame and florescent strip light
- 4 Ft Wall (48" L x 6" W x 16" H) for $289.99 plus $29 S&H. The 4 Ft wall aquarium package includes the fish tank and the light.
- Jumbo Wall Aquarium (60" L x 8" W x 24" H) for $699.99 plus $58 S&H. The jumbo wall aquarium package includes the fish tank, lid, and light.
- CustomWallAquariums.com is a company that offers 3 lengths of wall mounted aquariums. From the company:
- "Our Custom Wall Aquariums are full working aquariums. They give a nice touch to any decor. We have four styles which to choose from ranging from rustic to very modern. We have enhanced the packaging and installation so that they can be shipped anywhere in the USA and you can install the tanks yourself."
- Frame-a-Fish offers a wall mounted aquarium called the Frame-a-Fish tank. Frame a Fish offers six different ways to ship the tank to you. You are guaranteed to receive the aquarium in perfect order and you can return your purchase within 30 days of the shipment date (minus a 15% restocking fee). Frame-a-Fish offers a link where you can find a seller near you. Here's what you can get from Frame-a-Fish:
- Their Frame-a-Fish tank (20 ?" L x 3" W x 14" H) costs $110.00 plus S&H (depending on how fast you want it shipped to you). Each Frame-a-Fish package comes with the Aquarium and holder, a black frame, filtration, lighting, decor, 2 background images (you can also supply your own) and an owner's manual in both English and Spanish.
- Living Pictures is a company based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado that offers large aquariums. Their technicians can come out and install the tank for you or you can elect to receive the "ship to package" option where you'll install the tank yourself:
- 4 Ft Model (48" L x 6" W x 31" H) includes biological powerhead filters, heater, light tube, air pump, air diffuser, thermometer, plus choice of background and frame finish. Full install price is $2,495.00 with saltwater setup an additional $300.00. Ship to package price is $1,995.00 plus S&H.
- 7 Ft Model (84" L x 6" W x 31" H) includes biological powerhead filters, heater, two light tubes, air pump, air diffuser, thermometer, plus choice of background and frame finish. Full install price is $2,995.00 with saltwater setup an additional $300.00. Ship to package price is $2,295.00 plus S&H.
- AquaticaGallery.com offers the wall mounting Aquatica Gallery aquariums. From their website:
- "These elegant spotlight decorations are constructed under the consolidated ingenuities of a fine art portrait, live aquatic environment, space saving design, minimum maintenance, and easy and automated controlling devices – all under one cord and a plug! Beautiful solid wood frame & cabinets of Aquatic Gallery aquariums are elegantly crafted and finely finished. Beneath the outstanding appearances the tempered aquarium grade glass with reinforcing side bars are used to ensure the quality and integrity of the aquariums."
Safe installation is very important with wall mounted aquariums. Don't even consider mounting a wall aquarium yourself if you don't know what a stud finder is. All kidding aside, the weight of a wall aquarium once it is full can be 75 to 100 pounds once it is full. If you don't want that tank to come crashing down with your fish in it, makes sure it is securely mounted to your wall.
Where to find Installation Instructions Online
- Bizarre Aquariums sends installation instructions along with wall tanks they ship but they also have their installation instructions available online at
- Here's a thread on CaptiveReefing.com, a Reef Aquariums Forum of which Bizarre Aquariums is a sponsor. Find out how Dakar, the administrator, is doing with his own installation of a wall mounted aquarium from Bizarre Aquariums.
- Frame-a-fish has their installation instructions available online in PDF format.
- Living Pictures out of Colorado offers installation help on their installation page. They also offer detailed instructions for setting up a saltwater wall aquarium here
What Fish to Stock in a Wall Mounted Fish Aquarium
Another serious consideration you'll need to think about is what type of fish you can populate your wall mounted aquarium with. Fish enthusiasts will tell you that at a minimum, you'll need to have a tank that is 1.2 to 1.6 times as wide as the fish's length. So for a 4 inch wide wall aquarium, you'll want to keep fish no larger than roughly 2.5 to 3.3 inches long. Here is a short list of fish for you to consider:
- Betta splendens (Siamese fighting fish)
- White Cloud Mountain Minnow
- Ghost Shrimp (technically not fish but they're fun to watch)
- Small tetras
With wall mounted aquariums, pay special attention to the accessories that you'll need for your wall mounted tank. For example you'll need to find a small filters, small air stones, and small submersible heaters that will work with an enclosed tank. Resting a large power filter off the top isn't going to look that great with a wall mounted aquarium.
Alternative to Wall Mounted Fish Tank
If you really like the look of a wall mounted fish tank but want to keep more fish or larger fish than would be practical with a wall mounted fish tank, consider getting a fish tank that has been designed to be placed into a wall (in wall aquarium). The advantage to an in wall aquarium is that they are normally built deeper so you can hold more fish and they are bigger because you won't have to worry about them falling down due to their weight.
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