CUSTOM AQUARIUMS

Custom Aquariums
This article delves into the pros and cons of custom built aquariums - and more.
After a certain point, if you're in the fish hobby long enough, you're going to come across the custom built aquarium. Large or unusually shaped, it commands your attention right away. The fish look so comfortable swimming around in their custom-built home. Soon (if not instantaneously), you start thinking about getting a custom built aquarium for yourself.

This article delves into the pros and cons of custom built aquariums, tips on designing your custom built aquarium, and online sources for custom built aquarium.

Let's go over the many positive aspects of purchasing a custom built aquarium:

Pros for Custom Built Aquariums

Many reasons compel fish hobbyists to buy a custom built aquarium:

  • You can have the aquarium of your dreams!
  • If you have a space that a standard tank size doesn't take full advantage of, you can get a custom built aquarium built to your exact specifications.
  • If you want a built-in look, you might be better off with a custom tank that will be custom fitted to the space where you want to install the tank.
  • When you want a large tank (above and beyond what you can find with standard sizes) you can get one.
  • A custom built aquarium can be custom fitted with all the equipment you need so that it looks very put together, resulting in a polished, professional result.
  • You can get a custom built aquarium made out of iron-free, "sapphire" glass so that the glass won't have that slight green tint to it.
  • When you buy a custom built aquarium, you can usually get the design team to help you design your system set-up.

Now that we've gone over the good stuff, let's talk about the cons to buying a custom built aquarium.

Cons for Custom Built Aquariums

Here, we'll go over the reasons why a custom built aquarium may not be the right decision for you. Basically, the overwhelming issue with going with a custom built aquarium is the cost:

  • A custom built aquarium costs more than "off-the-shelf" tanks.
  • When you buy a custom built aquarium, the accompanying stand will need to be custom-made as well.
  • The hood will probably need to be custom-made as well when you buy a custom built aquarium.

Besides cost, you'll also need to work around dealer issues:

  • You'll need to work with a reputable dealer so that you don't get a poorly constructed one. Find out what their testing process is and what their warranty is for tanks that they custom build.
  • You'll need to find a dealer willing to bring or ship the custom made tank to you. Many custom built tank design teams will have limited geographical service areas.

Tips when Designing Your Custom Built Aquarium

When designing your custom built aquarium, make sure you listen to the design team. Chances are, with their experience, they will know what they're talking about.

Here are some general design tips that you can use regarding custom built aquariums:

  • Design your tank to increase the surface area. A larger surface area increases the rate of oxygen exchange between the water in the tank and oxygen in the air. To increase the surface area, build your tank wider as opposed to taller.
  • It might seem contrary but sometimes people design their custom built tanks taller than wider. This will give the tank owner opportunity to put more different fish breeds into the same tank. This is because different fish like to exist at different levels of depth.
  • Regardless of height, reef tanks should be thicker than your regular sized aquarium. By this, I mean you'll want to have a more "square-ish" tank over a rectangular tank to accommodate your coral and/or living rock.

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