Is your house looking stodgy and feeling ‘meh’ these days? Then it’s time to liven it up and dial up the good vibes! Aside from providing an aesthetic boost to any living space, a custom made aquarium is proven to spark positive energy, relieve stress, and even increase productivity.
What’s more, fish are easier to care for than other pets. But if you’re a newbie aquarist, setting up a fish tank by yourself could be a challenge, and the results may not be what you envisioned. Hiring an aquarium maintenance professional for the job ensures that your fish tank is tailored to your specifications.
Compared to a store-bought fish tank, a custom aquarium gives you more freedom to transform your vision into reality. Custom-made aquariums offer a distinct look and impact that you want it to have because essentially, the idea and concept comes from you.
But whether store-bought or custom, all aquariums require certain accessories to function properly and for a long time. First things first, here’s what you need to know.
Table of Contents
1. Lid Or Hood
Aquarium covers are often overlooked but essential to your aquarium setup. Also called a lid or hood, it prevents fish from jumping out of the tank. It also prevents items from falling into the tank and keeps your curious pets away. A well-fitted cover is crucial to reduce evaporation, which concentrates wastes and requires the regular addition of make-up water. Further, when the water evaporates, it can increase the room’s humidity, which is an ideal ground for molds and mildew to develop.
2. Filtration System
Like other living things, fish produce waste, including ammonia and nitrates. When these accumulate from uneaten fish food and rotting plants, they can become toxic and may kill your fish. The most effective way to provide a fish-friendly environment is to provide a filtration system. It includes a filter, which cleans the water of debris, aerates the water to provide oxygen for the fish, and eradicates the toxic build-up of harmful chemicals. An aquarium filter pushes water through various filtration materials, including mechanical, biological, and chemical filters.
Also, recommended Protein Skimmers help maintain low nitrate levels by retarding nitrate buildup. They remove organic waste before it has a chance to break down and release nitrogen compounds. The use of a protein skimmer is essential in reef aquariums where a very low nitrate level is crucial for coral health.
3. Aquarium LED Light
Aquarium lighting is critical. You can see all the beauty encased in the glass with a good lighting source. However, lighting isn’t just about aesthetics. It also provides energy and oxygen for both fish and aquatic plants. Plus, as we want to maintain a suitable environment for life to flourish in our tanks, we must mimic the daily conditions in their natural habitat. For instance, an aquarium LED bulb provides light during the day, and it’s equally essential to ensure you turn it off at night. This is because fish need darkness to take a rest.
4. Aquarium Stand
Depending on the size of your fish tank, it’s essential to consider getting an aquarium stand. It supports the tank, which generally weighs at least 10 to 12 pounds per gallon when full of water and substrate. You should ensure the frame is water-resistant and evenly distributes the aquarium’s weight.
5. Aquarium Heater
It would be helpful to remember that fish need water temperatures of at least 80 degrees. Hence, a water heater is necessary to maintain these temperatures. Also, an aquarium heater is essential for maintaining tropical fish, although they are rarely needed for cool water species like koi or goldfish. Hence, research is the key to setting up your fish tank. This way, you can provide a comfortable environment for them to survive.
6. Air Pump For Aquarium
An aquarium pump is a device that injects air into the tank’s water. The pump gets oxygen from outside the tank, while carbon dioxide is released through surface agitation. This device ensures that the fish tank has oxygen for the fish to breathe and survive. Generally, air pumps are left running to help your fish get good water circulation.
7. Aquarium Siphon Vacuum Water Pump
Clean everything in the fish tank every six months and deep clean all associated equipment. However, you won’t need to dump and wash everything in the sink for a regular water change and fish waste cleaning. All you need to do is get an aquarium siphon vacuum water pump to get all the water out of the fish tank, including debris and leftover food particles.
A substrate is a material that covers the bottom of an aquarium. It can affect water chemistry, filtration, and even the inhabitants’ health. Also, it adds to the aquarium’s aesthetic appeal. You can choose a substrate depending on its color, size, and reactivity to water. No matter what substrate you choose, the key is that it should allow for proper nutrient circulation and root penetration of your water plants.
9. Maintenance Supplies
Water change is one of the most critical aspects of maintaining a fish tank. It’s essential for optimal fish health and to prevent the water from being toxic and cloudy. To do this, you’ll need several maintenance supplies. For instance, a glass acrylic cleaner handles grimy glass, cleans out algae, and eliminates waste attached to the glass. Other maintenance supplies are a fish net to catch fish during water changes, a gallon bucket, an algae scraper, and a brush to clean algae off your accessories.
10. Artificial Coral & Modular Reef Inserts
Corals, with their vivid hues and interesting shapes are a surefire way to level up the aesthetic appeal of your aquarium. They also make your fish happier and healthier by mimicking their natural habitat. However, most aquarists would advise against using real corals for obvious reasons. Artificial coral inserts are an environment-friendly and sustainable option. What’s more, synthetic corals can be used for freshwater and saltwater aquariums alike.
Unlike live coral reefs, artificial coral replicas don’t need much maintenance — you don’t have to feed and take care of them, you do your livestock. With live coral, you also need to monitor the water quality in the tank to keep them alive. But with artificial coral, you just take it out of the tank during your regular maintenance, and give it a gentle brushing and thorough rinse to remove excess algae or dirt buildup.
What’s more, artificial coral inserts are way more cost-effective than live coral. They are even cheaper than dead coral, which still needs to be harvested from the sea. Plus, you don’t have to wait for artificial coral inserts to grow or acclimatize to the environment, they instantly add zing and style to your tank. Perhaps the best thing about artificial coral replicas is you can customize them according to the theme of your aquarium.
Now you’re ready!
Creating a beautiful, safe, and enduring aquatic environment is no small feat, so it makes sense to work with a professional team with a proven track record. Creative Coral Design is built on a foundation of 40 years of combined experience in designing and fabricating artificial coral reefs, freshwater habitats, and themed environments. We’ve designed, fabricated, and installed one-of-a-kind custom aquariums and themed environments for numerous clients in residential, commercial, zoos, and seaquariums.
Our team of experts, master craftsmen, and veteran aquarium designers, produce some of the finest coral and reef inserts on the market — at prices that novice and experienced aquarium owners alike will appreciate. Whether your approach is no expense spared, or every dollar scrutinized, we can help you turn your vision into a reality. Connect with us today and let our team get to work on a solution that’s tailor-made for you.
Now you can recreate the beauty of nature with our meticulously handcrafted lifelike artificial corals, grasses, and reef inserts. We use real coral skeletons to create our molds, then hand-trim each piece for incredible realism and function. Here’s why you can trust us with your big ideas for your custom tanks.