Which one is best for you?
When it comes to choosing which ecosystem you want, it’s not all about aesthetics.
Cost and maintenance are two major factors you need to consider as well.
Freshwater tropical aquariums are a great place to start in your fish keeping hobby. Colourful and natural, they provide an impressive visual whilst requiring a less demanding maintenance regime and lower operating costs.
However, if you were to go for a heavily planted freshwater aquarium for example, additional special lighting, fertilizers and carbon dioxide will be required and the costs can really add up fast.
The livestock in freshwater aquaria are inhabitants from rivers, lakes and streams. They aren’t always as vibrantly coloured as saltwater aquarium creatures, but can definitely come in an array of amazing patterns and uniquely fascinating shapes. The combination of the earthy colours and sleek lines of freshwater fish and fauna can look particularly striking in a luxurious interior.
Freshwater inhabitants tend to be much hardier and generally less expensive than saltwater aquarium inhabitants. If any problems ever were to occur in the maintenance of the aquarium environment, freshwater creatures are more forgiving and less fragile than saltwater.
They can also have more attitude and aggression if that’s your thing, particularly if you were to choose meat eating fish like the piranha. Variations and combinations of rocks, woods, plants and sands can be sculpted to suit your preferences.
As you’re probably aware, a saltwater aquarium, particularly a reef aquarium, is a wonderful re-creation of the ocean. With that come the vibrant, colourful, delicate creatures, fascinating corals, reef fauna and live rock. Saltwater aquarium in particular can be more expensive. And they are a bit more precarious to maintain than their freshwater counterparts.
They generally require additional equipment, additional work during water changes and also require special lighting.
Size and materials obviously make a difference when it comes to price, maintenance and suitability as well. Aquarium Architecture’s saltwater aquarium has a minimum size of 300 litres, whereas the freshwater aquaria can be a minimum of 50 litres. Of course the sky’s the limit, so you can go as big as you want!
If you would prefer to go with acrylic over glass, you’ll have greater flexibility in the choice of shapes for your aquarium and acrylic will generally be more expensive.
Whether it is a beautiful, tropical aquarium bursting with colour and vibrancy that you’re after, or an intriguing and sleek work of art filled with unusual, unique, fascinating creatures and a wide variety of gorgeous freshwater fauna, no matter what you choose, you will always have an exceptional show piece everyone will love.
Both saltwater and freshwater aquaria created by Aquarium Architecture are a fabulous conversation piece and make an engaging focal point in any room.
– Tap water system
– 2-4 week maintenance
– Natural aesthetic
– Durable and colourful fish
– Cost effective visual impact
– Specialist salt and RO water production
– 1-2 week maintenance
– Live coral reef “wow” factor
– Colourful, exciting fish and corals
– Impressive visual impact
The standard aquarium shape.
The standard aquarium shape, perfect for going against a wall.
The simple rectangle is undoubtedly the most popular aquarium shape there is and will always account for the majority of all aquariums. Because of its shape, it is also the most versatile, as it can be used in almost any setup. They may be placed against a wall, into a corner, built into a wall, used as a room divider or peninsula, set up as an island, etc. The possibilities for setting up a rectangle aquarium are unlimited. A wide variety of overflow types may be used, and may be placed virtually anywhere in the tank. A rectangle will usually be your most economical aquarium to have built.
The six-sided aquarium, perfect for island placements.
Affords an unobstructed visual which allows you to observe your aquatic life in an fascinating 360-degree view — all while not taking up much space
Which one is best for you?
Picking the substrate for your aquarium might not seem like a big deal, but it has serious consequences for your aquarium. Gravel and sand are common substrates, and each has pros and cons. Each is right for certain aquariums.
In most cases, pea-size gravel makes the better substrate for freshwater aquariums. Pea gravel is large enough that it allows water to flow through it, preventing anaerobic "dead zones" where harmful bacteria can thrive and produce toxic compounds. At the same time, it's not so large that it creates gaps where fish food can fall beyond the reach of the fish and rot. On top of this, it's too large to get stirred up easily and sucked into filters. Pea gravel comes in a wide variety of colors.
Despite the many benefits of gravel, sand work very well in certain setups. If you have species that like to burrow or sift through the substrate, aquarium gravel can make life difficult for them. For example, certain small cichlids and loaches love to burrow. In the absence of burrowing fish, sand can lead to anaerobic dead zones. Sand works great as long as you have creatures in the tank that will burrow through it or otherwise stir the sand.
It’s hard to define what the best aquarium decorations are because there are so many to choose from including rocks, caves, driftwood, coral and more
No matter what kind of decor you’re looking for, the important thing is to choose a high-quality product. Make sure that it won’t throw off the chemistry of your water so your fish can enjoy it as much as you do
There are trade-offs to everything. The hinged front concept at first glance might give the appearance of additional convenience, however the negatives far outweigh the positives. Once you decide you are going with a hinged front top, pretty much all the designs out there have a solid or partially solid top.
Even with moisture resistant material, venting, or perforated material, with the amount of moisture that gradually evaporates from the aquarium you are eventually going to see the aquarium canopy deteriorate. This can also cause mold which is bad for your health, can cause the material itself to crack, warp, and bubble. It gets really bad, really quick. For this reason, all the aquarium canopies we manufacture are an open concept top.
This might mean you have to reach a little higher, or use a step stool to open the lids with the canopy on, but in the long run is a lot better way to go. If you are doing a major cleaning or rearrangement it is fairly easy to lift the canopy off and put it to the side for the time being. This is what we do with all our service accounts, every day. Remember, all our products are manufactured with a low Lifetime® operating expense in mind.
Our aquarium stands not only come with a 3/4" top, but a SOLID 3/4" PLYWOOD BACK. Most of the lesser expensive aquarium stands on the market are made of very weak and soft birch or pine, or worse yet, PARTICLE BOARD, and don't have any back at all! This is in part to save money, but also because most sump systems require a very large opening in order to get them in and out of your stand. With any canister filter, this is not a worry because they will easily fit through the front door of your stand. It is our opinion that a stand without a solid back is NOT strong enough to support a large aquarium for a Lifetime®.
There are many styles of very cheap imported aquarium stands available on the market today- and that is exactly what you are going to get. A cheap imported aquarium stand. With all the time and investment involved with a complete aquarium setup, not to mention the commitment it takes to establish and grow the livestock itself, one of the worst decisions a hobbyist could make is to skimp on the quality of the stand as it can potentially jeopardize everything. A WEAK AQUARIUM STAND CAN LEAD TO CATASTROPHIC FAILURE OF THE AQUARIUM. Remember- once full, these aquariums can way hundreds or thousands of pounds. That is a lot of force to endure over a period of time, and we have engineered our aquarium stands to handle it.
Each aquarium has the choice of one of our four water based stain colors or you can have a custom stain applied to match your personal decor. Each aquarium hood and aquarium stand receives 2 coats of a water based clear coats. To ensure a high quality, classy sheen on the hoods and stands we hand sand between coats of stain and clear coat. The results are second to none!
Behind every beautiful aquarium is a properly selected assembly of aquarium equipment. They work together to create a healthy, thriving aquatic environment.
Your filter is your most important piece of aquarium equipment. Filters help maintain aquarium water quality by efficiently removing harmful materials from your aquarium. Without proper filtration, your aquarium will not be able to sustain life. Your filter should offer three-stage mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration. For convenient filter selection, filters are rated for a particular aquarium size, based on a light-to-average fish load, and have a gallon-per-hour (gph) rating. The gph rating determines how many gallons of aquarium water pass through the filter per hour. In general, the filter should turn over the total water volume at least three to five times an hour. For example, filters rated at least 60-100 gph provide efficient filtration for 20-gallon aquariums.
Stable water temperature is necessary for the health of your aquarium system. As a general rule, you will need a heater that provides approximately 3 to 5 watts for each aquarium gallon. In addition to a heater, a thermometer is necessary for monitoring water temperature. Better yet, consider a digitial thermometer for convenient and easy-to-read daily monitoring of aquarium water temperature. Digital heater controller provides accurate and reliable readings for stable aquarium water temperatures.
Aquarium lighting serves two fundamental purposes. It illuminates the aquarium for your aesthetic enjoyment of the inhabitants and decorations and provides functional light crucial for photosynthetic life in the aquarium. In general, a fish-only community aquarium requires 1 to 2 watts of lighting per gallon. For example, a 30-watt, 36" fluorescent light fixture is appropriate for aquariums from 15-30 gallons. If you plan to have plants, you'll need to use a light fixture that provides 2 to 5 watts of lighting per gallon.
The idea behind aquarium automation is to make keeping an aquarium easier by continuously monitoring and controlling important functions and parameters. Automation helps maintain a consistent aquatic environment for fish, aquatic plants, corals and other invertebrates. The level of complexity and automation can be very sophisticated and involve pH, ORP, water level, lighting control, water pumps and more. Some aquarium controllers even use apps and cloud-based devices to automate and monitor just about everything that happens in the aquarium.
Spending about thirty minutes on aquarium maintenance every other week, helps prevent common and time consuming problems. The main goal of routine maintenance is a stable and balanced aquarium. If everything is running properly and your fish are healthy, there is no need for any major change, even if the pH or hardness is slightly out of range. Only increases or decreases of any major water parameter will require careful but immediate attention.
Water changes are arguably the most important part of routine aquarium maintenance. Scheduled aquarium maintenance would not be complete without the water change.
Tap water (municipal water) contains chlorine or chloramine. Chlorine will air out if kept in an aerated bucket for twenty-four hours. Chloramine will not. Chloramine = chlorine + ammonia. Either way, it is best to use a water conditioner to neutralize the chlorine. Ammonia will remain in the water if it contained chloramine, even after treatment with a conditioner. Nitrifying bacteria will break down the ammonia after adding the water to the aquarium. Other elements of municipal water may be phosphates, iron, and other heavy metals. Contact your water company if you aren’t sure it’s safe for use in your aquarium. Generally, well water is harder than municipal water, but it should be chlorine and chloramine free. If you are using filtered water, it’s still a good habit to regularly check it for vital parameters.
Because we can’t determine water quality by looking at it, it is very important to do regular testing. Testing your aquarium water is like checking the body’s vital signs. The results can tell a lot about imbalances, therefore allowing to detect and prevent looming problems. We highly recommend including testing in your regular maintenance schedule.
The aquarium filter should be serviced monthly. A densely stocked aquarium may require more frequent filter cleanings.
Think of your aquarium’s filter the same way you think of your kitchen trash can. The filter is nothing more than a receptacle for waste. Once it gets “full”, you need to empty it, otherwise it will contaminate the home of your fish.
Every aquarium is different and will require a maintenance schedule that is best suited for its unique conditions..