Not everybody wants a 200 gallon fish tank that takes up tons and space and costs more than your cable bill to maintain every month. Sometimes, good things come in small packages, and tiny aquariums can add the perfect touch to a home or office space. Small aquariums may not require a huge amount of thought and effort, but I can still offer a few simple tips and tricks to make sure that your tiny aquarium is a big success.
1. Location, location, location
It’s just as true for aquariums as it is for real estate. You don’t really have to think too much about where you plop your humongoid aquarium, because once it’s set up it’s pretty much not going to move, ever. Small aquariums, however, require a bit more thought about where they’re set up. First of all, aquariums can be deceptively heavy, so if you put even a small fish bowl on a book shelf there’s a good chance that the impressive weight and the constant humidity could damage the bookshelf or other objects on the shelf.
The other thing that you really gotta watch out for is how likely it is that somebody could knock it over. Putting a fishbowl on your desk at work or home might seem like a good idea at the time, but accidentally tipping it over will utterly destroy your desk and the floor. Check out the above picture. That bowl looks nice and all, but it’s on the very corner on the desk and there’s a room beyond. That probably means people will be walking past that corner of the desk all time. That’s a disaster waiting to happen — the bowl would probably be better suited closer to the center of the desk.
2. Less is More
When you have a small aquarium you really need to resist the urge to overdecorate or overpopulate the tank. You might be tempted to fill it bursting with plants and fish, sort of like how larger aquariums are set up, but that just isn’t feasible when you’re talking about fish tanks in the 8-15 gallon range. Get only a few small fish and try to pick plants that won’t outgrow the fishbowl.
3. Nip Problems in the Bud
Let me ask you this. Suppose that you started a fire on one end of a Wal-Mart, and then started another fire on one end of a tool shed. Which building would be completely engulfed in flames sooner? The answer is pretty obviously the tool shed, and the same principles apply to aquariums. A problem in a small fish tank can reach dangerous levels at a much faster rate than it would in a large aquarium. You absolutely can’t afford to get lazy with maintenance. If you notice nitrate levels getting high, you’d better act fast or you’ll poison all of your pint-sized buddies within a day or two.
4. Plan Ahead
Maintaining an aquarium isn’t like mixing a cocktail. You can’t just add a bunch of an ingredients, shake well, and give it a sip to see how it all turned out. If you don’t know what you’re doing then you’re just going to end up throwing away your money. Do research on an appropriate theme for your fish tank. Make sure that all of your fish and plant species get along, and provide the necessary shelters to keep your fish happy.
5. Out with the Old
Perform frequent partial water changes and switch out the filters to ensure that the water is nice and clean. This goes back to tip #3 because water in small fish tanks can quickly reach poisonous levels. Performing regular checks on the water will ensure that your swimmers will stay healthy.