How to design the perfect aquarium

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Designing and decorating an aquarium can be a challenge, even if it looks like a simple project. Aquarists talk about the need to focus on lighting and decoration, while keeping the welfare of the fish in mind.

Good size

The size of an aquarium depends on the space available. As a general rule, select the largest size possible. The surface area of ​​an aquarium is important. “Size must also be taken into account. Both marine and freshwater environments can benefit from taller aquariums, which provide superior conditions for certain species of fish and plants,” says Dhrubajyoti Lahiri of bangaloreaquarium.com. Adip Sajjan Raj, Founder and CEO of Still Water Aquatics says the standard size is a 60P aquarium, or 60x30x36cm. “A rectangle in shape is best for taking cool photos,” he adds.

Choose a genre

One can always use a custom tank or buy a ready made set. There are largely two types of aquariums – regular aquariums and natural aquariums.
“Regular aquariums are those with a glass tank containing a few fish. The latter has a lot of nature-inspired design, with lots of natural elements. This art of design is called aquascaping,” says Adip.

Design it right

Creating a sense of depth is a must, says Adip. “You need open and closed spaces. The ratio of these spaces is like Yin and Yang,” he says. “You have to be able to predict how big the plants will grow and cover or block the view,” he adds.

When designing an ecosystem like an aquarium, you should ideally have a reference photo or a sketch, says Adip. If using wood, use pieces that have been weathered for a period of time. If you use stones, make sure they don’t release salts into the water. “It could change the chemistry of the water,” he adds.

Invest in a suitable substrate and quality landscaping materials like branching pieces of wood and unique-looking rocks, and carefully selected plants or synthetic decor, says Dhrubajyoti.

Design elements and well-being

If you have an aquarium with too much wood or stones, some fish may feel uncomfortable. “Each fish has certain movement requirements. Designing an aquascape around the fish is important. There is a ratio in everything we do and we apply the golden ratio,” says Adip.

The golden ratio is a mathematical ratio. When used in design, it promotes natural-looking organic and aesthetic compositions. The design of the Iwagumi aquarium is tranquil, where the placement of the stones is done in a beautiful and calming way.

The size of the fish can vary from 1/2 cm to 4-5 inches and the number should depend on the size of the aquarium, he adds. Select fish that enjoy similar water temperatures and chemistry, are compatible with each other, and occupy different levels of the aquarium, says Dhrubajyoti.

Strategic positioning

In the 80s and 90s, the aquarium was placed in the outbuilding or the balcony, but now things have changed. “Aquariums have now moved the television from the living room to the bedroom. People dine around the aquarium and hang out with it,” says Adip.

Dhrubajyoti points out that aquariums should not be placed near windows or heating and cooling ducts. “Do not place your aquarium where it will receive direct sunlight. Sudden changes in light can stress fish. When you turn the canopy lights on or off, turn the room lights on for at least 30 minutes,” he says. “Don’t leave the lights on all day, because just like nature, fish and plants also need periods of darkness,” he says.

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