Types of Fish Tanks
As a general rule there are four types of fish tanks: cold water, brackish water, freshwater tropical, and saltwater marine. Cold water aquariums are probably the easiest to keep, followed by freshwater tropical, then brackish and last marine saltwater. Cold water aquariums are anything below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Freshwater tropical and saltwater marine tanks range from 72-84 degrees Fahrenheit. Brackish aquariums have a mixture of saltwater and fresh water and should be kept at about 74 degrees Fahrenheit. We mention these differences because some of the equipment will be different for each. The maintenance and types of fish you keep in your fish tank will also be different.
NOTE: This site focuses on freshwater tropical and saltwater marine tanks, but we occasionally give tips and products for cold water and brackish aquariums (More info on tanks after the links.)
Shapes of Fish Tanks
Ideally, you’ll want to purchase a long aquarium rather than a tall aquarium. This is for four reasons:
1) It is more natural for a fish to swim horizontally rather than vertically.
2) the water surface is where gases exchanges takes place – i.e. the oxygen comes in and the carbon dioxide goes out.
3) tanks with small surface areas restrict water movement, which is key to a healthy tank.
4) very deep tanks are more difficult to service.
Sizes of Fish Tanks
Of course, the bigger your tank the more fish you’ll be able to keep, although you still want to make sure not to over crowd your tank (find out more on our fish page). The best things about a bigger tank is that it is actually easier to keep. Sure it might take a little longer to clean, but because of the large amount of water, your water parameters will be more stable, which means your’ll have a healthier tank. In small fish tanks changes in the water can happen quickly because of the small amount of water. This doesn’t mean you can’t keep a small fish tank, it just means you’ll have to be a little more attentive.
Fish Tanks for Kids
Most, but not all, children’s tanks are quite small, so you’ll want to be sure to keep an eye on it without disturbing the fish too much. You’ll also want to be careful not to overstock your tank. You will find that many children’s tanks are themed with things like Spongebob Squarepants, Little Mermaid, or Pirates. Keeping a fish tank can be a fun experience for young people. It can also be a great opportunity to learn about responsible fish keeping. We encourage children and parents to visit our site, sign up for newsletters and check out our Facebook, Instagram, and youtube pages for tips on keeping up with your fish tank. If you can’t find the help you need, reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help you with any questions you have.