As the main room in your home, the lounge is a place of comfort and retreat. An aquarium is an ideal addition as the serenity of fish and plants can add a calming touch. However, there is no need for this to detract from the style and finish of your room. A well-positioned, well designed aquarium should be an attribute to your living space. So to help with planning and design, we have compiled a list of 5 key factors to think about when choosing an aquarium.
The positioning of your fish tank can create an amazing focal point in any room. Try to ensure it is not kept in direct sunlight, as this will promote algae growth.
A tank custom built in to a wall looks fabulous, there is a trend for wall mounted aquariums too. Slim and yet wide they make an ever changing alternative to artwork. If you have an open-plan room, a tank sat in a separating shelf unit can not only create a beautiful feature, but also serve as a marking point should you wish to separate two areas.
Depending on the size of the tank, it can sit on a unit or sideboard. Make sure that the unit can take the weight of the full tank before installation – to avoid any unfortunate mishaps.
There are many designs to choose from, from the traditional rectangular tank to orb like creations. Depending on the style of your lounge you could opt for a classic style or a contemporary design to stand out or co-ordinate.
More and more simple designs are becoming available. All of the equipment is compact and/or hidden away. This means the actual sea scape is the focal point, rather than cumbersome filter units or lighting. Swell UK have an extensive range of aquariums in various styles, many complete with the full set of necessary equipment needed.
If you are looking for something entirely different, there are many aquarium companies who will tailor make one to your specifications.
The lighting that you choose for your tank has a main purpose. It must of course be the right kind to support the type of tank. If it only houses fish, then the light is mainly for viewing purposes. Warm light will reflect the colours of fish and enhance their natural beauty. If you have a reef or planted aquarium, then the lighting must be the right kind. Plants and corals need strong light to promote natural, lush growth.
Reef corals and some invertebrates have a natural fluorescence which is highlighted by the appropriate lighting. This can create a stunning feature, especially in the evening, as you will see your aquarium in a whole new light.
LED is a contemporary source of lighting that lasts a long time and saves money as well as providing spectacular results. There are many forms of aquatic lighting to make the very best of your aquarium. It creates a light feature in your room, and should be considered when thinking about any ambient lighting.
Of course, when you have chosen all of the above, you can decorate your aquarium. There are many beautiful rock and wood formations that add a classic, natural finish. Well known aquarists create stunning aquascapes with natural rocks, pebbles and moss that creates a beautiful mini ecosphere. With a little research and lots of imagination you can build a tiny fantasy land, unique to your home.
Substrates are a key point to consider too. Available in various forms and colours they add a necessary texture to the aquarium. Natural colours are widely available, as are brighter, more unusual colours. Good tank maintenance is vital to keep it clean and looking fresh.
There are literally hundreds of fish to choose from. Depending on the type of aquarium you opt for, various levels of maintenance are required.
If you have a small space, a smaller fish tank with a Betta (Siamese Fighting Fish) can look stunning. These fish shouldn’t be kept in pairs as they will fight to the death, but it can be kept with some other types of fish. The Betta’s beautiful colours and extravagant tail will create a real talking piece.
A reef aquarium can look absolutely beautiful. Corals and reef plants are made up of both vibrant and unusual colours seldom seen in freshwater tanks. They alone can make a dramatic, stylish addition to any room.
Before adding fish ensure that the tank is ready, by cycling it in preparation. Speak to a fish specialist for more advice on this; and for information on the types of fish available.
Written by Mark Cropper, Aquatics Specialist at Swell UK.