Where Should I Put My Aquarium?

One of the more common questions people ask is, “Where should I put my aquarium?” People often inquire about the ideal size as well. However, the first priority should be to determine placement and positioning before choosing a size.  Below are the most important factors to consider for ideal placement of an aquarium in your home.

1. Visibility

While most people wish to have their aquarium in a more visible location, it’s not always conducive to do so!  Aquariums can be noisy and carry odors to varying extents, both of which can be undesirable. This is especially true of aquariums using cheap equipment. Even the most expensive, well-maintained aquariums can be susceptible to these issues if a catastrophe strikes as well.

Therefore, we recommend putting your aquarium in a space where a hum, noise or odor will not disturb you or guests. For instance, you probably wouldn’t want water noise drowning out the audio of your television or conversations with visitors. No one wishes to have smells right next to the dinner table either! While we all wish to proudly showcase our aquarium, it’s important to also remain practical about it.

2. Sun Exposure

Natural sunlight may make corals look unbelievable at first glance, but there are many downsides with direct sun exposure. For one, we recommend avoiding an area that receives natural sunlight since it can overheat the aquarium’s water. As a result, algae outbreaks can occur more often in the event of excess nutrients. While a chiller can be used to combat that, it can further increase both costs and maintenance on your part.

In addition to problems arising from too much heat, natural sunlight is very yellow and lacks consistency. The appearance of your aquarium can dramatically change over time as a result of these inconsistencies. Perhaps your aquarium may initially look nice in the sun’s rays, but that will may not be the case long-term.

Having said that, most people prefer the synthetic look of our highly blue lighting anyhow! Our aquarium lighting options bring out more “pop” in many corals for an amazing appearance.

3. Plumbing

One of the more favorite locations to place an aquarium is against (or inside) a wall. This way you have a space behind the aquarium for equipment that isn’t too noticeable or off-putting.  A closet, unused bedroom or garage are ideal places to keep noise, salt, and equipment out of the way. 

Additionally, another factor to keep in mind: It is much easier to work on equipment that is raised up. Having equipment in a closet or garage allows you to have it on a stand making maintenance a breeze. Otherwise, equipment located under your aquarium in the stand requires you to bend down to access it. This can be rather stressful on your back over time.

4. Safety

It should probably go without saying that your aquarium should be located in a safe area, away from potential hazards.  However, this still cannot be emphasized enough! Before finding a suitable location, you may want to consider worst case scenarios or potential accidents that could occur in that location. For instance, placing an aquarium next to your billiards table certainly wouldn’t be ideal… We all know that one guy who may erratically send the 8-ball through the roof, so choose wisely!

Not only do you want to ensure your aquarium is away from harm’s way, but also consider the safety of others! Aquariums can bring a lot of interest from onlookers. For those who have children, play areas are certainly not a good space either and should be avoided at all costs. If you have pets, you definitely don’t want the aquarium to be accessible to your furry little friends either. Aquariums are a lot of fun, so know your audience! Children, dogs and cats are all easily intrigued, so you’ll want to ensure they cannot potentially hurt themselves and/or damage the aquarium.

5. Flooring

The surface you put your aquarium on is another important consideration to make.  Given the likely hood of a spill or even occasional drip, carpet is not ideal.  Hardwoods, laminates or other surfaces that are relatively fragile to moisture should also be avoided.  Newer hobbyists are far more likely to have spills, overflows or otherwise make a mess as opposed to seasoned reefers.  That being said, we all have accidents from time to time! Therefore, we should all consider flooring that can easily be cleaned up without causing any potential water damage.

Pro tip: Putting down a tile “pad” for your stand can also be a viable option to prevent damaged floors. At a minimum, you can use a number of small tiles to raise your stand ¼” above the surface. This way, you can use a fan or something similar to dry out the area underneath before damage occurs should water drip or spill. If you do use tiles, you will just want to ensure using enough to provide even support.  At the same time, it should be tall enough to raise the aquarium stand as well. No one wants mold growing on wet carpet underneath their aquarium stand. Aquariums are heavy to move, and carpeting can be expensive to replace!

6. Support

While this is rarely a concern for most at-home aquariums, larger tanks should be placed in an area that can properly accommodate for it’s weight.  Exterior walls, weight bearing walls, or other solid surface is a great place to position your aquarium.  Avoid placing it against a wall in the middle of the joists in the floor.  This can cause sagging over time.

A fully-stocked, 250 gallon reef aquarium weighs approximately 2000-3000 pounds collectively with it’s tank, stand, rock, water, etc.  Most homes have no issue with this weight. However, if you are planning to add a more robust aquarium and have concerns, we recommend consulting an engineer. It’s always a good idea to be safe rather than sorry.

Conclusion

When considering your aquarium’s placement, the health and safety of your home’s inhabitants, guests and environment are all essential. Visibility, sun exposure, plumbing, safety, flooring and support are all important factors one should carefully taken into account. You can and should showcase your new aquarium in a desirable location, but at the same time it must be practical. Once you’ve pinpointed the perfect spot in your home, you can then begin measurements to determine the ideal size.

We hope that you will find this article beneficial while weighing potential areas to put your new aquarium. If you have any questions about this topic or additional factors to take into account, please feel free to contact us. We are more than happy to assist our fellow aquarium enthusiasts, and we sincerely appreciate feedback as well!