Shot glass or swimming pool - how large should your aquarium be?
It’s your decision what size aquarium you choose, but you need to remember the following in order to provide your fish and invertebrates with a suitable home: The German Animal Welfare Act prescribes that vertebrates (fish) need to be kept in aquariums with a minimum volume of 54 litres. For invertebrates, such as shrimps, there are no provisions. It basically depends on your choice of animal stock. If you want to keep large fish, such as angel fish, the aquarium needs to be at least 50 cm high and 100 cm long. If you want fast swimming fish, e.g. rainbowfish, the aquarium also needs a length of 100 cm, but it doesn’t have to be as high. Goldfish can become 30 cm (!!!) long and need correspondingly large aquariums. Please research the demands of your fish and then the aquarium size suitable for them.
You’ll also need to consider the load-bearing capacity of your cabinet and the floor. For the weight of your aquarium, roughly calculate the number of litres in kilos. Don’t forget to take the weight of the glass and the decoration into account as well, but this calculation will give you a rough idea. If you’re planning to use an existing cabinet, just imagine if (in the case of a 150 litre aquarium) this cabinet would carry 2 adults.
Suitable cabinets are available from pet shops in various designs to match the aquarium. These cabinets also have the right cut-outs at the back for cables, plugs and hoses so that you do not have to mill out or drill any holes in them.
For aquariums of 200 litres or more, it’s best to check with your landlord about the load-bearing capacity of the floor or, if it’s your own house, check the statics. It’s usually not a problem, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you are planning a small nano aquarium to be placed on a shelf, don’t forget to think about the weight here too. A large bucket of sand can simulate the weight of a small aquarium quite well.
The bigger, the easier!
This may sound strange, but it has been proven true a thousand times over. Larger aquariums are much more forgiving of mistakes than smaller aquariums. If you forget to clean the filter or perform a partial water change, larger volumes of water remain more stable than small volumes. If a child takes care of the fish, it is easy to feed too much out of sheer exuberance, thus creating a sudden water pollution. So if you want to buy a certain size of aquarium, ask for the prices of one size larger. The accessories will have similar prices and so it will only be slightly more expensive overall.
Exemplary themed aquariums
We have prepared a few aquarium types for you. Have a look and see if you like any of them. As a rule the species and number of the animals determine the aquarium size.