Custom Aquariums Have Many Unique Features

Are you looking to expand your aquarium to a larger size, as your collection of fish has grown? Perhaps you’ve had a smaller tank for years, and want to upgrade for even more fun! Or, you may be moving instead, and finally have enough room for a truly large underwater habitat. Maybe you simply need one for your office setting, which will provide hours of visual enjoyment for those in the waiting area. Whatever the reason for your interest in custom aquariums, there is much to consider before buying one of these units. To help you navigate this process for a superior outcome, let’s examine the features you’ll need to keep in mind below.

Safe Weight Limits

Where you install your custom tank is important, as this will determine how big it can be. How so? If you have a certain corner already in mind, the angles and shape of the tank must fit the contours of the wall. Also, often people underestimate the sheer weight of these units, which is vital to consider! You need to determine if the spot which you’ve picked out, can hold up under this heavy load. For example, you should have no problem with a 25 gallon tank placed on an upper floor in your home, as it should be able to bear this up well. Yet, for anything above 50 gallons, you may need a consult from a qualified building expert, to ensure it is safe to install. If you go above the rating for your home’s flooring structure, the ceiling below may begin to sag! Clearly, you want to avoid this situation, so get professional guidance if you are in doubt.

Other Location Considerations

Not only will the size and shape be a factor when selecting a location for your custom tank, things like sunlight come into play as well. It is best to keep your aquarium away from direct sunlight, so the water won’t become overly heated. Also, this will reduce the level of plant growth as well, making your aquarium easier to clean and maintain. Another consideration which is often overlooked, is the outlets near the tank as well. It is a good idea to have GFI models near any water, as these won’t short out the entire system if liquid spilled upon them. Finally, you need to determine if your tank design will fit through the doorways in your home, as it will be impossible to install if it doesn’t!

How to Determine the Appropriate Size for Custom Aquariums

While we’ve mentioned above that the location you ultimately pick out will influence the size of your tank, another factor affects this as well. How many fish you can include, and how big they are, will depend upon the size of your custom aquarium. How can you determine this information? A good approximate measure holds that for every inch of fish in your tank, you’ll need one gallon of water. So, for example, if you have ten fish which are all three inches long, you’ll have thirty inches in total. That means you need at least a thirty gallon tank, to accommodate your current collection of aquatic life!

Your Preferred Design

With new and better building materials available for custom aquariums, you can now have truly amazing designs built for you. In the past, the pressure which a tank exerted upon the walls and glass, only allowed for basic rectangular models. However, now you are only limited by your imagination, and the sky is truly the limit! Acrylic has made all of this possible, as it is lighter and stronger than glass. Yet, glass does hold up to the water better, and often will outlast other materials.

What design options can you select from? Some people choose to use their custom tank as a room divider, including it directly into the wall of their home! This is creates a truly amazing optical effect, as you can see through the water to the other side. Other options include building a unit into a bookcase, or even round tubes which travel along the ceiling like molding. While this is an outrageous design, such ideas are now possible to perform.


At this point you are probably excited about the possibilities for your custom aquarium! However, these units are quite expensive, some prohibitively so. Your available budget may limit what you can accomplish, and what type you will ultimately order. It is best to find an experienced company which will work with you through every step of the process, to ensure you stay within your price guidelines.

If you are looking for ways to save money, so you can still get the size of tank you really want, there are a few strategies you can use. First, freshwater tanks are usually more affordable, as they are a simpler design. The filters are less complicated, and the fish will cost you less as well. However, you may not want to sacrifice this option, as saltwater fish often have brilliant colors which are unmatched by freshwater varieties.

So, the second item you can save money upon instead, is the plant life which you include. While this won’t represent a major figure, every little bit helps! Artificial plants are the cheapest, and they never need to be replaced. This extra money can be put towards your tank construction, ensuring you get the unit you’ve always dreamed of.

Choose the Right Company

As already mentioned above, it is important to work with a solid company. This will ensure you have the best experience possible, as they will likely have built these kinds of projects for years. Custom aquariums are an item unto themselves, and they have unique features which require expertise to accomplish correctly. Therefore, never work with a custom builder, who hasn’t built an aquarium in the past. This is a recipe for disaster, and you could be plagued with leaks or other problems.

Also, a good manufacturer will offer ongoing customer service, which is a helpful feature. If you have any problems with your custom tank down the line, they will be able to troubleshoot your problem on site. After all, these aquariums aren’t little or simple, and you certainly don’t want to be responsible for finding a leak in a 75 gallon tank on your own! It is best to leave this to the professionals, and a quality builder will have personnel which will make service calls.

Finally, many provide cleaning and maintenance as well, as you may not have the time or expertise needed to do this on your own. Large custom tanks represent many hours of work to keep in proper shape, from cleaning to monitoring the pH levels. As the scope of your aquarium grows, the complexity of your underwater ecosystem will increase as well. Often you need a professional who has been specifically trained to care for large tanks, and having this option available is valuable.


So, when you take all of these features together, you are sure to design the best custom aquarium possible! These excellent units are a step above store bought models, and they will provide a truly inspiring visual spectacle. Just take your time to determine what size, shape, weight, location, design, price and company are right for you. If you take these simple measures, you will be closer to enjoying your wonderful new aquarium for years to come!

Having had fish tanks for over ten years, enjoying freshwater tropical fish, I now decided to write about my experiences on

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