In 2018, freshwater fish were more popular than any other type of pet in the United States. Hop on this fishy trend by learning how to build the DIY aquarium of your dreams.

Americans owned around 139.3 million aquatic animals in 2018. Meanwhile, the amount of fish being kept as pets in the United States is slowly but surely increasing.

Pet ownership is one of the most rewarding experiences in existence. You, too, deserve to feel the joy of keeping fish as pets.

Here are five important tips for building your own fish tank.

1. Determine Glass Thickness

When building a DIY fish tank, make sure the glass you use is thick enough to withstand the water weight it’ll contain. Glass that’s too thin will crack under the increased water pressure.

The larger your aquarium is, the thicker your glass should be. There are online calculators and charts to help you determine the appropriate level of glass thickness for your aquarium size.

2. Get Exact Measurements

Knowing how to build a fish tank means getting the most exact measurements possible. Thoroughly measure the length and width of each glass panel you plan on using for your tank.

If you use glass panels with uneven measurements, your tank will leak or fall apart. All of the silicone adhesives in the world can’t hold together uneven glass panels.

3. Know Your Fish

Research the species of the fish you plan on keeping as pets. That way, you’ll know what kind of conditions each fish requires, their defining attributes, and how well they’ll coexist with other fish.

For example, the bumblebee catfish is a freshwater fish. It’s a scavenger, so it’ll help keep your tank clean. 

Make sure your tank is big enough to accommodate your fish. Overcrowding can cause fatalities in fish. The larger a fish is, the more space it needs to thrive.

4. Choose Quality Gravel

When learning how to build an aquarium, your choice of gravel makes all the difference. Make sure your gravel is coarse enough to let water flow through it but fine enough to promote nitrifying bacteria growth.

Wash your gravel thoroughly before putting it in the tank. This prevents any dust it acquired from contaminating the water.

5. Fishy Furniture

Decorate your fish tank with creative ornaments like mermaids and rocky fixtures. Ornaments are essentially furniture for fish. Fish especially love exploring decorations that have holes or tunnels built into them.

Rinse your decorations just like you should do with gravel. Like gravel, decorations can also accumulate dust.

You’ll Fall in Love with Your DIY Aquarium

Simply put, fish are quieter than other animals are. You might hear the sound of the filter and moving water at night, but even then, your DIY aquarium won’t keep you up.

Fishkeeping isn’t as big of a commitment as other forms of pet ownership are. Nonetheless, fish require care, and aquariums require regular cleaning, so it’s still a commitment.

Open your mind⁠—check out our brilliant education articles. The more you learn, the more you’ll know about the world.

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