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4. Aquariums

A variety of sizes and shapes are available including custom.  Glass and acrylic are the materials to choose from.

One of the more frustrating answers from industry insiders to a question is often another question — “what do you want to keep?”. Next time you hear that, say, “I want to KEEP IT ALIVE”. You’re not even sure yet what you want to keep.  You don’t even know about all the fish, corals, and invertebrates (crabs, shrimps, …) that are available in the hobby.  Try to keep your options open though.

In the case of basic aquarium selection, you will have to make some decisions about which animals (some need a lot of room) and how many you want to keep. For the beginner to intermediate saltwater fish and reef keeper, most want flexibility to postpone this decision and to maximize options.

Practically speaking, you get one chance to get many of these items right. Some of the issues to consider:
– where will the system go (what room)
– where in the room
– will the floor support the weight (tank+equipment+water)
– equipment under the tank in the stand/cabinet
– do you have a separate “fish room” available for the equipment
– glass or acrylic display tank
– glass or Starphire glass (on the left in the picture below)

– rimless/braceless (requires thicker or tempered glass, so heavier and +$’s)
– Euro Style bracing (inside the perimeter, about 4″ wide)
– Euro-bracing flush with the tank top, or recessed about 1/4″
– center brace
– size, volume and dimensions (an internal overflow and liverock will take-up space)
– shape

A glass, rimless/braceless “cube” tank with what looks like clear silicone:

Euro-braced (perimeter), center-braced, and with a rim:


Other reek keepers report:

“I have read black can discolor, and turn yellow or brown, while clear will discolor over time and show coraline algae growth. I also have read that long term a nice black bead can become jagged from cleanings, which is more noticable than clear silicone.”

“To me….. the reason we go rimless is to make the illusion that the water is almost suspended or as if there is no glass holding it back. The black silicone creates a hard line that draws the eyes attention to it.”

“Only tanks with black that look good to me are the Elos because the silicone lines are so thin… “

“I know I have a standard AGA now with clear silicone, and it is opaque not really clear, I wouldnt say it is covered in algae but it definetly can’t be cleaned.”