All You Need To Know When Buying Aquarium

Hardly any aquarium is like the other down to the last detail. Through form, design and stocking, aquaristics has limitless possibilities. We provide you with topics ranging from shapes to fish species to filter techniques so that you are perfectly prepared for your new hobby.

Before buying the right aquarium, you should ask yourself several questions. First, decide whether it will be a cold or warm water aquarium. After that, choose the new location and thus weigh the possible size of the tank. Do you perhaps even need a special species tank? Furthermore, we inform you about the required technology, without which a successful underwater life is not possible.

Step 1: Location Of The Aquarium

The aquarium should not be exposed to direct sunlight or much daylight. Otherwise, it can lead to increased algae formation and the water is heated up unnecessarily. Therefore, a certain distance from radiators is necessary. In order to be able to clean the aquarium and feed the fish, sufficient space must be maintained at the top.


A horizontal installation on a vibration-free area ensures a safe stand. In addition, there must be a power supply. Now, special shapes, such as the corner or panoramic aquarium can also be considered. One thing to keep in mind is that the base must be able to support the total weight. This includes water + glass tank + aquarium equipment + technology. Rule of thumb: Tank volume x 1.8 = total weight in kg.

Step 2: Aquarium Size

From about 100 liters, most fish species have a stable living condition. The ecological cycle works and maintenance is kept within limits. With smaller tanks, the water quality often needs to be checked and they require a little more attention. For beginners, it is therefore recommended to purchase an aquarium between 100 and 200 liters. If you decide on a complete set, you usually get a tank, LED lighting, filter, heater and the matching base cabinet.

The Juwel tank is available in different versions. The advantage of the set is that all products are coordinated with each other. As a rule, aquariums are offered as 60cm, 80cm, 100cm or 120cm long. A standard aquarium is usually 80cm long and thus measures 80x35x40 with a volume of 112 liters. Generally, aquariums up to 50l are considered nano, up to 54l small, up to 100l medium and up to 240l large.

Step 3: Cold Or Warm?

The Cold Water Aquarium

The cold water aquarium offers the least amount of maintenance. Also, no heating is needed to regulate the water temperature, resulting in lower costs. The inhabitants come from middle climatic zones. Therefore, small goldfish species or cardinal fish, for example, are suitable. These are rather insensitive and more adaptable than the animals of the warm water aquarium. However, there is only a limited number of fish and plants to choose from. Visually, you also cannot access the colorful abundance of the warm and tropical habitat.

The Warm Water Aquarium

The great advantage of the warm water aquarium is the huge and colorful selection of plants and fish. With the help of a thermostat and heating rods, the warm water temperature is kept constant. Therefore, the purchase is a little more costly. The tropical habitat is stocked with tetras, catfish and cichlids. Compared to the cold water aquarium, maintenance is more costly. Water quality and temperature must be checked often to keep the more vulnerable creatures healthy.

Step 4: Special Features?

The Freshwater Aquarium

Not only the temperature, but also the water type can be differentiated. For beginners, the community aquarium with warm freshwater is often recommended. Here live many peaceable animals with similar keeping conditions. In contrast to the saltwater aquarium, it can be operated with much less effort.

The freshwater aquarium can also be set up as a biotope. Here, a habitat occurring in the wild is represented as accurately as possible. Themes such as the Amazon aquarium with catfish, the rock aquarium Lake Tanganyika with cichlids or a stream aquarium with high flow velocity are popular. The water temperature is usually between 24 and 26 degrees. A thermometer should be attached to the tank.


For the freshwater aquarium, a simple pot filter is sufficient at first. The filter is one of the most important techniques in the aquarium. For warm water fish, a heater is added. If you have special plants, a Co2 system can be useful. One thing to keep in mind: the filter keeps the water moving and cleans it from bacteria and pollutants. The internal filter must be inserted into the tank and is recommended for aquariums up to 80 l.

Advantages here are the quiet noise and the price. However, the internal filter has little filter material and must be cleaned every 2 weeks. External filters, on the other hand, have a large filter material and require only infrequent cleaning. But they are more expensive. In addition, the external filter has exposed hoses. No matter which one you choose – the filter must remain in operation 24h.


Sufficient lighting is enormously important. Every living thing in your aquarium needs light to exist. Photosynthesis breaks down pollutants in the water and oxygen is produced for the fish. In general, the goal (whether freshwater or saltwater) is to mimic the natural habitat of the aquarium inhabitants as closely as possible. Dimmable lamps and timers can be used to slowly dim the lights in the morning. At midday, they should then be at full intensity. Towards evening they are then dimmed again and later switched off completely.

Lighting should not exceed a total of 14 hours per day. LED or halogen lamps are suitable for freshwater aquariums. HQI burners and fluorescent tubes are also possible. These are needed for marine aquariums and are therefore described below. LED lamps are long-lasting and are safe to dispose of. They are particularly suitable for small aquariums up to a maximum water column of 50 cm. They also have low energy requirements. T5 (16 mm) or T8 (26 mm thick) fluorescent lamps are elongated tubes. They are among the most common illuminants. T5 tubes are more modern, slimmer and consume less energy.

Care And Cleaning

Freshwater aquariums require a 30% partial water change every 14 days. For fertilizing there are special liquid agents. To keep the panes clean from algae, algae magnets, special pane cleaner or algae sponges can be used. Gravel is cleaned with a mulmglocke.



The Seawater Aquarium

Colorful corals and a variety of animals. The seawater aquarium is a reflection of the ocean. The time that an aquarium needs before the fish can move in is somewhat longer with seawater than with freshwater aquariums. This run-in period can last for several weeks.


In a saltwater aquarium, the aquarist can use more technology than in a freshwater tank. Instead of the pot filter you need a protein skimmer. Furthermore 1-2 current pumps and a heating rod are necessary. If necessary also a reverse osmosis plant, if your tap water is loaded with many pollutants. Dosing pumps for trace elements, measuring equipment, heating and cooling systems, additional filter systems and ultrapure water filters are often used – but are not a must.

But besides all the technology, the real filter in the marine aquarium is the live rock. This creates a functioning ecosystem around the natural reef. It comes from natural coral reefs with bacteria, microalgae, sponges, crustaceans and worms.


Aquarium Aquarium[/caption ] Aquarium

There are basically two options for marine aquariums. HQI lamps are metal halide lamps. These rather costly lamps contain a glass tube filled with mercury vapor. When voltage is generated an extremely intense light is emitted, which strongly resembles the sun. Especially corals appreciate this light and their punctual irradiation. So if you want to keep stony corals or giant clams successfully, you probably can’t avoid HQI lamps. In general, there is one HQI lamp for every 60 cm of tank depth. To avoid overheating, the lamps should be placed at least 30 cm apart.

If you don’t want to keep corals, you usually choose fluorescent tubes. These are much cheaper and do not give off as much heat as HQI lamps. By combining several light spectrums, you can create conditions that are close to habitat for the animals. Try to cover the entire length and width of the tank with the lamps.

It should be noted that the light intensity of the fluorescent tubes decreases by 70% already in the first year. Thus, the intensity and spectra change. It can lead to increased algae formation. The lamps must therefore be replaced regularly. Since both options have advantages and disadvantages, many aquarium owners opt for a combination of the two options with staggered use.

Care And Cleaning

Care is similar to that of the freshwater aquarium. Many care products and technology elements are suitable for both freshwater and saltwater tanks. A monthly 10% partial water change is sufficient for the saltwater aquarium.

The Nano – Aquarium

The nano aquarium differs from other tanks especially by its size. Typically, they have a capacity between 12 and 54 liters. Often they are characterized by a cube shape. In nano aquariums you should keep only very small inhabitants. Dwarf shrimp, snails and dwarf crayfish are ideal for this purpose. Fish should not be kept in a tank with less than 54l volume. Due to the small size and small amount of water, nano aquariums are more prone to disturbances. Therefore, you need to check the water much more often.

Step 5: Shopping List With Utensils

Now that you have informed yourself about the different options, you should go to a specialized store for advice. Tell the specialist staff what you have decided on in the above selection. For a successful aquarium life, the following things should be purchased: □ tank □ filter (e.g. internal filter or external filter), aerator □ lighting incl. cover □ substrate (e.g. gravel) with possibly substrate fertilizer □ decoration materials (e.g. Stones, roots) □ Water plants □ Mulmabsauger, hose for water change □ Water care products, water tests □ Food, Käscher □ (Thermometer and heater) You will need fish only later, when the aquarium is set up and the water is perfectly prepared. Recommendation: If you are buying your first aquarium, complete sets from leading brand manufacturers are suitable. These contain not only the tank, but also the entire basic equipment. Here, all elements are guaranteed to fit together and are coordinated with each other.

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8 thoughts on “All You Need To Know When Buying Aquarium”

  1. Ich möchte für mein Büro ein Aquarium kaufen und die Einkaufsliste hilft mir ungemein. Ist es empfehlenswert, Dekomaterial wie Wurzeln aus der Natur zu verwenden? Ich habe ein paar Bedenken, was die Hygiene angeht und möchte keine Krankheitserreger ins Aquarium bringen.

    • Hey Luise,
      Um den organischen Abfall zu minimieren sollten in Aquarien nur Harthölzer verwendet werden.
      Außerdem sollte das Holz sauber und komplett durchgetrocknet sein.
      Liebe Grüße
      Dein Haustierratgeber-Team

  2. Ich habe schon seit langem ein Aquarium und möchte jetzt auch ein mit Meereswasser. Gut zu wissen, dass das Lebendgestein wie ein Filter funktioniert und ein Ökosystem bildet. Die schönsten Fische gibt es meiner meinung nach sowieso im Meerwasser.


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