Your primary concerns while upgrading should be improving the quality of life for your fish while maximizing aesthetics at the same time. There are tens of thousands of different types of fish out there, all with their own unique needs when it comes to living space. Since every aquarium owner has his/her own goals in mind, here are some general things you need to know when upgrading your aquarium.
How Big Should I Make My Aquarium?
Choosing the size of your new tank should be based on how many fish you plan to house in it. A general rule is one inch of fish per gallon; this allows each fish enough room to swim and get proper exercise while still leaving enough room for all the decorations and equipment that you’ll need. Unless you’re planning on housing large or extremely rare breeds, this size will work just fine.
If you are looking for something more compact to fit in a smaller space, this is not a big issue. There are new types of nano reef tanks arriving on the market, like those seen on this website, that allow you to house a relatively large amount of fish in a small space. These tanks are very easy to maintain and usually have a small footprint, which means you can put them almost anywhere.
Should I Add Some Plants?
This is another tricky area because many people recommend that you upgrade your lighting system before planting any plants in your tank. The reason for this is it takes a good amount of energy to provide the correct type and amount of lighting required for most plants, which can stress out fish and invertebrates if not done correctly. If you plan on keeping live plants, then upgrading with the proper light fixtures will be essential down the line.
What Type Of Lighting Will I Use?
Perhaps the most important upgrade you can make to any freshwater or saltwater tank is proper lighting. You need enough light to reach your plants and corals, but not so much that it bleaches the colors out of them. A good rule of thumb is to look for 10 watts of lighting per gallon of water in your tank. This will provide plenty of light with just a few bulbs and won’t put too much stress on fish and inverts. You may also want to consider the color of your bulbs as well, as this can affect your fish and tank in several ways.
What Filter Should I Use?
If you plan on using an external filter then there’s no reason not to upgrade right away! Keep in mind that size matters here because bigger is almost always better when it comes to filtration. An ideal tank would have a large filtration system that can handle more fish that can be added over time.
If you plan on using an internal filter then there isn’t any reason to upgrade unless it is broken beyond repair or you want something more efficient for your current set-up. An external filter will provide better water quality overall, which means better health for your fish and less maintenance for you!
What About Live Rock?
This is another important part of upgrading because live rock should always be kept in high-end tanks no matter how big or small they are. If correctly taken care of, these rocks can cleanse the water while also providing shelter for smaller fish and acting as decoration at the same time.
The main drawback to this is they can be rather expensive depending on where you live, but usually, it is best just to bite the bullet and buy them if your budget allows it. They do cost more upfront but overall should save you money in the long run because algae will grow on them which means less work for you!
What About Other Decorations?
This is pretty simple, if you plan on keeping anything in your tank for a long time then it would be best to upgrade rather than simply buying something new. The reason is because of the problems described above, and the fact that rocks and corals can provide hiding spaces and shelter for all kinds of fish and creatures. Having more places for them to hide means less stress which also leads to better overall health.
The moral of this article is that upgrading your aquarium usually isn’t as simple as just buying a new one and calling it a day unless of course, all you’re simply looking for is something bigger with more space to house more fish or other life. Keeping in mind the things mentioned above will ensure you have a healthy and properly set-up tank, in the long run, making it much more enjoyable for you to watch in action!