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Positioning Your Aquarium

Date Published - 10th September 2015 - Published by - iQuatics Ltd

A lot of people invest in aquariums because they make attractive set pieces for a modern living room – in essence, they look pretty cool. To this end, deciding where to position your aquarium often becomes a question of spacing and individual style, eventually boiling down to “where can it fit in without looking a bit awkward and out of place?”. Your personal interior design tastes, however, must also be set against the wide number of environmental factors, such as sunlight and temperature, which can drastically destabilise your tank.

Grand Designs
In their quest to find a suitable place in their home in which a large, awkward box full of water can sit happily amongst their possessions, most aquarists are inevitably drawn to the windowsill as a suitable resting place. This, however, can in fact prove to be extremely damaging to your carefully honed ecosystem for a number of reasons.
Light saturation can have an irreversible affect on your marine ecosystem, one that can disrupt even the most heavily regimented aquarium maintenance schedule, so it’s important to closely monitor how much natural light your tank is getting. You’d be surprised at how many aquarists come to us, having spent a painstaking amount of time and effort carefully honing their artificial lighting levels, only to ask why their tanks are recurrently displaying signs of excessive light saturation. The answer? Well, it probably has something to do with that big ball of light we call the Sun.
Bad Feng Shui
Natural light can have a dramatic impact on your aquarium in two very distinctive ways. Firstly, an excess of natural light in your aquarium can lead to the build up of algae over a long period of time. Algae, as we’ve touched upon before, effectively turns the rays that hit it into food – thus the more rays, the more algae. In its initial stages, algae build up isn’t an issue to lose sleep over – although it does prove extremely irritating when you’re trying to maintain a clear tank. When left untreated, however, unchecked algae can effectively eclipse your plant life, preventing it from getting the nutrients and (ironically) the light it needs to grow and develop.
On the other hand, exposing your aquarium to an excessive amount of sunlight can also destabilise its overall temperature, leading to a whole spectrum of problems including stress, wilting and, in the worst cases, even death. Achieving a stable temperature should be one of the most important aspects of your aquarium maintenance regime; balancing a number of factors including artificial light, natural light and ambient temperature requires patience and precision. Needless to say, on those rare days we actually get a lot of sunlight in Britain, aquariums precariously balanced on windowsills across the nation feel the effects of it. Remember to check your tank’s thermometer regularly to take note of any fluctuations, and move your tank into a more densely shaded area if you begin to see the temperature creeping up.
Healthy Tank – Healthy Mind
It seems like an unnecessary point to labour, but it’s obviously the case that you shouldn’t be leaving your aquarium out on the windowsill, in the view of direct sunlight, for hours on end. Wherever possible, seeing as natural light is so difficult to monitor and control, your aquarium should be located in a shaded area of your home. Now we’re not saying it should be locked away in the cupboard under the stairs with some muddy trainers and old hats, just have a little common sense. The best way to maintain a healthy level of light saturation in your tank is to invest in a high quality aquarium lighting system that you can regularly monitor and adjust.

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