Choosing an aquarium that fits your home and life style is important. Aquarium choices vary, but pick one that fits in the area, or you can have something as elaborate as a dedicated fish room. Again, this is entirely up to you. (If you have any further questions about other services? Please stop by our FAQ section for more details.)


fish tank setup

So, we begin with some ideas and considerations.

  • Fish: This point and the next sort of go hand and hand. What kind of fish do you want to keep? This is a very important question because it will help answer the next question. The nice thing about this hobby is that no matter what size aquarium you choose, or what’s within your budget? You can still find something that fits. So, if you don’t have the room for a larger fish tank? There are plenty of nano options available that will fit your space. 
  • Aquarium: Picking out the right tank is important, and proper planning with the right fish tank setup will lead to easier success down the road. First thing to consider is what fish type do you want to keep? It won’t make sense in a few months to purchase a small baby Oscar for your 29-gallon aquarium, knowing it will out grow that tank in a very short amount of time.
  • Filtration: This is a subject of much debate. However, when you look the root operation of any filter, they just move water. In my opinion filters can be broken up into 3 categories. Canister filter, Hang on Back, and Sponge. Sponge filters are more geared toward diehard hobbyists versus people that want something more attractive or a show piece. Canister filters can be more trouble than they’re worth. If something breaks, or an O-ring gets pinch, it’s going to be a minute before you can get a replacement. Plus, the maintenance is more, and involves more work, when compared to hang on the backs. Hang on Backs are my personal choice. Some models can even be tailored to suit the need of the aquarium at that time. They are pleasing to eye, they don’t really stand out and they’re easy to maintain.
  • Substrate: Substrate is important because it fits with our design or scheme. Example: We may want to keep plants, so buying the right media for our aquarium will play an important role of that which we plan to keep, and how successful we could be?


A fish tank setup isn’t as hard as you may think it is. I would say taking your time, and understanding why your doing what you’re doing could save you some time and money down the road. Imagine what it’s like trying to maintain that aquarium. Could you have done something different to make it easier on yourself? Is there a piece of equipment that’s more suitable for a specific task? It’s questions like these, during the setup phase, that can make or break a new hobbyist.


Conditioning water isn’t just about de-chlorinating water or matching temperature. I’ve always said, “We don’t keep fish, we keep water. It just so happens that we keep the type of fish that enjoys our water.” I’m sort of against mixing different tropical fish from different regions on the plant. It’s a lot easier to pick one body of water and focus on keeping the water in our aquariums in that condition. If you have fish from all different parts of the world, it tough trying to make one specie happy over another.


As you probably assume freshwater means exactly that, Freshwater. Fresh water fish include everything from Tiger Barbs, to Guppies. Angelfish to Danio’s. Goldfish and Koi. Tropical fish tank: Usually kept anywhere between 75 – 82°F. These aquariums can be planted depending on the types of fish kept. While most fish come from waters naturally with plants. There are species of African cichlids that would destroy a planted tank.

Goldfish Aquarium: Typical temperature is anywhere between 60 – 70°F. Planting can be done, but keeping plants with goldfish can be difficult to sort out.


  • Reef tank: Reef tanks are probably the more difficult aquarium types to maintain. The coral kept in these systems require stability on a consistent basis.
  • Fish Only with Live Rock: Fish Only With Live Rock (FOWLR for short) are a little more forgiving, less demanding and allows the hobbyist to grow into the reef hobby later.
  • Predator tank: I do like an aggressive marine aquarium setup every once in a while. Predator aquariums are usually setup and built around one or two different types of fish. Very easy to keep. I hope this article has helped someone.

If you have any questions? Please reach out, and we’ll be more that happy to help. If you need assistance please visit our Aquarium Installation page for details.

If you're in the Murfreesboro Area

animal city

Please stop by Animal City on NW Broad St. They have high quality fish  and their staff is more than helpful!

If you're in the Nashville Area

aquatic critter

Visit Aquatic Critter on Nolensville Road. Huge selection of fish and equipment, and their staff is very knowgledable!