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Wall mounted fish tanks - Pros and cons

Introduction

Many fish keepers say that looking at their fish tank is far more entertaining than watching their television. This inspired many companies to take the next step in aquariums and produce a tank that actually sits on the wall.

Many fish keepers say that looking at their fish tank is far more entertaining than watching their television. This inspired many companies to take the next step in aquariums and produce a tank that actually sits on the wall.

The wall mounted aquariums are also known as portrait aquariums; they were first produced in Korea and were actually made with a picture frame surround, hence the “portrait” in the name. These are not to everyone’s taste, some keepers think they are cruel, some fish keepers think that they are an excellent addition to the room, a showpiece to give visitors something to talk about. I personally would not use one purely for the thought of the limited swimming space, but that is my opinion.

They are mounted on the wall by means of studs or brackets, and these need to be strong to support the weight of the aquarium, nobody wants to go into a room to see the tank lying on the floor. Originally they were only sold in smaller sizes, but as they have become more popular the sizes have increased to meet demand.

Advantages of having a wall mounted fish tank:-

The main advantage for using one of these tanks has to be if you require a fish tank in a room that is limited for space. Many of the more modern housing have smaller rooms for the occupier to live in, so once all of the furniture is in there the floor space is reduced drastically. Attaching the fish tank to the wall above the furniture solves that problem straight away. There may be small children in the house, as we know they are very inquisitive, having the tank off the floor will stop them putting their fingers in the works so to speak.

A wall mounted fish tank makes an instant focal point in the room as they are usually mounted at eye level; as soon as you walk in the room it is noticed. Standing next to the tank will give you a full view of the inhabitants.

For an even more stunning display the mounted fish tank can be positioned in a dividing wall between 2 rooms. This means that the tank can be observed from just about every direction possible.

If the fish tank is located in a busy area with a lot of people passing through like an office, shop or even an hallway there is a danger of someone walking into a floor mounted aquarium, even to the extent of someone getting injured on it if the tank broke through a strong collision, mounting the tank on a wall removes that danger.

Most wall mounted tanks are sold with all of the equipment that you need to get it all set up. Due to the narrow size of the tank some standard tank equipment just wouldn’t fit inside, because of this some of the tanks are sold with modified tank equipment that are usually are hidden once set up. Some of the newer tanks now are sold with special attaching wall brackets to make the job of mounting them much easier, even to someone with moderate DIY skills.

Remember to get someone to check it out before you add any water if you are unsure as to how good a job you have made with fixing it to the wall.

Disadvantages of having a wall mounted fish tank:-

As any experienced fish keeper will know routine maintenance is something we all have to deal with to keep our tanks clean and healthy. Access to floor mounted tanks can sometimes be limited, this problem is a lot worse with wall mounted fish tanks. Access needs to be provided by means of either a top cabinet or concealed hinged flap to get into the tank itself. This, in my view, limits the amount of tank area that can be reached for routine cleaning etc.

Often the wall mounted tanks will only contain a small water volume, this makes keeping the water parameters correct a lot harder than if a larger tank was being run. Surface area is a key issue with any aquarium. Gaseous exchange as the CO2 is driven out to allow the oxygen in requires a large surface area ratio to the tank size, as the wall mounted tanks are built with a slim design, some are as slim as a plasma television, and this exchange is dramatically reduced. The knock on effect of this is that there will probably be less oxygen in the water for the livestock.

The choice of fish is reduced due to the size of the tank. If the tank is only 6 inches wide then I certainly would not add any fish over 2-3 inches in length. Swimming space has to be taken into account when planning the tank inhabitants.

Water is not a light substance; a full tank can put enormous pressure on the fixing brackets of a wall mounted tank. In some houses or offices, not all walls are suitable for mounting one of these tanks, the fixings will not hold if the wall they are attached to is not strong enough to support the weight.

The next disadvantage is probably the biggest factor when deciding whether to invest in a wall mounted tank or stay with a traditional floor mounted tank. You can expect to pay higher prices for the wall mounted models in comparison to a similar size tank that is floor mounted. Style always costs more than basics.

Surfing the net will probably show you that there are very many companies selling wall mounted tanks, prices will vary from supplier to supplier. Sizes will also vary a lot; always study the tank descriptions before deciding which tank you will purchase. Find out if there is reasonable access for those awkward jobs we all have to do at sometime to the tank. Make sure that the tank comes as a kit with all of the necessary equipment that you will need, buying a kit will work out a lot cheaper than buying all the items separately.

Before attempting to mount the fish tank, check that the fixing wall is capable of taking the weight of your tank, preparation could save a lot of heartache later.

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