10 Best Steps: How to Build a Fish Tank

How to Build a Fish Tank? If you have decided to add a fish tank in your home, it is very important that you choose the right one. It isn’t enough just to buy a cheap product. This will only lead to trouble and frustration in the future. You should be willing to spend some time and energy as well as money for something that will not only work out but also make you happy for years to come. Here are some important questions you should ask yourself when shopping for an aquarium:

How to Choose a Fish Tank?

1) Size – In case that later on you decide that having bigger fish would be great, then consider purchasing an extra large fish tank or fit one inside your room if it has big windows. If this is your first experience with a fish tank, then consider starting with small aquariums that do not require expensive equipment and accessories.

2) Lighting – To save money on your electricity bill, try getting an aquarium with a built-in light fixtures.

3) Filter – Most experts agree that hang-on filters are more efficient than in-tank or under the gravel types.

4) Heater – If you live in a cold area, be sure to purchase an aquarium heater so that you can keep it at the comfortable temperature for your pet fish.

5) Decorations – For some people decorating their fish tank is as much fun as watching the fish themselves. You can buy lots of different decorations from various shops: plants, rocks, artificial coral, etc.

6) Aquascaping – You can have a professional aquascaper come and do the work for you or teach yourself how to do it by reading books on fish tank decorating.

7) Wall mounting – If you want your aquarium to be mounted on the wall, make sure that it is designed to be hung up. Otherwise you will need a stand that can hold the weight of water and other decorations placed in them.

8) Maintenance issues – When shopping for an aquarium, make sure that it comes with all required accessories so that later on you won’t have any problems finding replacements for anything broken. Before purchasing an aquarium always check whether or not all of these components are included: gravel substrate, filter, air pump, heater, thermometer, decorations and fish.

9) Warranty – Always make sure that any product you purchase includes a minimum of 1 year warranty so that if something breaks down or stops working you are covered by the seller. If an aquarium is sold with no warranty at all it might be a sign that it’s cheaply made and won’t last long enough to become your favorite home decoration.

10) Color considerations – Some people use fish tanks as a centerpiece in their rooms. This means that they must match the color of the tank with other decorations in room because otherwise everything will look mismatched and unprofessional. If this is not urgent for you, then buy whatever color aquarium fits your current interior decoration best.

2. Setting up the tank

After you have purchased an aquarium and all the accessories that go with it, start assembling them together. Keep in mind to never use a sprayer or any other type of containers filled with chemicals near your fish tank as they can get into the water and kill the fish. Once everything is set up properly, fill up the tank with water leaving at least 2 inches between the water line and the top so that your pet won’t accidentally jump out of its home and die on hard floor below. When adding decorations make sure that you add them before securing ledges inside your fish tank because once you place gravel on top of them there will be no way back for any plants which means they will die from lack of oxygen.

3. Adding gravel and plants to the aquarium

If your budget allows it, make sure that you add a few decorations made of porous materials because they will allow even more oxygen into water. Keeping at least some plants inside your fish tank is also important as they can remove harmful toxins and waste products from water which helps prolong the lifespan of your fish. Some experts argue that live plants are always better than artificial ones, but this not always true since many people use both depending on their preferences and needs (artificial substrate is much easier to clean).

4. Choosing fish for your aquarium

Before adding any fish to an aquarium make sure that you choose them wisely so that later on you don’t have to deal with diseases or other problems associated with keeping tropical pets alive. The best way to choose fish for your aquarium is to research all their specific needs and habits online. Once you have enough information on how to take care of a certain variety, get just one or two of them and then see how they progress under your supervision before adding the full number that you want.

5) Feeding your fish properly

The staple food in any aquarium should be pellets or flakes because they are high in nutrients necessary for good health of your pet. However, beggars can’t be choosers so if you don’t have money left for buying proper food for fish then it’s better to give them old table scraps rather than nothing at all – but try harder next time! :]

6) Cleaning your tank regularly

When cleaning your fish tank always make sure that the water is safely secured inside because if it spills out you can ruin substrate and even kill your fish. While cleaning make sure to vacuum all gravel and plants that collect waste products, unclog pipes and filter, change some of the water every week (preferably when not much light is inside) and try to keep everything as clean as possible otherwise algae will start growing on decorations which will be hard to remove later.


1. Is it cheaper to build your own aquarium?

No. It is cheaper to buy a pre-made aquarium than build one yourself, but if you get your supplies from local suppliers and online auction sites such as eBay you can reduce the cost by 20-30%.

2. How do you make a homemade fish tank?

It depends on which type of aquarium you want to make. There are many categories of aquariums: freshwater, saltwater, tropical, reef tanks etc. Make sure that once you have made your decision on what type of fish tank you want that it will be practical and suit your household’s needs (the amount of space available in the house for example).

3. How thick does glass need to be for an aquarium?

Ideally 1/4 inch glass is needed to create a fish tank, however if you cannot find that thickness glass, look for the thickest type of glass available and double it.

4. What kind of glass should I use to build an aquarium?

Glass from automotive shops is good as well as safety (safety glass) used on doors in offices etc. If you live near a sandblast shop they will be happy to get rid of all the left over pieces from their glass blasting projects which are usually 1/8 inch or thicker. If this is not possible, locate your local auto parts store and ask them what they have lying around; maybe they can give it to you free so don’t be afraid to bargain with them! Make sure that whatever pieces of scrap glass you find do not have any scratches or cracks in them. Buy as many pieces of glass as you need to make your fish tank, this will save on shipping costs and cost of returning glass if it breaks during transit.

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