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Basic Advice

Structural Concerns for Building Your Aquarium

An aquarium is a sensitive structure, and and such should be treated carefully for the safety of its inhabitants (and your investment), as well as that of your home. Here are some structure things to consider as you plan your aquarium installation.

Aquarium Materials

Aquariums can be made from two materials: glass and acrylic. Glass aquariums have been around for a long time, and are made from panes of glass that are held together at the edges by silicone. They are also more affordable than their counterparts.

Acrylic aquariums are a later development, and feature walls that are actually bonded together. This offers a stronger seal that is less prone to leaks. Additionally, the acrylic material is clearer than glass, because it lacks the iron deposits that can give glass aquariums a greenish appearance. Because acrylic aquariums are usually made-to-order, the customer has the power to customize the shape and dimensions.


Salt water weighs nearly 10 pounds per gallon. To determine the amount gallons in an aquarium, multiply Length x Width x Height in inches and divide that number by 231. If you then multiply that amount by ten, you will get the aquarium’s overall weight. You will quickly learn aquariums are heavy, and making sure the floor has adequate support is always a good idea if placed on a higher level floor.

If your aquarium will be resting on cabinetry, the cabinet or support structure should ideally be built by the aquarium manufacturer. Often times the aquarium manufacturer’s warranty (which is typically lifetime for acrylic aquariums and 90 days for glass) will be void if the aquarium is placed on anyone else’s cabinet stand, so read through the warranty paperwork carefully when shopping for an aquarium and support cabinet.

About Jon Wolf

Servicing Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana & Michigan, Blue Planet Aquarium Services has been the most trusted name in aquarium design, installation and maintenance since 1999. A company large enough to be dependable but small enough to still watch out for your best interests, Blue Planet is the only company to call if you are planning to install an aquarium or have one maintained.

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