If you’re an aquarium hobbyist, an in wall aquarium can add an interesting design element to your home décor as well as provide you with hours of enjoyment. But setting up an in-wall aquarium isn’t the easiest thing to do. Luckily, we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to give you the information you need to be successful when installing your aquarium. Now you can contact your home contractors or you can try by yourself.
1) Choose the Right Location
When looking for a spot for your in wall aquarium, it’s important to consider lighting. Most in wall aquarium lights come with an attached cord and plug, which can make them tricky to place right out of the box. However, if you plan ahead and find a suitable location near an outlet, you’ll be able to more easily install and use your aquarium light.
2) Calculate Aquarium Capacity
It’s important that you know how much fish, invertebrates, and plants you can safely house in your aquarium. The general rule of thumb is one inch of fish per gallon of water—but there are a lot of other factors to consider when determining your tank’s capacity. Plants use up a lot of oxygen—as do goldfish (and other cold-water fish)—so if you want an aquarium full of beautiful aquatic life, be sure to calculate for these variables!
3) Choose the Right Glass Thickness
Aquarium glass should be a minimum of 1/4 inch thick and made from either regular or low iron glass. Regular glass is better suited for aquariums, as it has a silica coating that improves light transmission and reduces photo bleaching; it also doesn’t scratch as easily. If you opt for regular glass, however, note that thicker does not mean stronger.
4) Order Black Backer Rod
Black Backer Rod is used to support your aquarium during construction and holds your glass in place. Buy extra Black Backer Rod as you may need more than what’s included in your kit or decide at a later date that you want an additional support for a corner of your tank. If you need something other than black, check out our Backer Rod selection guide for a list of colors by length.
5) Drain and Set Up Water Supply
The best aquariums are installed on a solid surface, such as a brick wall. It is important that you find a way to drain excess water from your aquarium when you set it up in order to prevent any leaks or water damage. There should be a hole at either end of your tank for drainage. Place an appropriately sized hose into one end of your tank and direct it toward its respective drainage hole, ensuring that no water escapes as you do so.
6) Install Light Fixtures (Optional)
If you want an aquarium with a lot of natural light, consider installing extra lights—you may be able to run them directly off your house’s circuit breaker. Make sure any supplemental lighting is close enough to your tank so that you don’t raise temperatures too high, which can stress out your fish and make them vulnerable to illness.
7) Set Up Return Pump
When you’re ready to set up your aquarium and want an eye-catching centerpiece, try setting up a fish tank on your wall. There are several ways to hang an aquarium, but one of the easiest is with a special return pump designed for in-wall use. If you can locate studs behind your drywall and attach screws into them that won’t puncture your plumbing lines or electrical wiring, you should be able to install an in-wall aquarium without too much hassle.
MARWOOD CONSTRUCTION is a high-end residential & commercial construction expert providing specialized general contracting services to clients in Houston, Texas. This licensed general contractor offers design-to-build services solutions for the most challenging new build and renovation needs. To learn more about this author, visit marwoodconstruction.com.