Location of the Aquarium
An important but often overlooked point in deciding where to locate your aquarium is the strength of the floor upon which it will be placed. An aquarium filled with water and the associated gravel and rocks is an extremely heavy item. Be sure that the floor below your aquarium is suitably reinforced, and, if possible, place the aquarium stand over the support beams.
A 55-gallon aquarium filled with water and gravel will weigh in excess of 600 pounds. Always empty even small aquariums before moving them, because the shifting of the water will place great stress upon the tank. Breakage and serious injuries commonly occur when water-filled tanks are moved.
The stand upon which the aquarium sits must be completely level. Even minor irregularities in the surface below the aquarium will cause areas of stress that may eventually fracture. This is especially true of glass aquariums. Ideally, the stand should have adjustable legs to compensate for an uneven floor. You should also place a sheet of cork or foam on top of the aquarium stand to further shield the tank from minor bumps in the stand's surface.
While your aquarium must be situated near a source of electricity, electrical sockets directly below the aquarium are a cause for concern due to water spillage. Try to place your aquarium off to the side of an outlet, and be sure to plan for future electrical needs that will arise if you decide to add equipment to your aquarium.
Water from a cracked aquarium can cause an incredible amount of damage to your home, or to the homes of people that may live below you. It is wise to consider purchasing flood insurance, especially if you keep large numbers of aquariums or tanks that contain a large volume of water.
It is also important to consider the space behind your tank, so you have room for various filters and other life-support systems that need to be installed. Again, it is better to err on the side of allowing extra space so that you can expand in the future.
Situating an aquarium near a window can assist in maintaining natural light cycles for locally occurring fish and invertebrates. Be aware, however, that the glass may raise the temperatures to unsafe levels in the summer, and that the additional light may spur the growth of algae. In most cases, it is simpler to use light timers to regulate day-night cycles.
Remember that fish and invertebrates are extremely sensitive to waterborne vibrations and thus will react unfavorably to televisions, stereos, or slamming doors within a room. Also, the sudden opening and closing of a door in close proximity to the tank will startle most animals. Be sure to locate your aquarium away from such sources of disturbance. Consider also that the noise from pumps and other equipment associated with your aquarium may disturb people in the same or the next room.
The room in which your aquarium is situated should, ideally, be equipped with lights that are controlled by dimmers. A light turned on suddenly in a darkened room will startle most aquatic animals, so dimmers should always be used when possible. As an alternative, you can set a timer on a small lamp to go on early in the morning, to allow the animals an adjustment period.