Important Aquarium Installation Information

Thank you for purchasing, or considering purchasing a new aquarium. Keeping an aquarium can be a fun and rewarding hobby, but before you get that far it is important to make sure you start on solid foundations - the stand or surface for your aquarium.

Water is very heavy in high volume and can put a lot of pressure on the glass of your aquarium. If your aquarium is installed correctly on a completely suitable, flat surface then you should not experience any problems. However, many manufacturers don't cover cracked glass under warranty, so if your aquarium is not installed correctly or is installed on an unsuitable surface then it may start leaking or crack in a way not covered by the warranty.

So to ensure that does not happen please follow these important installation tips from the team here at Warehouse Aquatics.

Use an even, flat and level surface

If you are not using a dedicated aquarium stand (see below), or you have an existing stand / unit you wish to use first you need to ensure it is suitable for your new aquarium. The surface must be smooth, stable, and completely even, level, perfectly flat and without wobble. Split / multipart surfaces are not suitable. An uneven surface (such as bumpy / old furniture or windowsills ) can cause the base or walls of the aquarium to crack over time by preventing the aquarium base from being evenly supported as it is designed to be and a breakage in this case is not covered under warranty. If you are not using a dedicated aquarium stand we strongly recommend using an aquarium base mat to make sure the pressure on the aquarium is perfectly even. Also make sure the surface is perfectly level, as an aquarium placed on a surface that is tilting to one side is more likely to crack over time.

No overhang

This is a very important one. Once you have established your surface is flat and suitable, it needs to be big enough! Check the measurements of your surface against those of your aquarium. The aquarium needs to fully fit on the surface without any overhang on any edge. If your aquarium overhangs it's surface even by a small amount it can put huge pressure on the glass base and the surrounding seals, and often cause the base of the aquarium to crack which would not be covered under warranty.

No bumpy surfaces

As discussed earlier it is very important to make sure your surface is perfectly flat and without bumps. Some old furniture for example can be bumpy and this will cause pressure points on the glass which may cause it to crack. There must not be any bumps or protrusions on the surface and any screws in the surface must be sufficiently screwed in so that they do not stick out at all and cannot touch the glass.

Make sure it can take the weight

This may seem obvious but is easily overlooked. Water weighs close to 1kg per litre, so a filled 100L aquarium could weigh approximately 100kg plus the weight of the aquarium itself and any equipment / decor inside. So it is important to make sure your surface is rated to support the weight if your aquarium when filled.

Flat floor

So you have a suitable surface, but is the floor even? If you have an uneven floor or your stand / surface rocks or wobbles where it stands then you may need to change location or check the surface is stable and even as above.

Use a dedicated aquarium stand where possible

If in doubt The safest practice is to use a proper aquarium stand or cabinet. Many manufacturers produce matching stands or cabinets designed for their specific aquarium. Some manufacturers require the use of an official aquarium stand for their aquariums, so check details carefully before ordering or installing. These stands or cabinets ensure you are using a stable, flat surface that fully covers the footprint of your aquarium as well as supporting your aquarium weight when filled.

Don't fill it until you've checked it

Once you've got this far then you are almost ready to go! Double check your surface is even and flat with no bumps and no screws protruding above the surface. Make doubly sure that the aquarium is not overhanging your stand in any dimension. Then when you are happy you can start filling it.

Don't move it when it's full

If you need to lift your aquarium off it's stand once you have filled it with water you will need to first drain it. Lifting or trying to in any way move or slide a filled aquarium puts huge strain on the glass which will likely result in a crack that would not be covered by your warranty.

Don't expose it to rapid temperature changes

Most glass is sensitive to rapid changes in temperature. For example, if you perform water changes using very cold tap water that hasn't be pre-warmed to the aquarium's water temperature, and pour that water straight the aquarium then you risk cracking the glass from temperature shock.

Don't put it near a window

A windowsill for example is a bad installation location for an aquarium. Not only are windowsills rarely flat or stable enough for an aquarium, but the exposure to direct sunlight is likely to create significant algae problems in your aquarium. Additionally, exposure to direct sunlight can create temperature inconsistencies which can cause temperature cracks as described above, which will not be covered by warranty.

Don't put it somewhere it can be knocked

Aquarium glass is sensitive to impact, so make sure it is not installed somewhere where it is likely to get accidentally knocked or struck by objects, as this can easily cause cracks in the glass.

Have fun!

Hopefully this guide can help prevent the common aquarium installation issues we see, and help ensure your aquarium warranty does not get voided. If you do have any questions or concerns please get in touch before you fill your aquarium.

Finally and most importantly, have fun with your new aquarium!  We also have a range of helpful guides on our blog such as guides for setting up a tropical aquarium. 

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