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Decorating With Aquariums

You might not have stopped to think about it, but an aquarium is actually a living piece of art that is constantly changing. Aquariums are also a more unique inclusion into one's home decorating. But they can be easily incorporated into any decor, no matter what the style and often are used a room dividers. When the tank glows at night, the fish even look like they are suspended in midair.

Here are some tips on how you can include an aquarium in your home.

  • Tanks can be custom made to you specifications.
  • While the average tank holds 250-600 gallons of water, some even go as large as 1000 gallons.
  • Some people install floor to ceiling tanks for a major decorating element.
  • Consider creating a coral reef tank including plants and bacteria living on the reef. This gives the fish an environment much like their native habitat.
  • Coral reefs are fossilized rocks that have been removed from the ocean, have died and then been cemented back together.
  • You can also get fabricated coral reefs for your system.
  • Fabricated reefs can be tailor made to fit any size or shape of aquarium.
  • Large-scale aquariums run about $4,000 to $6,000. Giant installations can go for as much as $20,000-$30,000. A monster installation will put you back $100,000.
  • Plan ahead. Include the aquarium in the blue print stage if you building a home. This way you can plan ahead for drainage and electrical needs.
  • Choose an ideal location.
  • Don't put an aquarium next to bright window light. You want to see the aquarium in subdued light. Windows can cause glare.
  • To reduce the need for overhead lighting, make sure the tank can be seen from at least two vantage points or sides.
  • Placing the unit higher will give the feeling of standing before a wall of water. Don't place it where you have to stoop to see it.
  • Choose cabinetry, decorations and fish that complement your home's decor. I have 7 cats and they all blend with my home's decor, heh, heh. No, you don't need to decorate your aquarium. Let the contents do that for you.
  • Plan for maintenance. Fish are more fragile than cats and dogs. Your living room is an abnormal environment for fish, so try to replicate the ocean as closely as possible.
  • Saltwater fish require feeding once or twice a day. Daily care will be needed if you leave town for a while.
  • Units must be technologically maintained so your fish will remain healthy.
  • Change the water regularly. Get bids on a maintenance program.
  • Do your homework before hiring anyone to tend to your unit or your fish.

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Barbara Jennings is author of 11 decorating books: Decor Secrets Revealed, Rearrange It, Home Staging for Profit, Staging Luxurious Homes, Home Staging for Yourself, Arrange Your Stuff, Advanced Redesign, Pro Art Consulting, Where There's a Wall - There's a Way, The Art of Hanging Art, Great Parties! Great Homes!

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