Plan your fish tank

Isn’t it exciting when you decide to become fish keepers? Follow our Step-By-Step Beginners Guide to become a responsible fish keeper

Plan your fish tank

Tropical or cold water fish?

Tropical fish will need a heater and thermostat to keep warm. These fish need their water temperature to be higher than typical UK room temperature. Although tropical aquariums can be a lot more fun, they do need extra work so see what you have time for.

Cold water fish live in unheated tanks which can be easier as these fish can stay at room temperature.

Very dramatic short-term temperature changes of 1-2°C should be avoided. Suddenly moving a tank close to or away from a radiator or direct sunlight could cause temperature change problems.

Real or plastic plants:

Real plants make tanks really pretty but do need more attention, just like gardens. If you choose real plants, then add a layer of Tetra Plant Complete Substrate to nourish the plants. Then add Tetra Active Substrate to help keep your plants healthy for longer.

If planting and feeding plants isn’t for you, remember there are plenty of plastic plants available too. Besides occasional cleaning, they look good and they’re less work.

Location, location, location

Here’s a few things to consider before committing to the perfect spot.

  1. Where do you think your fish will be happy?
  2. Where do you think your fish tank will look great?

Finding the perfect spot is an important first step but even more important is making sure the full weight of your tank is totally supported, even when it’s full up with heavy water.

To help support your tank’s weight we recommend using a purpose-built aquarium cabinet. They’re perfectly designed to help keep your fish safe and they look great too.

Browse the Tetra aquarium sets to see what best suits your lifestyle, before taking the plunge.

Aquarium Sets

Location options

Click here to see options

The Kitchen: Your kitchen could be a good spot for your tank, especially if you spend a lot of time in there. But make sure it is away from cooking and cleaning products that can enter the tank water.

The Bedroom: Children’s bedrooms or playrooms can be a great place for a fish tank too. There will be a gentle hum from the tank so make sure this won’t be distracting at bedtime.

The Conservatory: If you’re lucky enough to have a conservatory please don’t be tempted to place your fish thank in there. Your fish won’t thank you for it. A conservatory may seem like a great idea but seasonal temperature changes will cause problems for water temperature and your fish won’t be very happy with that.

It’s really important to place the aquarium out of direct sunlight and equally important to avoid placing a cold-water tank close to a frequently opening door. Nobody likes sitting next to a constant cold breeze now do they!

The Lounge: It’s fair to say that the most popular place for a fish tank is often a lounge. A place to sit and relax while you watch your fish. Ahhhh, nice ‘n’ relaxing.

Just one last thing, your tank will need to be near a mains power supply to power up your fishes vital life support system – the filtration, heating and lighting. More about all that later.

Download the Tetra Aquatics app and use the augmented reality feature to see how your dream aquarium would look in your home.


Placing a tank on shelves, especially wall-mounted shelves, is a REALLY bad idea. Please don’t do this. It is a danger to the fish, the tank and you.

Tank equipment

A filter is your fishes life support system and every aquarium needs a filtration system. This is because the tank will fill with fish waste.

Lighting shows off the stunning colours of your fish. They also help your fish know whether it’s day or night so use a time switch, so your fish get to sleep too!

It’s particularly important to have lights if you have plants in your aquarium as they need light to grow.

A heater is a MUST if you have tropical fish. It gently warms the water to keep the fish warm.

Learn more about our Tetra equipments by clicking the button below.


: Fish need sleep too! Tank lighting helps to set their sleep pattern so make sure you turn their lights off at bedtime.