Top 10 Places (Not) to Put a Fish Tank

Everyone has to decide where to put an aquarium before setting it up. It might seem simple.  In reality, there is more to it than just setting up an aquarium at where you want to see the fish. The location of where to put a fish tank is vital for the overall health of the aquarium system. It is not just for the pet fish, but it is also for your own good too.

Top ten places where you should not put a fish tank

1. A fish tank should never be where it can receive direct sunlight or excessive strong daylight.

All new aquarium hobbyists will run into algae problem one way or another. One of the leading causes of annoying algae growth in a fish tank is excessive lighting. An extended period of light or too high brightness can both be the problem. Having a fish aquarium under direct sunlight is asking for an algae boom. You are also risking overheating and temperature fluctuations.  Both can be lethal to the aquarium fish.

2. A fish aquarium should not be too close to an air conditioning, radiator, or a fireplace.
The fish tank requires stable water temperature for the health of pet fish. Being too close to an air conditioning or a radiator can cool off or heat up the water temperature too quickly. It is very unhealthy for the fish, and it can even kill them if the temperature change is too much too quickly.

3. You should not put a fish tank near a door.
Water transmits shockwave much stronger than air. If an aquarium is near a door where it is frequently opened and shut, the fish can be scared quite often. It is not good for their health if they are always scared.

4. Do not put a fish tank larger than 10 gallons on the top of a desk or on other furniture not designed for holding an aquarium.
Water is very heavy. A small 10-gallon fish tank can hold as much as over 70 pounds of water. Combined with the weight of the fish tank, equipment, gravels, it can be well over 100 pounds. It is a good idea to use a strong aquarium stand instead of other furniture.

5. Do not to put an aquarium in the center of a large room.
It is the best to put an aquarium near a wall or in a corner where the floor is better supported. Unless you are sure the floor is strong enough, or if the fish tank is small and light.  It should not be in the middle of a room where the walls are far away. Even the small to medium sized fish tank can be hundreds of pounds in total weight. Having the floor collapsing is not funny.

6. Do not set up a fish tank on the floor.
Even if you are okay with observing the fish in a top-down position, it is still not recommended to have the aquarium on the floor level. It is very easy for someone accidentally kicks the fish tank or have something falls into it. It is also harder for water change with gravel vacuum.

7. Do not set up an aquarium too close to a TV or speakers.
The flashing of a TV screen and the loud sound from the speakers might be such a bother to some fish. Stressed fish won’t be healthy fish.

8. Do not set up an aquarium directly above an electrical outlet or power strip.
Better safe than sorry.  Aquarium holds so much water.  You do not want water get too close to the electricity. Although you will need access to power for the filter, heater, and other electrical equipment.  It is a good idea to have the fish tank set up at least a foot away from a wall outlet, and any power strip should not be on the floor level near the tank.

9. Do not set up a fish tank too far away from where you can access clean water.
Regular maintenance of a healthy aquarium requires a weekly partial water change. To be close to a water tap can mean less stress on you to carry all the heavy water back and forth.

10. Do not set up an aquarium where nobody can see.
Despite the best care, accidents and unexpected can happen. You want to be the first one to notice if there is anything wrong with your precious aquarium fish. It is a good idea to set up the aquarium where you can frequently see without going there specifically for this purpose. So you can do something about it on the first sign of trouble.


It requires careful considerations to choose a perfect spot for both you and the pet fish to enjoy for the long term. For large sized home aquariums, their locations can be relatively permanent since it is troublesome to move them around later on. Think carefully before you act!

So where should you put the fish aquarium anyway?

Anywhere but the ten places from above.  Personally, I enjoy having my aquarium beside my couch.  So I can watch them while sitting comfortably.  Then again, it is up to you where your favorite spot is.  Just avoid the places where it can produce a negative impact.

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One thought on “Top 10 Places (Not) to Put a Fish Tank

  1. Aquarium Brian

    A very good article. I especially like that you included “not on the floor” I have made this mistake and you are right. It is very hard to maintain an aquarium on the floor. It’s almost impossible to do water changes.


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