Integrated nano aquariums

Design, Features | 12th April 2013 | Article by Akil Gordon-Beckford | View comments (6)

Your home or business aquarium does not have to be a huge expensive installation worth £10,000’s or even £100,000’s to capture the imagination. A beautifully designed small aquarium can add just as much life and beauty to a space as a 3 metre long statement feature. Whilst the initial impact with a nano tank is more subtle; small aquariums still create: light, colour and movement within an interior.

One of the well known mantras of fish keeping is “bigger is better”. This tendency to create the largest possible aquarium (budget permitted) can sometimes lead to a break or disruption within the natural flow of a space. Often the result is a large overbearing eyesore that doesn’t really work with the layout of the room. From a design perspective this can make balancing the symmetry within a space challenging at best! Within the context of interior features; the purpose of your aquarium should be to create positive energy, direct flow, and add a dynamic element to the space.

This impressive huge tank by Ching Chai in Thailand is an extreme example of when an aquarium becomes the room as opposed to being a part of the room.

This impressive huge tank by Ching Chai in Thailand is an extreme example of when an aquarium becomes the room as opposed to being a part of the room.

Small aquariums solve the problems that can arise when designing/ building an aquarium into a space; as they are easier to assimilate into the physical environment. The smaller footprint means that they can be easily built into corners, alcoves or specially adapted room furniture. They make great accent features by either drawing the attention to particular areas within a space or being part of a wider arrangement. i.e. a seating area. Whilst large aquariums add that wow factor to an environment; small aquariums can subtly add a colourful contrast against a subdued or monochrome colour scheme.

There has been an explosion of technological advances that has made nano aquarium keeping a much more viable and affordable option in recent years. With an ever increasing population size and a demand for small and more affordable housing; this sector of the industry/hobby is set to expand massively within the next 10 years. With the current trend of increasing property prices, coupled with the average new build home in the UK being considerably smaller than they were 10 years ago; small/nano aquariums will increasingly become the norm for future home owners and tenants.

6 Tips for integrating a small aquarium into your interior

  • Avoid placing near bright light sources like TV’s or computer screens as they will diminish the impact the aquarium has on the space.
  • Try to avoid brightly coloured areas and position your aquarium within a surrounding that’s either monochromatic (black or white); or has subdued natural (stone/wood) tones like shades of brown or grey.
  • Avoid over stocking with fish and focus more energy on the aquascape as this will play a big factor in the way that the tank fits within the space.
  • Tidy away any loose wires using small trunking as they will detract from the overall presentation. Things like loose wiring are more noticeable on small tanks.
  • When integrating into an enclosed space i.e. a cabinet or shelving unit fan assisted ventilation is a must, with humidity and condensation being a real problem in small enclosed spaces
  • Don’t let your tank get in the way. Small tanks are best situated around the peripheral area of a room. They are generally not big enough to be centrepieces around which furniture can be arranged.

Some of you might be thinking that this is a lot to be thinking about for just a small fish tank. Your aquarium like your living space is an extension of your style and aspirations. It doesn’t have to cost you a huge amount to create an effective looking feature; spending a bit of time pre thinking and planning can pay huge dividends with the finished result.

Below are four good examples of well integrated aquariums and that will inspire you to integrate your nanoreef tanks.

© Sea Horse Aquariums

© Sea Horse Aquariums

© Aquarium Design Group

© Aquarium Design Group

© Aquarium Architecture

© Aquarium Architecture

© Aquarium Design Group

© Aquarium Design Group

About the author:

Akil Gordon-Beckford is a keen hobbyist, aquascaper, and aquarium designer who is passionate about bringing nature into our interiors. He is the founder of Aquafront, an aquarium design company that specialises in integrating bespoke aquariums into modern interiors and modern lifestyles. Aquafront’s mission is to connect people to nature through beautiful aquarium design.

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6 Responses on Integrated nano aquariums

  1. Nick Hatton says:

    Good tips. There’s nothing worse than having a great looking aquarium but then having wires hanging here there and everywhere. It’s takes away from the overall look of the tank.

  2. Albert Thiel says:

    Excellent article indeed on how to maximize the visual impact of the aquarium and making “stand out” and be noticed. Thanks

  3. I too enjoyed the advice on helping the aquarium stand-out, that’s a fresh approach I hadn’t considered. Great article. Love the site.

  4. [...] of Nanoreefblog explains it best: “The all in one nano reef aquariums available to consumers today really do [...]

  5. I particularly like the part of not having the aquarium to near the TV or your computer screen. I’ve seen a lot of hobbyist doing this. Great list to check if one is planning to put up a small aquarium in a room.

  6. Brian says:

    Great article. I like the setup in your example images where the aquarium is next to the tv. Being able to watch your fish from the comfort of your couch on commercial breaks is very nice. You can always turn off the tv and sit back and really enjoy the tank as well.

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