A self cleaning fish tank is a low-maintenance fish habitat which has a maintenance system that keeps the tank clean without frequent manual intervention.
Such fish tank that cleans itself helps in saving time and effort required to clean up the fish tank regularly.
No clean fish tank is a perfect choice for aquarists with a hectic lifestyle and those who do not like the burden of cleaning their fish tanks frequently.
Some of such low maintenance aquariums are a good choice for young children and teenagers.
Self cleaning aquariums are generally classified into two broad categories:
1. Gravity-based fish tanks
Gravity-based fish tanks are the simplest type of self cleaning the fish tank. It uses a pump to pull out the dirty water, while you add clean water.
So you just pour in clean water while you place a container by the pump so you can catch the dirty water. Such aquariums have a low-powered pump that continuously runs to remove the dirty water from the tank.
The pumps are designed in a way to prevent your fish to get sucked up the filtering pipe. These self contained fish tanks are suitable for keeping one or two fish at most.
More serious aquarists will find these systems inadequate for rearing a thriving ecosystem for their fish.
2. Aquaponics fish tanks
It’s an aquarium with a small garden floating at the top of the water. Aquaponics or water garden fish tanks use a combination of plants growing in a water-bed and fish to create a self-cleaning ecosystem.
The plants in the water garden feed on the fish waste for nourishment and in return clean the water in the tank.
This symbiotic relationship provides a thriving self-cleaning environment for the fish. Commercial aquaponics aquariums can further be sub-categorized into two categories.
Water garden aquariums which comprise of fish tanks along with the aquaponics kits fish tank and water garden kits which aim at converting an existing fish tank into a self-cleaning aquaponics aquarium.
Water garden kits are meant for more serious aquarists who want to convert their standard aquariums into a thriving aquatic ecosystem.
Who Should Use Self Cleaning Fish Tank?
It’s not for you only if for some reason you enjoy the ritual of cleaning a fish tank on a regular basis.
It’s for you if you hate cleaning the fish tank, don’t have time to clean, you keep forgetting to clean, or you want to give a fish tank to a child, who tends to be irresponsible and neglectful.
If you’re the lazy sort of person, who prefers less work (and that’s all of us) you end up doing minimal to make sure your aquarium water remains clean. These tanks keep the water clean, and that keeps the fish healthy.
The main drawback of these things is that there’s always a chance that they don’t work as advertised.
So if you rely on them and it turns out they didn’t correctly clean the fish tank, then you may end up with a useless fish tank, with the dead fish to prove it.
How to Pick Best Self Cleaning Fish Tank?
With so many options available in the market, each claiming a very high success rate, picking the best self-cleaning fish tank can be a challenging task.
To pick a self contained fish tank, and easy-to-maintain you need to keep a few things in mind.
These major factors are worthy to consider while picking:
- Type of the self-cleaning aquarium
- Construction material and design
- Shape and size of the tank
- Maintenance requirements
Type of Self-Cleaning Aquarium
The first thing you need to consider is the type of the self-cleaning aquarium system you would like to opt for.
As discussed above, gravity-based self-cleaning aquariums are most suitable for children, teenagers, and newbies who are just looking for a small setup to learn about fish-keeping.
Such tanks are inexpensive, easy to use but can only sustain single betta, tetra or goldfish.
On the other hand, aquaponics tanks are meant for more serious aquarists. Their elegant designs and looks make them perfect for homes, offices, cubicles, and shops.
However, if your tank uses an air pump, you would have to consider the noise it creates before installing such a system in your bedroom.
Construction Material and Design
Gravity-based fish tanks and water gardens that come with their tanks are generally made of plastic or acrylic, and very rarely glass. Plastic tanks are smaller and cheaper, but not as durable as the acrylic tanks.
Acrylic tanks are light-weight, reasonably durable and because of their malleability, available in different elegant designs.
The aquaponics kits that do not include a tank have a grow bed that is generally made of plastic, with a smart non-reflective finish to look elegant with an existing acrylic or glass aquarium.
If you are a beginner, you can opt for a small plastic fish tank and then move to a costlier acrylic or glass fish tank as you become more comfortable with self-cleaning aquariums.
In addition to the construction of the aquarium, you need to look at design features such as the lighting, filtration (if any) and power fittings, especially in the case of water gardens.
Pick a setup has a reliable LED lighting system and filtration mechanism. If you are looking for a model with an air pump, pick one which has a silent, noise-free submersible operation.
Gravity-based tanks generally require almost no lead time and very little maintenance. Small capacity tanks only require you to add conditioned water once a day.
Aquaponics and Water gardens generally have a lead time ranging from ten days to three weeks to establish the ecosystem properly.
But once set up, they require very little maintenance. You only need to add some fish feed once or twice a week and some conditioned water once every week. Under normal circumstances, you would not need to replace the water in the tank.
My Fun Fish Tank
Shape and Size of Tank
Because of the self-sustaining requirements, self-cleaning tanks are generally small in size. To provide a comfortable space for your beloved pet to move around, you should consider getting a tank which has a capacity of at least 2 gallons.
The shape of the tank also matters in some cases as even a low capacity can provide a large surface area for the fish to move around.
Consider picking a shape and size which compliments the overall décor and still provide enough space for one or more fish.
Final Thoughts on the Choosing Best Self-Cleaning Fish Tanks
Keeping fish as pets is one of the most popular and enjoyable hobbies to have. However, to provide a vibrant, healthy environment for your fish to thrive in, you need to ensure that the aquarium or fish tank is properly maintained.
This is something that may be difficult to accomplish in today’s busy lifestyle. Self-sustaining and self-cleaning fish tanks are exactly what you need in such situations.
Self cleaning fish tanks are a great way to enjoy all the pros that fishkeeping has to offer while dodging the stinky and grimy cons.
With the price point of self cleaning fish tanks ranging from 20 to 200 dollars, adopting a fish has never looked so appealing.
The one downside is, there still aren’t options that are larger than 10 gallons. If you liked that then you might also like having portable self-heating cup, self-stirring mug, or electric fruit peeler.
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Self cleaning fish tanks are a great way to enjoy all the pros that fishkeeping has to offer, while dodging the stinky and grimy cons.
- No cleaning
- Affordable price
- Keeps the water clean
- They are too small and can fit at maximum two fish
- Not enough oxgyen and space for the fish
- Not for serious aquarists