adding and aquarium to our living room

Adding an Aquarium to our Living Room…

An Aquarium?  In our Living Room?

I must admit I was VERY skeptical about adding an aquarium to our living space.  I mean, they are not exactly an interior designer’s dream.  Am I right?  You don’t usually see them in pictures of living rooms in the home design magazines or on the design tv shows, unless they are the super fancy ones like on the show Tanked.  But, my husband and boys really wanted one, so I reluctantly agreed.  And I am happy that I did.

Since we don’t have the kind of money to invite the TV show Tanked into our home to build an amazing, huge and super cool aquarium, we had to settle on one we found at PetSmart.  It is a 55 gallon tank, which is a pretty good size.

The first thing we had to do was build the stand that you see in the below picture to hold the tank.  My husband saves everything, so we had the cabinets (which we previously used as a seating bench in our old kitchen), the legs (which are leftover rails from our staircase railing), and even the screws to attach them.  Score!  When my husband said he was going to build this cabinet, I was skeptical, but it doesn’t look half bad and there is plenty of room in it to hold all the fish tank supplies.

We took the kids to the pet store to help us pick out the stuff that goes into the tank, i.e. the plants and decor.  Of course they both went straight for the SpongeBob stuff.  We let them pick out a few ‘kid’ things and then my husband and I picked out some ‘grown up’ stuff.

Here is how it looks, complete with a mini Bikini Bottom (that’s where SpongeBob lives, for those without kids and who don’t watch SpongeBob) including SpongeBob’s pineapple home, Squidward’s house and the Crusty Crab. LOL!!!…

Filling the tank…  

We didn’t know this, being fish tank newbies, but you need to fill the tank with fresh water, not tap.  Well, you can use tap water but then you have to treat it with chemicals and then there is a waiting period before you can add fish, and we were all anxious to add the fish.  So, what do you do when you need 55 gallons of fresh water?  You go to Sam’s Club and buy 10 cases of water to fill the tank.  OMG!  It took a while, and there were bottles everywhere, but we got the job done.

Here it is filled with water and waiting for fish.

We waited over night before we went back to the pet store to pick out our fish.  We decided to go with freshwater fish vs. saltwater fish.  Again, we are newbies and apparently salt water fish are not for newbies.  Salt water fish are prettier and larger (and way more expensive too), but we managed to find some colorful and pretty freshwater fish.  The experts say to only add a few fish to the tank at a time to see how they do and so they can acclimate to the tank.  We each picked one for a total of 4 fish.

We’ve had them for a few weeks now and none of them have died or eaten each other!  Whew!  The kids and the cats are fascinated by them. And, I have to admit, the tank looks better than I thought.

Here is one final look,

Do you have a fish tank?  Do you love it or hate it? Any advice for us?


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