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Can I Keep An Aquarium On Balcony: Is It Really Possible?

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An aquarium, a decorative, or a fish tank is neither just a fun spectacle nor just for aesthetic reasons. Research says that there are several medical benefits of having a pet fish tank like help heal high blood pressure, nervousness, etc. However, an incorrectly placed fish tank may invite problems between the owner and the fish. So, can you put the aquarium on the balcony?

As for the topic, it is possible to leave aquariums on the balcony depending on the balcony’s design and surroundings. Also, the fish on the tank will have the majority of the privacy time. However, it can be more challenging than indoor placing. Though, indoor placing may consist of more negatives than positive points too. 

In short, most of the aquariums are designed for indoors. But nowadays, with proper precautions and guidelines, people place them outdoors too.

If you are worried about placing the aquarium on the balcony and have trouble deciding about what you should do, then do not worry! This article is for you. We will go through all the things you need to know about leaving a fish tank on the balcony, from its impacts it can have to protecting and maintaining, etc.

Why Balconies Might Not Be The Ideal Place For An Aquarium?

Almost all balconies are outdoor space of the house, and most are visible to sunlight. Let us find out the reasons why the balconies might not be an ideal place for an aquarium to be informed about the risks associated with it.

Unwanted Algae Growth

If your balcony receives direct sunlight or excessive strong daylight, then it is better to avoid the place because one of the leading causes of too much (annoying) algae growth in a fish tank is sunlight.

Unclear And Dirty Water

The excess growth of algae turns the aquarium crystal-like clear water into the unpleasantly green color water and makes the tank look unclean. No one likes it! Moreover, it can be hazardous to fish and plants in the fish tank.

You can learn about ‘Why Do Fish Tanks Get Dirty So Fast – How To Clean And Maintain Tanks’ from our other article.

Risk To The Life Of Your Fish

If your balcony does not fall under direct sunlight, then there is a possibility to place them. However, if it is on a shaded side, then you need to think about the water temperature of the tank.

You can get a better view of ‘How to Maintain an Aquarium During Summer’ from here.

Because the aquarium water consisting of small amounts of water can quickly heat up or cool down based on the temperature of the surrounding. Rapid temperature swings can cause stress and put the lives of your fish at risk!

Frequent Change Of Water Temperature Of The Tank

Fish are cold-blooded, meaning it cannot regulate their body temperature as the water temperature or surrounding temperature changes. Too hot or cold water becomes intolerable and can harm the health of your fish. So, monitoring and maintaining temperature is necessary for the aquarium.

It is possible to purchase heating and cooling equipment or controllers, which can prevent your tank from getting too cold or overheating. Yet, there are other things you need to think about and be cautious about before leaving the tank on the balcony.

Keep reading to know more about the effects of the placement, pros, and cons, as well as how you can maintain the aquarium if you decide to place it on the balcony only.

How Balcony Architecture Affects An Aquarium?

The right place for your aquarium depends upon its size and shape, the home layout, surrounding area, and how you use your home. The same goes for the balcony! The following reasons are how your fish tank can be affected by the architecture and use of your home balcony-

Electricity/Power Access And Water Source

Almost every balcony does not have access to an electrical outlet by default. Meanwhile, equipment like filters, lights, and heaters require a power source.

While you could leave an extension cord from the other side of the room, it can still be risky (for example, short-circuit), especially when there is nobody at home for the day.

The question of whether you can turn off the aquarium filter at night or not arises in your mind.

Likewise, water changes play a vital role in aquarium maintenance, but most balconies do not have water connections or sources. Also, smaller tanks will require more frequent water changes than larger aquariums.

It would have been better and easier to maintain your aquarium if it was closer to the water source.

Is Water Change Harmful For Your Fish- How To Perform Water Change? Check it out here.

Vulnerable To Direct Hot Or Cold Weather

Your home can provide you shade due to walls, ceiling, floors, etc. But most of the balcony area is an open-attached space and under direct sunlight, which affects your glass aquarium temperature (by overheating of water). This in return affects the health of your fish.

Moreover, there will always be a loss of water in your fish tank due to evaporation. You can always make it easier to stop water evaporation in your aquarium once you find out its causes and remedies.

Even if your balcony is on the shade or breezy side, your fish would still not be able to adapt their body temperatures with the surrounding temperatures.

So, high-grade heaters, chillers, and controllers are required. They can be expensive, but even with those, it can still stress out your fish sooner or later due to regular temperature changes on the balcony.

I would suggest the use of hygger 50W Mini Submersible Digital Display Aquarium Heater. The compact and fast heating thermostat comes with an external controller and built-in thermometer perfect for use on the balcony.

Dust On Surface, Sound, And Objects

Due to the open space of the balcony, more frequent cleaning of the aquarium glass is required due to the speedy collection of dust on surfaces as it will make your tank look dirty or even harm your fish.

On the other hand, if something or any hard object like a ball or stone accidentally finds its way (because of some naughty kids) to knock onto your balcony aquarium, then this might not break the glass. But it can easily shock the fish due to sudden noise.

For this same reason, putting aquariums near high-traffic areas, speakers or television is not good. Also, tapping outside the aquarium glass is not a good idea. That tapping sound on the outside of the tank scares the fish simply because it disorients them, plus they are sensitive to noise.

You might simply avoid the most common beginner aquarium mistakes by having knowledge about it.

Outdoor Predators

Some Birds and cats eat fish, so they can easily get attracted and find their way to your tank on the open balcony.

If your aquarium is without a lid, then it can be exposed to hungry predators, and they will catch your fish if they want. Moreover, you have to deal with all the stuff that may drop into your aquarium.

To avoid this, you can simply use lids in your aquarium. Here are my 5 reasons why aquarium lids can be useful for you.

Pros And Cons Of Placing An Aquarium On Balcony

There are various pros and cons of placing an aquarium on the balcony. Let us look into it before you decide where to put your aquarium!

Pros

Even though placing the aquarium on the balcony is not such a good idea, it is not completely impossible. Here are some of the advantages of placing the aquarium on the balcony.

  • Increase Balcony Beauty
  • Fish have privacy
  • The aquarium is out of the way
  • Improve your focus and creativity
  • Providing a calming effect
  • Improvements in sleep quality by watching your fish tank

Related article: Health benefits of keeping an aquarium fish

Cons

Sadly, the disadvantages of placing your aquarium on the balcony outweigh its pros. Let us see what they are:

  • Time-demanding
  • Attracting or a threat from outside birds & animals
  • Frequent monitoring and adding water to maintain the level
  • The tank may produce excessive algae if under direct sunlight
  • May require high-grade & expensive types of equipment
  • Have to deal with temperature extremes
  • Leakage can be very costly
  • Test your patience

How To Maintain An Aquarium In The Balcony?

If you have decided to have an aquarium on the balcony, and you can cover most of the set up regarding the sunlight, shade, power, and water access, then there are a few more things you should consider so that you can properly maintain the tank. They are-

Consistent Temperature

Fluctuations in temperature will put your fish lives in danger. Therefore, whatever species of fish you have, you will need to investigate and be sure ahead that you can maintain the temperatures in the preferred range.

For this, use an aquarium thermometer for maintaining a stable temperature. Besides, you should also keep the water level constant. If you choose the heater I have mentioned above, you will find no need to add additional equipment in your tank like a thermometer.

Fish Feeding And Stocking

Overfeeding will produce more waste for your fish leading to sickness and death, and if the food is left, it will foul up the water, making it toxic later.

In the same vein, keep fewer fish because it will produce less waste and reduce the need for cleaning. 

You can get more insights on Fish Food 101: A Beginner’s Guide On How To Feed Aquarium Fish.

Filters And Oxygen

A filter is used for cleaning the aquarium water by removing debris and toxins like ammonia & nitrate. It certainly helps, but if not cleaned or maintained, they become clogged and can cause more harm than good.

On the other hand, oxygen is one of the most essential ingredients for a healthy aquarium. Low oxygen levels will suffocate fish whereas, too much oxygen will build up gas bubbles in the fish’s heart, leading to death.

So, make sure the oxygen level is enough and maintained for your fish tank. Air pumps and filters can help to deliver and balance the oxygen level in the water. Tetra Whisper Easy to Use AP150 Air Pump for Aquariums works well in the aquarium and serves its purpose.

For your balcony aquarium fish to have a healthy and safe environment, regular monitoring and preventive tank maintenance are necessary. Otherwise, over time the habitat will become unhealthy for the fish to survive.

What Fish Are Best For An Aquarium On Balcony?

There may be a variety of fishes of different sizes, colors, and shapes to put in aquariums. However, not all or only some of them are suitable for balcony life, even if they are capable of surviving without the heater systems in your tank.

Also, if your balcony tank is big enough to add additional different species together, then their temperature preferences may vary. Plus, it can impact the fish companions with each other. But, that does not mean your balcony aquarium can’t have different fish types.

Below is the list of fish species that you should consider to put in your aquarium.

  • Golden Rainbow Trout

White clouds or zebra danios are great fish for beginners to start with because they are easy to care for, cheap to buy, and resilient. Goldfish and koi are also great beginner pets because they are very hardy, eye-catching, and easy caring fish.

But be aware as they will grow large and small tanks won’t do good. Exotic Fish are better to avoid because they are hard to care for in outdoor environments and would die soon.

Related article: Easiest Fish to Breed- Beginner’s Guide

(Note: If you are a new fish keeper, researching and having a good understanding of the types of fish that you want is good before buying and putting them in your aquarium. Moreover, consult with an aquarium expert for suggestions on fish suitable for your balcony environment.)

To Sum Up

Balconies might not be the best choice, but it is possible to keep your aquarium, depending on the size, surrounding area, fish number, and also the species.

But keep in mind that better set up your aquarium in a location that makes it easy to view. Why? Because if something does go wrong, you can quickly identify the problems and fix them!

Whether it’s an excessive outgrowth of algae, sick or dead fish, or even leakage of your tank– the sooner you notice the problem, the sooner you can handle it efficiently.

It is even better to consult with local aquarium vendors on suggestions and modifications about which ones will be good. Besides, you will also know which ones can be put together on a balcony tank in your climate. You might even learn how to clean, filter, and maintain the fish tank.

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