Updated on: June 2, 2023 by Praveen Ghoshal | Reading Time: 7 minutes
When looking for a good spot to place your fish tank, it’s easy to be drawn to the windows or feel like it’s your only option.
However, before setting up your tank near a window, there are important factors to consider. I’ve done extensive research on this topic and I’m excited to share some helpful insights with you.
So, can fish tanks be near windows? Yes, fish tanks can be placed near windows, but it requires proper care to avoid potential problems. Direct sunlight can lead to issues such as excessive algae growth and fluctuating temperatures. To prevent this, heavy drapes or a heavy cloth can be used to cover the tank during the daytime.
If you want to protect your aquarium glass from direct sunlight, I recommend you check out the Tetra Sunlight Blocking Film for Aquariums (available on Amazon).
In general, users have mixed opinions about the product, though. Some highlighting it doesn’t prevent algae growth in the tank, while others say they don’t face any algae issues after using it.
But overall, it’s worth giving it a try, especially since Tetra is a well-known brand in the fishkeeping hobby.
In this article, I’ll be solving all your doubts and educating you about the problems of keeping your aquarium near a window and how to protect your tank from sunlight and algae. So, stay tuned till the end to learn more!
Problems Of Keeping Fish Tanks Near Windows
There are two major problems of putting a tank near a window:
1. Massive Algae Growth
Algae just love a good amount of light apart from nutrients and water! If your fish tank is near the window or if placed outside then there are high chances your tank will get exposed to sunlight.
Whenever your fish tank gets a decent amount of light, the tiny particles called phytoplankton (a type of algae) start growing and your fish tank starts appearing hazy until it completely turns out green.
Read Also: Should fish tank light be on all the time?
Here’s an image of a tank kept outside in a park. It receives a lot of sunlight throughout the day. So here’s what it looks like!
Now, after seeing the image you might have understood the effect of direct sunlight on a fish tank :). This is why it is generally advised to avoid the locations near windows.
However, don’t worry if you don’t have any other options. If you really take proper care then can fight this problem.
2. Temperature Fluctuation
Since near the windows, the sunlight will fall on your fish tank, the temperature of your fish tank will increase very rapidly. There would be a lot of temperature fluctuation because of this.
On the other hand, if your fish tank is near a window or a door and you live in a cold area then the cold winds can just enter your fish tank and disturb the temperature balance. Thus causing the temperature fluctuation.
Remember that fish are cold blooded animals and so they aren’t able to maintain their body temperature. They depend on the temperature of their surroundings.
If there is a fluctuation in temperature then your fish’s immunity will also get affected.
Also there is an inverse relation between the temperature and dissolved oxygen. (If you are good in chemistry then you could relate better)
Anyways, so as the temperature increases, the dissolved oxygen decreases, ultimately the fish starts starving of oxygen.
Thus this can prove to be very lethal. Isn’t it?
So now the biggest question that will come to your mind is how to combat this issue if you have no other choice. Let’s discuss that.
How To Protect Your Fish Tank From Sunlight?
The simplest way to protect your fish tank from sunlight is to cover the fish tank using a heavy cloth like a bath towel whole day long. If the fish tank is near windows or doors then heavy drapes can be used.
If you go for work outside then you can just feed your fishes, cover the aquarium and go out for the day. After that when you return you can open the cover and enjoy its beauty.
This is the probably the only to avoid direct sunlight reaching your fish tank.
- Either block the source
- Or cover the tank from getting exposed
Here’s a video by Richie D where he shows how to cover the fish tank and stop the sunlight penetrating your tank. You can watch this video to get some idea for your tank.
Fish Tank Sunlight Protector
If you don’t want to put a cover on your tank in case you are at home in the daytime and want to enjoy the fish tank’s beauty, then what’s the solution?
Yes, probably by using some kind of transparent coating that would just block the sunlight and keep your fish tank temperature balance along with solving the algae growth issue.
So I looked for ‘fish tank sunlight protector’ and found a YouTube video on tetra sunlight blocking film instructions by Tetra Fish. Watching this video you can get some idea.
How To Protect Your Fish Tank Near Window From Algae?
As I told you algae loves water, light and nutrients. Here are the few tips you could follow to protect your fish tank from algae.
#1. Control The Amount Of Artificial Light
In most cases, light is the only culprit behind algae blooms so just make sure that your fish tank does not get lighting more than optimal range.
Avoid direct exposure of your fish tank to sunlight. In general, keep your aquarium lights on for not more than 8-12 hours per day.
#2. Maintain Your Tank Properly
Do adequate water changes and take care of your filters. Water changing is important for excluding out the waste materials and dirt and replace it with a fresh water.
Generally, if you have a tank near the windows then you would have to do water changes more frequently than normal.
Also, wipe out the glass of your tank. You can also use magnetic scrubbers (available on Amazon) for frequent cleaning of the aquarium glass.
#3. Add Some Live Plants To Your Tank
Apart from sunlight and water algae grows due to abundance of nutrients available in the fish tank. Live plants consume the nitrates and other nutrients required for the algae to grow.
#4. Add Algae Eaters Like Snails
Snails love to munch on the algae. They not only eat up the algae growth in your tank but also consume other fish wastes.
Cleaner Fishes like Plecos also consume the fish wastes but in return, they poop a lot. While snails help in cleaning the tank without producing a ton of waste in return. They also don’t take much space in your tank.
#5. Make Sure That There Is Some Water Movement In Your Tank
You already know that stagnant water gives rise to spots where all the waste gets collected. These wastes then give rise to algae in those parts of your tank.
If you have good filters then make sure that they create some sort of water movement in the tank.
Where Should A Fish Tank Be Placed?
While choosing the perfect location for your fish tanks there are some things you should know. Here’s an easy checklist for you that will help you determine where you should place your tank.
- Near Direct Sunlight
- Near Noisy Area
- Near Hot or Cold Air Sources (eg. fireplace)
All these places must be avoided while choosing the location for your fish tank. You should also avoid places that are not so stable or in a room with lots of people.
This is because there are chances of damage to your aquarium if don’t take good care. Also noisy environments are not so good for your fish.
- Near Easily Available Water Source
- Near Easily Available Power Source
Also, remember that your fish tank is kept such that it looks nice. (After all aesthetics does matter, isn’t it?)
Generally, as far as I have seen most aquarium lovers keep their fish tanks in the drawing-room, living room or the main hall. Some also keep on upstairs.
If you are thinking of keeping a fish tank under a TV then you can also check out my article by clicking here.
Note that location doesn’t matter that much as far as you are dedicated to take good care of your fishes and maintain the tank. You should just be well aware of the problems associated with particular locations and deal accordingly.
In a nutshell, placing a fish tank near a window can cause problems like algae growth and temperature fluctuations. However, by taking proper care such as using heavy drapes or a cloth to cover the tank during the daytime, and using products like the Tetra Sunlight Blocking Film, you can prevent these issues.
Regular maintenance like water changes, maintaining filters, and adding live plants and algae eaters can also help in keeping the algae in check.
And if possible, while choosing a location for your tank, avoid direct sunlight and noisy areas, and ensure easy access to water and power sources.
With the right care and attention, you can enjoy the beauty of your fish tank near a window.
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