A fish tank can be a great stress reliever in any home or office and that holds true for apartments. We all love our fish pets and keeping them in a rented apartment should not hold us back.
While most apartment complexes allow having pets, there are considerations for having a fish tank. We cover some things you should follow and tips for keeping everyone happy!
Before signing the lease agreement
Discuss your fish tank plans with the apartment manager
I always recommend you bring up your fish tank very early in the process and even before you take your tour to look at the available apartments in a complex. This will save you and the leasing agent time from wasting time. If having a fish tank is a priority then there is no need to even look further if the fish tank is against their rules.
Even if the apartment leasing agent or manager states that fish tanks are allowed there are three very important questions you should ask.
- What is the maximum size tank allowed? I have seen that there are limitations on the number of gallons that are allowed for your fish tank. The last thing you want to have happened is you assume you can have a 20-gallon tank or larger and it will state in the contract that the maximum size allowed is 10-gallons.
- Can you have a fish tank on the 2nd and 3rd floor? There are some apartment complexes that only allow you to have fish tanks on the 1st floor. This requirement is in place for weight considerations and in situations where the tank could leak and floor the lower floors.
- Are there any additional liability insurance requirements? Some apartment complexes will require to have a provision in your insurance contract to cover fish tanks/aquariums.
Review lease agreement
When you initially look at your apartment and get verbal information from the leasing agent or apartment manager, you should not take their word for it. Before you sign the lease make sure it clearly states that fish tanks are allowed and what are the restrictions.
If it is not clearly stated in the lease agreement, have them write it in so that you are covered to what was agreed upon. I would have them state how many gallons are allowed and if they are allowed beyond the first floor.
Select your apartment based on the layout
The size and the floor plan of an apartment can have a significant factor in where you can set up your fish tank. You should not have the fish tank near a window if at all possible. Direct sunlight can enhance algae growth and once you set up your fish tank it is much harder to move it.
It is convenient to have the fish tank as close to a sink drain and faucet as possible. Doing water changes is much easier when your water source is close. You will be carry buckets of water back and forth and this can physically challenge.
Aquarium size considerations
In an apartment, I would highly consider not going over a 20-gallon tank. The reasoning behind this is if you end up moving in 6 months it will be easier to drain and move. The second thing to consider is the size of the stand and fish tank. Typically apartments are small and a large aquarium setup can crowd your living situation.
Consideration if fish tanks not allowed
If you really find an apartment you love and fish tanks are not allowed then you may want to consider a fishbowl instead. While these are very small and can’t compare to a full-size tank, you can at least have a fish pet to enjoy. There are several species that work well in a small fishbowl type aquarium. A couple of fish pet considerations are the popular betta fish or goldfish.