There’s a lot to consider when planning a new saltwater aquarium system—where to site the tank in your home, what sort of livestock you’d like to keep, what equipment will serve your needs best, how to gaslight your significant other into believing the system isn’t new at all but, in fact, has been there all along, etc., etc.

In addition to these (and many other) considerations, accessibility should be given serious thought during the planning stage for any aquarium. What I’m referring to here is making sure you’re literally able to access the various components of the system for the sake of cleaning, maintenance, repairs, reconfiguration, or any other task you might need to accomplish. This may sound obvious, but ease of accessibility is overlooked more often than you might think, especially among new hobbyists setting up their very first system.

What areas of an aquarium system are of greatest concern when it comes to ease of access?

The top of the tank

Let’s start at the top—literally. The top of the tank is the biggest hobbyist/system interface. It’s at/from the top that we feed livestock, scrape algae from the glass/acrylic panes, introduce new specimens, capture specimens for removal, add to or rearrange rockwork, remove and add water during water changes, move/redirect powerheads, and so forth. MORE

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