Purchasing a new aquarium
1) Buying a new aquarium is very exciting but there a few things to consider first. You need to decide on whether you will have a cold water tank, tropical tank or a marine tank. For example a cold water tank will not need a heater and a marine tank will ideally come with a sump. A sump is mainly used for marine tanks but I have seen it used in tropical freshwater tanks.
2) It is also a good idea to think about the species you would like to keep as this will give you a good indication of the aquarium size you will need.
3) Once you are decided on the type of aquarium you want you will need to measure it then measure your space at home to make sure if fits. If you go on chat forums you will hear of plenty of people buying fish tanks that do not fit into the required space. You will find that some tanks are acrylic and others glass. Personally i always go for glass.
4) Some fish tanks will come complete with stand and lighting units whereas others are sold as separate parts. If your tank does not come with a stand you will need to choose one. Fish tank stands are designed especially to deal with the large weight of a filled tank. Make sure the stand is the right size for the tank. You will then need to choose lighting and again make sure that if fits the tank. And depending on the type of tank you are going for you may need a heater.
5) Many fish stores will offer a discount if you buy everything from them and they will often sell bundle packages with everything you need. You may wish to choose your decorations for the tank straight away however any plants, corals and live rock will have to wait until the tank is set up and fully running for obvious reasons.
6) It is always recommended for people to let their tank run for a good couple of weeks before putting any fish in. You should slowly introduce fish into the tank and not buy them all at once. If you add to many at once the filters will not be mature enough to deal with the waste resulting in your tank starting off with all sorts of problems. Some fish are hardier than others and the hardier ones should be introduced first to help establish the tank.
I personally prefer aquariums that are sold all together ie tank, stand, lighting,canister filter and sump if applicable. They just look much smart and you know everything is designed to work well together.