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I was wondering if it is possible to keep an aquarium for tropical fish inside a garage in the UK? The garage is made of brick but does not have any insulation and therefore gets quite cold in the winter and quite warm in the summer.

I imagine the main difficulties with this is keeping the aquarium at the correct temperature as the range and fluctuation of temperatures would be much higher than that of those in my insulated house.

Would I need to make an extra allowances for this greater variation in temperature? Such as extra heater Wattage than usually required and potentially some form of cooling for the summer months?

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  • I am just curious: why do you want to keep an aquarium in a garage? Usually, aquariums are kept in one of the most visible places in the house - that is their purpose, to be seen (the way I see it).
    – virolino
    Sep 22 at 14:42
  • I do have some aquariums in the house - this is an additional aquarium for surplus fish from breeding to store whilst I try and give them away.
    – Jsk
    Sep 23 at 8:45
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It depends on the aquarium size, the fish, and how uninsulated it is, and where in the UK. I easily keep fish in a couple aquariums in a garage room addition and several more in an unheated garden shed. However both are well insulated. Your brick have a lot of thermal inertia so (with doors and windows closed) , the temperatures in the garage should not range near as much as the outside temperature. You did not mention the roof/ceiling situation, could be more important than the walls. Plastic foam panels on the back, bottom and sides will partially insulate the aquarium. Larger size will give thermal inertia to the aquarium , I would use nothing smaller than a 55 gal ( about 200 L). Some fish tolerate high an low temperatures better; I have Paradise fish that see 30C in summer and 12 C in winter. I doubt you will need to do anything about high summer temperatures; I am near Houston TX ( usually 33 C+ in summer ) and it has not been a problem . Electric heaters do well in minter; For a 55 gal 2 heaters of 150 watts would be good . And I say two because if one 300 watt fails it very likely will overheat the tank. So, it is doable , but you have decisions to make.

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The answer of @blacksmith37 pretty much covers the topic. However, I want to add some details / extra-info.

Short answer

  1. It is acceptable to keep an aquarium anywhere - it is your problem, and the problem of whatever living things are inside that aquarium :) .

Proper answer

  1. Assuming that you want to have living things in the aquarium and to provide them halthy life conditions, I would say: think big, not small. Do not concentrate on the aquarium, concentrate on the environment of the aquarium. In your case, it might be cheaper on the long run to properly insulate the garage, rather than use a lot of electricity to heat the aquarium in the winter and cool it during the summer. Or just place the aquarium in a "corner" of your house, which is already insulated and thermo-regulated.

  2. You also need to take into consideration that water is a very good heat / cold conductor, so whatever you do, the energy will be lost very quickly to the environment.

    Insulate the walls of the aquarium with polystyrene foam (sheets) - all 6 sides. Make sure to leave some ventilation holes. Remove the insulation temporarily only when needed.

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