Can A Fish Tank Be Near or In Front of A Window

By Jecinte Muturi @aquariawise

Can A Fish Tank Be Near or In Front of A Window

A fish tank in front of a window can be more aesthetically pleasing than one hidden away in dark corners far from the focal points in your house.

However, anyone who knows the first thing about aquariums and keeping fish is aware too much light in a fish tank is trouble.

So, can you place a fish tank near a window?

And if yes, what are the consequences!


Yes, a fish tank can be near-or in front of a window-as long as it is not exposed to direct sunlight and the temperature from the sun does not affect your fish tank. Direct sunlight near windows can also cause excessive algae growth, so ensure your tank has light for the recommended 8 to 10 hours a day, with only 4 to 5 hours of those being diffused light from the sun.

Your plants will be pretty happy with the light from the sun and will become lush in no time, provided you keep algae from out-competing them for all the light and nutrients in the water and substrate.

Please keep reading for more insight on this topic.

Can A Fish Tank Be in Direct Sunlight

Placing a fish tank near a window can be a great way to add natural light to your tank and create a visually appealing display. However, you must take precautions to ensure the health and well-being of your fish.

Ensure that your tank is not exposed to direct sunlight because it can cause excessive algae growth and overheat the water in the tank. Instead, place the tank in a location where it will receive indirect sunlight or ambient light from the window.

Since window panes allow a lot of light and won’t cushion your fish tank from excess amounts, cover the windows (or your aquarium) if the temperature or light exceeds what your plants or fish need.

Is Sunlight Good for Fish Tank Plants

Sunlight is good for many plants, but aquarium species will grow without it if they have nutrients and some form of artificial light. If you have fussy fish tank plants that need specific wavelengths, you can give them 4 to 5 hours of indirect sunlight, just enough to keep them growing but not too much for algae to thrive.

Supposing you already have your tank near a window that is getting some sunlight, add fast-growing (extremely emergent) aquarium plants and blackout the side of the tank that gets direct sunlight.


Grow your aquarium plants in sand or gravel in a low-tech tank if they have access to light from the sun. You do not want to supplement them with CO2 because excess nutrients and light is the recipe for green water (algae) and dead plants.

Is Sunlight Good for Fish in Aquariums

Sunlight has no direct benefits to aquarium fish, but it is good because it helps plants and algae grow, providing areas for skittish fish to hide and some species to lay their eggs. A little alga in your aquarium is ideal for algae-eater to feed on.

Light from the sun may also improve your fish’s colors, though it will also depend on the food you feed them.

Natural sunlight in your fish tank is also good because it helps you save on power costs, but that does not impact your fish directly, yes?

While you may need to leave aquarium lights on 8 to 10 hours a day in a dark fish room, natural light from the sun can help reduce that time by half if you have windows.

You may only need the light for 5 hours or less daily.

That said,…

Ensure your fish tank is not exposed to direct sunlight. If not, it will turn green with algae. Only allow your aquarium short-sunlight-exposures in a day to help the plants, but enough to keep the tank temperature steady and algae growth limited.

Too much sunlight in your fish tank will also reduce the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water and suffocate your fish.

If you notice your fish gasping near the top of the tank, block out the sunlight and aerate your fish tank.

How Do You Protect Your Fish Tank from Sunlight

Protect your fish tank from direct sunlight by placing curtains, shades, or blinds on your windows. You can also use a fish tank light protector, such as a light-blocking film. The tetra tinted films are often attached to the outside of the aquarium glass to keep excess light out without obstructing your view.

You can also use a lid to cover your fish tank if the only concern is the sun heating your fish tank but not the light. This should keep the water from heating and evaporating, and the dissolved oxygen levels where they ought to be.

To partially reduce the sunlight getting to your fish tank, put a bookshelf or cabinet between your tank and the window. This will help, especially if you do not want to draw your blinds or curtains during the day.

Another thing you could try is moving your fish tank to the wall next to the window instead of directly in front. Remember to place it so that the whole aquarium will get light evenly. If not, you will be scraping algae of the sun facing side quite frequently.

If you notice the temperature going above the desired level and algae is growing in your fish tank, consider moving your fish tank to another spot or covering your window some more.

Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the water in the tank and ensure that it stays within the appropriate temp range for your tropical fish species.

Where is The Best Part of A House to Put an Aquarium

The best location in a house for a fish tank is in a room with steady temperature and away from direct sunlight. It should also be in an area that is easily accessible for maintenance and feeding. A living or family room is a good choice as it is a central location often used by the family and guests. Place your display fish tank in your lounge’s focal area and add proper lighting to ensure it stands out.

It’s also important to consider the weight of your fish tank to make sure the floor can support it. You also do not want it in an area with items prone to water damage.


In terms of positioning and direction..,

…the lucky place for an aquarium is in the east or southeast part of a room or home. These areas are associated with the elements believed to bring growth and vitality.

The east is also associated with family and health, making it a suitable location for an aquarium as it can promote a sense of calm and well-being.

Where Should You Not Put A Fish Tank

Besides being away from direct sunlight near doors and windows, a fish tank should not be placed in high-traffic areas where it can be knocked over or in a room with no ventilation. Drafty areas are also not ideal spots to put an aquarium.

Cold drafts will lower the temperature of the water and make it too chilly for tropical fish, while warm currents will raise the temperature of the water and make it too hot for your fish.

Drafts can cause the water to become oxygen-poor, which could stress and kill your fish.

Well, that’s all for this post🏁.

See you in the next one. Adios🙋‍♀️🙋‍♂️!

← All articles

The Aquarium Club ↓

Join the 37k+ strong aquarium community

The AquariaWise Newsletter is known for cutting through the noisy world of pet fish keeping showcasing stunningly breathtaking aquarium fish and superbly insightful aquarium plants to help you bring out the peace and serenity you seek with your aquariums. And it doesn't stop there... think aquarium fish care, plant care, building fish tanks, everything aquariums... you'll be right at home.