Please help me decide aquarium shape & size - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-11-2008, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Question Please help me decide aquarium shape & size

Hello, everyone! You guys are a great community! I have been lurking for a few weeks now - I am a total newbie to this exciting hobby.

I am going to get an aquarium within the next month but I am struggling with what size and shape to get. I have a large corner in my family room that seems perfect for an aquarium (away from windows and heating vents, but close to electrical outlets and water supply). I was originally thinking of getting a 70 gallon quarter cylinder tank. After looking at the dimensions of it (24X24X30), it looks like I'll only get 730 inches of viewing area. If I go with a 55 gallon standard rectangle aquarium (48X13X20), I'll get 960 inches of viewing area (plus the two ends).

Any input you have on corner tanks vs rectangle tanks would be greatly appreciated. Pros? Cons? Comparisons?
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-11-2008, 05:48 PM
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Ummm, well I think from what I've learned, it depends on the fish you want I guess. 55 gallon standard is what I would choose, probably easier to clean and good for fish who are fast that need a lot of swim room. I would choose the 55.
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-11-2008, 05:57 PM
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I would pick the 55 because it has more surface area and more room for the fish to swim. One advantage to the corner tank is that is is much wider. But 30" tall would be a pain in the butt for maintenance. One of my tanks is 23" tall and even then I'm up to my armpit when I have to reach the bottom to reset plants or anything. But it's really up to your personal preference.

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-11-2008, 07:29 PM
I would think that the corner tank would be harder to clean, making your life harder. Plus, like others have said you have to take into consideration the swimming patterns of your fish. But, with the 70 you would be able to have more fish. I would go with the 55 just because I think that the depth and width of the corner tank would get old fast. If you want the larger size, you could always look into larger rectangular tanks provided you have the room.

Oh, do you want live plants? Lighting the corner tank may be a bit trickier than a standard rectangular tank.
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-11-2008, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Those are all good thoughts. I didn't even think about the plant issues. Yes, I definately want to have live plants. And, I like fish that are fast swimmers and will zoom around the tank.
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-12-2008, 06:44 AM
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I've never cared for the distortion of the cylindrical tanks. They're fine if you only want to look perfectly straight into the tank, any more than that and things go fun house on you.

If I may, as the owner of a 55 standard, buy a 75 if you can afford it at all. The extra five inches of width is a big deal when it comes to aquascaping.

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post #7 of 11 Old 11-12-2008, 07:13 AM
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welcome,i'm glad you decided to join. :)
i have a 4ft bow front tank,and although it's nice,as Tyyrlym says
you get distortion when you try to look in at an angle,which can make
you feel a little woosie. :(
fast swimmers,rummynosed tetra,tiger barbs,danios,to name a couple.
are you all set for the "cycle" ? do you know which way you would
like to do it,also sand or gravel,remember to wash it out over
and over again,stirring all the while until the water runs clear.
any questions,we hope we will be able to help wth.

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-16-2008, 01:27 PM
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Welcome Lynne.
The idea of volume as an indicator of how much you can really stock is partly wrong. A 75 gallon made by making a 40 taller would hold no more fish. The limit on stocking levels is usually an indication of how much water surface there is for gas exchange to oxygenate the tank. We use thumb rules about inches per gallon but that is because many tanks have about the same proportions so we can get away with it. A 55 will hold at least as many fish as the 70 corner tank because the corner tank is getting its volume by being deeper. As someone suggested, a 75 rectangular tank does hold much more fish than a 55 would. It is the same tank in terms of length and depth but is longer from front to back so the surface area goes up as much as the volume.
A corner tank can be quite attractive if you decorate it well but it is not my personal favorite. My tastes run to the longer rectangular tanks but that does not make them the "best", it just means that I like it. You need to be guided by what you will like. Maybe you could put a cardboard box or something in the place you are thinking about the tank and give yourself a visual idea of what it would look like and how much room it would take. You may find that a 55 or 75 is bigger than you would really like in that spot and a cardboard box is easier to change than a fish tank.
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-16-2008, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Good thoughts. I've been taking all of your comments into serious consideration. I think I would prefer to go with a 75 gallon rather than a 55 after thinking more about what you said, Tyyrym. I've looked at them at my lfs and I agree that the extra 5 inches in width would make landscaping a little easier. And, I did measure out what it would look like against my wall as ghreed suggested. I like the "look" of the rectangular tanks -- I like to see fish swimming in shoals back. So, I think I'm going to go with the 75E. You guys have been a great help - thanks!
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post #10 of 11 Old 11-17-2008, 12:29 AM
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Also keep in mind that the bowfronts, quarter cylinders and the like are a lot more expensive per gallon than standard rectangular tanks.

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