I have found a lot of different sites that give a lot of different advice. I will add what I have learned but need other to contribute to get some better and first hand experience.
The first idea is to use the standard size aquarium. This affords the ability to build many features with a lot of height to wqork with. It also allows for one to build a "shelf" where the animal can get out of the water and still have almost the entire area to swim and have fun. The drawbacks, one main one is the fact that cleaning and maintaining the tank is more difficult because of the depth. It also means that the water is deeper and needs more light to grow plants, more water to change and a little more effort to keep it going.
The other option I have found is to get a tank that is only 8-12 inches tall and double to triple as long as well as only 12-14 inches wide. This allows one to section off part of the tank for aland structure, some tanks can even be bought with the seperation already in the tank. This allows for terrestrial and emersed plants but not much in the way of submerged growth. This can be good because the animals don't have to fight a lot of plants and also can have much easier access to the land portion instead of losing their way under the platform. The drawbacks is space, in order to give the same amount of water space a larger tank must be used. Another one is the difficulty in placing a filter in the water and getting proper circulation depending on the amount of water without creating too much current for the animals liking.
I don;t pretend to know enough about this to state anything but what I have read so I need members who have vivariums to post their dimensions and state why they think it works best for them. Filters, plants, lighting, substrate and anything else pertinenet would help also.
imo get the biggest aquarium you can handle i wish for a 40 gallon for christmas.
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