Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Long or tall tank? (

Calmwaters 09-08-2009 01:41 PM

Long or tall tank?
I am looking to buy around a 50 gallon tank and wanted to get all you smart peoples opinion on what is better the tall tanks or long tanks. I personally think long tanks would be better because most fish I have seen have more of a tendency to go left to right not up and down. But a tall tank would take up so much less room. So what are the pros and cons of each. Also I was thinking I might like to do sand instead of gravel but I am not sure what difference there is in the cleaning/care of the tank would be if it were sand. It will be a community tank with maybe Dwarf Gouranamis, Neons, Cory Cats, and Fancy Tail Guppys do you guys have any other suggestions or ideas of what to put in there. Thanks in advance for all your help.

Kindest Regards,

Herky 09-08-2009 04:46 PM

I've always been curious as to the difference between the long and talls myself. Will be interesting to see what people have to say.

As far as the sand goes you should read up here:

aunt kymmie 09-08-2009 04:57 PM

I've read certain fish do better in taller tanks, ie: Discus, angels. I've also seen many fancy goldfish being kept in very tall tanks. I think that in a tall planted tank lighting can become an issue since there is more depth that the light must penetrate. For me cleaning a tall tank would be a nightmare as I'm only 5'4" and my arms are only so long. But I do agree, a tall tank would take up alot less space!

Byron 09-08-2009 05:11 PM

Kymmie's points are correct. The tank shape should be dictated by the fish, always. Not only aesthetics, but biology also enters the equation.

A longer tank has greater surface area than a taller, given the same volume of water. This means less gas exchange at the surface of a tall tank--which is OK for swamp-dwelling fish, but less so for stream or river fish requiring more oxygen. Second, the behaviour of the fish comes into play: a fish that likes to swim will do better in a long tank, and may even do poorly in a tall one which affords less latitude for swimming from end to end as in a stream.

An example, most tetras, barbs and danios occur in rivers and streams, and are prodigious swimmers; a long tank will also show these fish off better and be more suited to their wants. By contrast, gouramis and bettas can be lovely in taller tanks, where they can gracefully swim vertically; and because they breathe atmospheric air, the oxygen content of the water is less important.

Know the natural habitat of the fish you want to keep and buy the appropriate tank and aquascape it appropriately. The result will be fish that are less stressed because they are in a more suitable environment, and that means healthier fish with fewer problems for you.


Lupin 09-08-2009 06:56 PM

It also depends with goldfish. Despite taller tanks, they also need plenty of space to swim around. Ryukins for instance, have very deep bodies and inspite of that compact appearance, they look forceful when they swim. My ryukins swim in spurts and I thought despite their tall shape, they also act like they need longer spaces to swim around as a result of the speed spurts. Ryukins and orandas have a body width 2/3 or more in comparison to length. They are indeed rather bulky fish that need tall yet long tanks. Ranchus, tosakins and pearlscales on the other hand can benefit better with longer tanks than tall tanks since they have very little use for the depth especially as their body shape tend not to be relatively taller although some are incredibly stocky.

Herky 09-08-2009 08:47 PM

Why tall, specifically for angels and discus? I guess I ask because I've had my eye on a 55 tall at the pet store as opposed to the 55 long that I already have that I'm working on transitioning them to.

Calmwaters 09-09-2009 08:22 AM

Thanks everyone. I think a long tank would be better suited for the fish I would like to stock it with. These are the ones I like for the tank let me know what you think it will have lots of fake plants:

4-6 Neon Dwarf Gouranamis
3 Cory Cats
2 Oto
10 Neon Tetra
6 Glass Fish
Fancy Tail Guppys
Sail Fin Mollys
Mystery Snail
Maybe some shrimp of some kind

I would like suggestions as to what other fish would go well with the ones I have stated above.

Kindest Regards,

Byron 09-09-2009 11:09 AM


Originally Posted by Herky (Post 240450)
Why tall, specifically for angels and discus? I guess I ask because I've had my eye on a 55 tall at the pet store as opposed to the 55 long that I already have that I'm working on transitioning them to.

With Angels it is a visual thing; being "tall" looking, they suit a tall space. No biological reason that I'm aware of.

As for discus, I would not keep them in a tall tank but as long as possible. They love to gracefully cruise around the tank amongst bogwood and plants (those that will manage with the higher temperatures). Actually angels are fine in this sort of setup too, very natural (their habitat).


Herky 09-09-2009 11:35 AM

Ok, well that confirms what I was thinking....I was going to say if there is a reason that they need a tall tank to be happy and healthy...then I would consider it. I think they'll be happy just to have more room.

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