Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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BeeJL 02-02-2014 06:08 PM

What size and style tank?
I introduced myself and now I can't wait to start asking questions about tanks. Are there advantages or drawbacks to the bow front type? I've been looking on Craigslist and it appears that the average price is $150 regardless of size. What is a good size for a "first" tank? Is it a good idea to buy used equipment or is used stuff usually junk? I want to do as many things right as possible the first time. Thanks.

b819east 02-02-2014 06:19 PM

I started off with a 38 gallon all brand new and after only 6 months i upgraded. I bought a 72 gallon bowfront tank off craigslist for 250. I got the stand, tank, lids, two lights, and a filter and everything i got worked perfectly fine. The stand just need some touch up paint and it looked good as new. There were no leaks, the lights work although i need a new bulb for it after a couple months, not a big deal tho and the filter worked fine too. I would make sure that the tank does not look too old though because then it might leak but you never know, i could be wrong. Also i see that some people sell reptile tank as fish tanks and i am not sure about this but i think that a reptile tank has thinner glass and that could be a problem. I couldnt help myself but to buy the 72 gallon bowfront because i thought the 38 gallon was to small. I still want to get a bigger tank but as of right now my budget is holdong me back. Theres really is no disadvantage to a bowfront, i do think they look cooler though

Flint 02-03-2014 06:14 AM

The bigger you can afford, the better, but 30 gallons is recommended as the minimum for beginners. It gives you more wiggle room as far as ammonia build-up. There isn't a downside to bowfronts, it's just a matter of preference and I personally just sold some fish stuff on CL and it was all brand new or had only been used a few days. As long as the equipment looks in decent shape, I wouldn't worry, but if you want to ease your mind you could always buy new. Also, if you find a fish tank that doesn't hold water, re-sealing them is simple (as long as an entire pane isn't broken or something).

jeaninel 02-03-2014 10:11 AM

The bigger you can afford the better because you will find yourself wishing you had a bigger tank later on. This is what happened to me anyway. My very first tank was a 20 gallon, then a 55 gallon. I know have 5 tanks running (two 55s, a 135, a 20 and a 10).

Bowfronts look nice. Although I've never owned one i think the only drawbacks are they are hard to take pics if your fish (if you're into that) and also the odf shape may make it hard to replace the hood/top should it ever need replacing. Myself, i prefer the standard rectangular "long" tanks since it gives the fish more swimming room and territory.
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BeeJL 02-03-2014 01:31 PM

Thanks for the replies. I guess I need to do some shopping to find out how much things cost so I can figure out what I can afford.

rsskylight04 02-03-2014 02:07 PM

I love the 40 gallon breeder tanks because they are extra deep front to back compared to other small to medium size tanks. Let's you get more creative with decorating and planting. If space is an issue I would say look for a 40, plus a brand new 40 is only a little over 100$.
If space is not an issue I would say look for a 75 gallon. Only about 200$ and its big enough to open a lot of stocking options that would be unadvisable in a smaller tank. I have two 75s and a them both, but yeah, no matter what size you get you'll always want bigger!
Lots of people go for a 55 gallon, and its a fine tank, but the 75 is much better in my opinion because of the extra depth.

Whatever you choose, I would reccommend that you stay away from tall tanks because surface area is limited compared to volume of water, and your floorspace is likewise restricted. Tall tanks are visually striking, but for most fishkeepers floorspace and surface area are more important.
Good luck and welcome to the forum!

Thoth 02-03-2014 07:35 PM

Not a fan of the bowfront tanks; I am rather cheap and they cost much more. If I was starting out with fish, I would go with a 40 breeder in most cases or a 120 (love the wide tanks). The smallest I would get is a 20 long. If I was going for larger fish, I would go with a 55 gallon or 125.

I would buy a stand and tank on craigslist but would likely skip over equipment unless the price was right. Non bowfronts run ~$2 a gallon with no equipment. Last week I saw a new 40 breeder for $85.

avraptorhal 02-04-2014 12:29 PM

I'm not sure if it is still on but Petco has a $1 per gallon sale. It is also held at least twice a year.

TaxCPA 02-04-2014 04:56 PM

I started out with a 10 gallon and immediately upgraded to a 29 gallon. As others have said, avoid the tall tanks. Although the 29 tall has a lot of eye appeal. A 20 long would work better for me than my 29 tall. My next will be a 75 gallon.

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