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starlagrace 03-29-2011 03:01 PM

Advice on tank size - 45 vs. 55 gallon
Hi folks,

I am starting up a new tank. It's been a few years since I had one and the largest size I dealt with was a 30 gallon. I'd like to get something bigger and I'm starting fresh.

I really like the shape of the 45 gallon tanks much better than the 55 since they are taller. (Ideally I'd like a 90 gallon but I'm in a 2nd floor rental and not willing to chance it.)

So I was hoping for feedback on 45 vs. 55. I've been told that I shouldn't bother with anything smaller than a 55, but that seems silly. I understand that less volume and length means fewer fish and plants and I'm okay with that. But I'm curious if there's another factor I'm missing.

I plan to get an Eheim canister (likely a 2126) and I will likely keep Gouramis and maybe some Swords, etc.



redchigh 03-29-2011 03:28 PM

Not sure who would say not to mess with anything under a 55...

I have 5 tanks, and all are 10 gals or less.

Everywhere I've seen, it seems a 55 is taller...

I would still say go with the 55g. You like gouramis now, but later you might decide you want something exotic.. Discus, angelfish, coolie loaches, etc, and they would definately do much better in the 55.

starlagrace 03-29-2011 03:32 PM

Thanks for the reply! Why do you say the angels, discus etc. would do better in a 55? Because of the volume of water or the shape of the tank?

The All-glass site provides these dimensions for the tanks:

45 gallon 36 x 12 x 24
55 gallon 48 x 13 x 20

redchigh 03-29-2011 03:38 PM

Oh, peculiar.

Well, for the coolies, they need the volume. (since they're quite large)
Discus and Angels typically like tall tanks, but I'm not sure 4 inches would make a difference.

lipadj46 03-29-2011 04:21 PM

I like my 55 gallon (great craigslist deal) but I wish I would have held out for a 75-90 gallon. You can fill up a 55 gallon really quick. As far as being on the second floor, if you are nervous keep the tank along a load bearing (external wall if you are not sure) and be sure you accross the floor joists as opposed to parallel to the joists.

Byron 03-29-2011 07:18 PM

Definitely better (and wiser) to decide on the tank dimensions according to what the fish require. As redchigh said, not all fish work in all tanks.

You mentino gourami and swords initially. For both, longer is better than higher, much better. Same with discus or angels, most characins, danio, barbs, catfish, loaches. Reason is that the length gives more surface area to the substrate, and shoaling fish like to swim, some more, some less, but length broken up with chunks of wood or rock (depending upon the fish's needs) and plants provides more of a stream effect which suits such fish. Territorial fish (discus, angels, gourami) need that length for other obvious reasons.

An extra foot in length makes a big difference. And you can safely have more fish in longer tanks (water quality is better). If you have the space for 4-feet, get the 55g. It is "narrow" front to back, but with some clever aquascaping this can be less obvious.


starlagrace 03-30-2011 12:45 PM

That makes a lot of sense - thank you. After reading the Gourami profiles I realized they'd like more surface area since they stay near the top. Also it would be good to give the schooling fish more room to swim.

I'll definitely go with the 55 - I appreciate the input!

DKRST 03-30-2011 01:07 PM

Aquaria are like hard drives on computers. No matter how big, you'll always want something larger sooner than you think!

starlagrace 03-30-2011 01:11 PM


Originally Posted by DKRST (Post 633911)
Aquaria are like hard drives on computers. No matter how big, you'll always want something larger sooner than you think!

Ain't that the truth! :-D

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