Fish Tank Size

The fish tank size that you purchase more than likely will be determined by the amount of available space you have, and also your budget.


Small Aquariums Are Better, Right?

small glass aquariumSmall fish tanks are actually harder to maintain due to the smaller amount of water that you have to work with. Large fish tanks hold a larger volume of water, therefore any problems that you may have are dispersed over a greater volume of water.

Let’s think of it this way. Say that you purchase a 10-gallon aquarium and you have one small fish die in it. The dead fish releases deadly ammonia (for other fish) into the 10-gallon tank and this ammonia is now polluting the water. The other fish in your small aquarium have a greater chance of dying due to ammonia poisoning.

Now, if you have a 30 gallon tank, you have three times the amount of water, therefore the ammonia is spread out over a larger volume of water and the threat becomes less deadly. Although the dead fish could still harm other tank inhabitants, your chances are greatly decreased due to a larger volume of water.

Another example is making tea. If you use one tea bag and drop it into one cup of water, you would have a nice cup of tea. Now, drop that tea bag into a 5 gallon bucket of water, you now have slightly stained water. The tea is obviously stronger in the cup.


Tank sizes range from 1 gallon and up. Custom tanks can be made to hold thousands of gallons of water.

Now what tank size is right for you? I can only make suggestions here. You have to make that decision.

I suggest that people that are “new” to the tropical fish hobby select a fish tank size of 20 gallons or larger.

I suggest that you get the largest tank that you can afford and have space for in your home.


The reasons are:

Larger water volumes are less likely to have many major problems when small incidents occur such as a fish dying, or you forget to change the water one or two weeks in a row.

Fish hobbyists tend to get “addicted” to fish and want to keep getting more and more. The fish tank size will determine how many fish that you can have in your tank. So, if you purchase a large aquarium, you can keep more types of tropical fish.Maintenance on large aquariums is far easier than maintenance on small aquariums. It sounds funny but it is true. You have more room to maneuver in the tank when cleaning it, you have more options on equipment, and water conditions are not so finicky on larger aquariums. Small fish tanks also tend to have problems with temperature fluctuations. Again think about a regular cup of hot chocolate, it will cool off quicker than a 5-gallon bucket with the same temperature hot chocolate. 


Below are a few of the most commonly found tanks including aquarium size and tank dimensions (inches).

Fish Tank Size Dimensions: L x W x H
10 gallon
20x10x12
15 gallon
20x12x12
15 gallon high
20x10x18
20 gallon high
24x12x16
20 gallon long
30x12x12
29 gallon
30x12x18
30 gallon
36x12x16
40 gallon breeder
36x18x16
46 gallon bowfront
36x15x20
50 gallon
36x18x18
55 gallon
48x13x20
70 gallon
36x18x25
75 gallon
48x18x21
90 gallon
48x18x24
90 gallon bowfront
48x18x29
110 gallon
60x18x23
120 gallon high
48x24x24
120 gallon long
60x18x26
125 gallon
72x18x22
150 gallon
72x18x28
180 gallon
72x24x24
220 gallon
72x24x30

 

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