75g too much for a beginner?

possumWallup

I am wanting to get into the hobby as I have been fascinated for years but haven't had the opportunity to set up a tank of my own until now.

I am wanting to build a planted tank with a fair amount of driftwood and keep an Asian theme with dwarf gouramis.

I may be under the spell of "bigger is better."

Is a 75-gallon tank too large as a first planted tank for a beginner?
Any other "beginner" planted tank size recommendations?

I am not limited on space whatsoever, so I was considering a larger tank. BUT, I am concerned that such a large tank might be immediately overwhelming to a rookie and I want to start my learning path in the right direction.
 

Queasy

75G for a beginner is actually perfect. With more water, your parameters are less likely to fluctuate and you'll have more success. Cannister filters do the majority of the work for you, and you could use an automated pump to do water changes which make your life much easier. I'd definitely say bigger is better.
 
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possumWallup

75G for a beginner is actually perfect. With more water, your parameters are less likely to fluctuate and you'll have more success. Cannister filters do the majority of the work for you, and you could use an automated pump to do water changes which make your life much easier. I'd definitely say bigger is better.
Thanks. So the water parameters are more steady as water volume increases. That makes sense. With relation to live plants, does the depth difference between a 55g, 75g, or 90g have a noticeable impact on plant growth?
 
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Queasy

Thanks. So the water parameters are more steady as water volume increases. That makes sense. With relation to live plants, does the depth difference between a 55g, 75g, or 90g have a noticeable impact on plant growth?
I never had much luck with live plants so I'm going to let someone else with more experience answer that one . Don't want to give out the wrong info. Best of luck!
 
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CHJ

The advice I always heard for beginners is go as big as you can possibly afford. The more water you have the more time it takes to swing it into the bad zone. Large tanks are much more forgiving than tiny ones.
 
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Kribensis27

Thanks. So the water parameters are more steady as water volume increases. That makes sense. With relation to live plants, does the depth difference between a 55g, 75g, or 90g have a noticeable impact on plant growth?
I haven’t noticed any significant changes between different tank sizes.
 
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Ohhgeethatsme

I believe a 75 gallon is great to start with. You have more water which gives you more room for error. In a smaller aquarium for a beginner you can quickly have an ammonia or nitrite spike that can easily kill your fish, with the 75 gal it’ll be easier to monitor and keep everything balanced, I originally got into the hobby not knowing much, I bought a 20gal starter kit from a big box store & quickly learned that the fish I had bought were going to outgrow it. I wish I would’ve known about this forum at the time to have people with more experience coach me. Best of luck with your aquarium!
 
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possumWallup

I haven’t noticed any significant changes between different tank sizes.
Thanks. I want to enjoy the process of getting everything set up exactly how I want it. Without the surprise at the end that I missed a crucial element at the beginning that may restrict plant growth.
 
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jake37

It isn't the size of the tank (though bigger can be better but also bigger means that when things go south it can be catastrophic); but the attention to details. Plants are pretty easy if you (a) pay attention to get easy to grow plants (b) have quality light (c) provide adequate 'plant' food. Plant food can be artifical or come in part from the fish.
-
One thing is i would avoid plant rich substrate at this stage of the game and focus on easy to grow plants (vals, swords, crypts, anubia, java fern).
-
The light you use depends a bit of budget - for a given budget i'd go with the best you can find (quality is not the same as either price or brightness). Also if you ask what to buy you will get a lot of answers but not all answers will be reliable. Last but least what works well on a 20 long (shallow tank) might not work well on a 75 (deep tank); when getting answers from folks be sure to pay attention to the plants they have and the depth of their tank.
 
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possumWallup

It isn't the size of the tank (though bigger can be better but also bigger means that when things go south it can be catastrophic); but the attention to details. Plants are pretty easy if you (a) pay attention to get easy to grow plants (b) have quality light (c) provide adequate 'plant' food. Plant food can be artifical or come in part from the fish.
-
One thing is i would avoid plant rich substrate at this stage of the game and focus on easy to grow plants (vals, swords, crypts, anubia, java fern).
-
The light you use depends a bit of budget - for a given budget i'd go with the best you can find (quality is not the same as either price or brightness). Also if you ask what to buy you will get a lot of answers but not all answers will be reliable. Last but least what works well on a 20 long (shallow tank) might not work well on a 75 (deep tank); when getting answers from folks be sure to pay attention to the plants they have and the depth of their tank.
That's a lot of extremely helpful information. Avoid plant-rich substrate is the opposite of what I would have guessed. So something like sand or small gravel instead. I like how the red flourite looks--perhaps combine that WITH sand?
 
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jake37

A lot of people use pool filter sand but i tend to go with caribsea moonlight. Something about being paranoid about pool sand containing contaminants. I think petco sell 50lb bag for $20 (you would need at least 3 - probably 4 or 5 - as you want your substrate to be 2 1/2 to 41/2 inch deep for plants). The reason i prefer a very fine sand is a lot of fishes like to dig in the substrate and the fine soft stuff is optimal for that behavior. When it comes to colour that is a matter of personal taste. I prefer sandy white (btw caribsea has a similar substrate to moonlight (white) that is more sandy in colour - called sunset gold). I've not found a super fine black substrate (i have used estes stonyriver black but it is not as fine - on the cheap side a lot of folks use black diamond blasting sand - you have a to be a little careful here as sometimes it contains contaminants).

That's a lot of extremely helpful information. Avoid plant-rich substrate is the opposite of what I would have guessed. So something like sand or small gravel instead. I like how the red flourite looks--perhaps combine that WITH sand?
 
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ProudPapa

Thanks. So the water parameters are more steady as water volume increases. That makes sense. With relation to live plants, does the depth difference between a 55g, 75g, or 90g have a noticeable impact on plant growth?

The first thing that comes to mind is that deeper tanks will often need more lighting than shallow ones to get the same plant growth since light loses intensity as it penetrates water.
 
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FishBoy101

I am wanting to get into the hobby as I have been fascinated for years but haven't had the opportunity to set up a tank of my own until now.

I am wanting to build a planted tank with a fair amount of driftwood and keep an Asian theme with dwarf gouramis.

I may be under the spell of "bigger is better."

Is a 75-gallon tank too large as a first planted tank for a beginner?
Any other "beginner" planted tank size recommendations?

I am not limited on space whatsoever, so I was considering a larger tank. BUT, I am concerned that such a large tank might be immediately overwhelming to a rookie and I want to start my learning path in the right direction.
You should first educate yourself on the aquarium aquarium cycle. mattgirl is very good at the cycle (unlike me)

It seems that you know what you want, but a 75 gallon has so many possibilities, but with a big tank, comes big responsibility. Water changes can take up to 1 hour and 30 minutes- that's with 2 people. So keep in mind that weekly waterchanges might not be the easiest thing.

A planted 75 gallon is hard to maintain, as the tank is so large! And getting a large amount of plants as well could be difficult(and expensive ._.), you could do some plants that grow big and tall that would take up the top part of the tank(elodea, duckweed(so people hate duckweed, but as long as it doesn't escape your tank, it'll be fine), so on).

I would go with a heavily planted 40 long breeder. Right now, Petco is having their dollar per gallon sale, so a 40 breeder would be 50 dollars or so.

A comment(or two)
-I started out with a 5 gallon tank, and put in 10 goldfish. Big brain. But I turned out OK in the fish hobby, with my own 140 gallons of water. So starting out with a small tank could educate yourself, and slowly build up.
-Immediately going to a big tank can be very nice, as you can see that the tank is absolutely HUMONGOUS.
-Do you have a budget? If so, I would go with a smaller tank, as those are most of the time- cheaper, and easier to maintain and plant.

Final position- FishBoy101
40 gallon breeder might be easier, cheaper, and much more easier to plant. Good Luck!
 
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RayClem

A 75 gallon tank is a wonderful size, even for a beginner. However, the larger the tank, the more expensive it will be to set up and maintain. You need more substrate, more filtration, larger heaters, more powerful lighting, more plants, and more fish. When you do water changes and tank maintenance, it will require more time and effort. However, if you have the time and the money and the commitment, a tank of this size can be highly rewarding.

With a tank of this size, be sure you also set up a smaller tank to be used as a quarantine tank when you get new fish and as a hospital tank if any get sick. This smaller tank will need a heater and a sponge filter, but it does not need substrate, lighting, etc. You do not want to put new fish directly into a large tank. If they are ill, they could infect the entire tank population. If any fish in the main tank get sick, it will be far easier to treat them in a small tank and trying to treat a big tank.

Since your profile says you are new to the hobby and do not understand the nitrogen cycle, be sure you read some of the threads on cycling a new tank. There are many ways of doing that. You can use a couple of inexpensive, hardy fish to help cycle the tank, but do not add any more fish to the tank until it is fully cycled. This can take 4-8 weeks, so do not be too anxious to add fish to your tank.

Before purchasing anything else, I suggest you purchase an API freshwater master test kit and run a full set of tests on your tap water to see how suitable it is for fish. An API GH/KH test kit is also useful.

My tap water is very hard, very alkaline, and is treated with chloramine, so I do not use it for my aquariums. I installed an RO system to provide purified water, but that means I have to add back minerals to make the water usable. Knowing the quality of your tap water up front will make your life as a fishkeeper far easier.

You will need the test kit once your aquarium is set up, so it is not a wasted purchase.
 
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possumWallup

You should first educate yourself on the aquarium aquarium cycle. mattgirl is very good at the cycle (unlike me)

It seems that you know what you want, but a 75 gallon has so many possibilities, but with a big tank, comes big responsibility. Water changes can take up to 1 hour and 30 minutes- that's with 2 people. So keep in mind that weekly waterchanges might not be the easiest thing.

A planted 75 gallon is hard to maintain, as the tank is so large! And getting a large amount of plants as well could be difficult(and expensive ._.), you could do some plants that grow big and tall that would take up the top part of the tank(elodea, duckweed(so people hate duckweed, but as long as it doesn't escape your tank, it'll be fine), so on).

I would go with a heavily planted 40 long breeder. Right now, Petco is having their dollar per gallon sale, so a 40 breeder would be 50 dollars or so.

A comment(or two)
-I started out with a 5 gallon tank, and put in 10 goldfish. Big brain. But I turned out OK in the fish hobby, with my own 140 gallons of water. So starting out with a small tank could educate yourself, and slowly build up.
-Immediately going to a big tank can be very nice, as you can see that the tank is absolutely HUMONGOUS.
-Do you have a budget? If so, I would go with a smaller tank, as those are most of the time- cheaper, and easier to maintain and plant.

Final position- FishBoy101
40 gallon breeder might be easier, cheaper, and much more easier to plant. Good Luck!
Thank you! I was in PetCo a few weeks ago and the size and shape of that 40 gallon breeder was interesting. I liked the shorter but wider shape. If it wasn't so easy to be tempted by larger tanks I probably would have purchased it.
 
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RayClem

Thank you! I was in PetCo a few weeks ago and the size and shape of that 40 gallon breeder was interesting. I liked the shorter but wider shape. If it wasn't so easy to be tempted by larger tanks I probably would have purchased it.

The 40 breeder is also a great tank. If money is a consideration, the 40 breeder will be less expensive to purchase and maintain than the 75. The 75 is the same depth as the 40, but it will be a foot longer and a little taller. I am in the process of cycling a 40 breeder now.

I have never had a 75 gallon, but once had a 90 gallon tank. It is the same size as the 75 gallon but it is taller. I had trouble reaching the bottom of the 90 gallon tank for planting and maintenance, so I wish I had gotten the 75 instead.
 
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CTYankee79

It is absolutely true that a bigger tank is much more forgiving as far as water parameters go. And a 75 gallon is a wonderful size tank IMO. I know “bigger is better” is the conventional wisdom. However I don’t mean to be the lone dissenter here but although it is forgiving, along with a tank that size comes a lot of time, money, and work. It will be a LOT of money to plant a 75 gallon, as well as possibly a lot of money in substrate. Equipment will be a lot as well. You will need most likely 2 powerful lights to grow plants in a 75. Naturally there will probably be more fish—also more $ and more at stake if the fish get sick. Water changes and maintenance will be a big project on a planted tank that size.

Please, don’t let me discourage you, if you don’t mind the time money and work, by all means go for it! It is a great size tank. It’s just that a 75 is a big commitment, I personally would enjoy learning on something a little smaller like a 20 long or a 40 breeder. I just see not just in this hobby but in many hobbies people start off with gusto because they want to do it right, but then they run out of steam once the reality of the work sets in.
Whatever you choose to do, good luck and keep us posted! There are a lot of great people here to help you
 
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RayClem

It is absolutely true that a bigger tank is much more forgiving as far as water parameters go. And a 75 gallon is a wonderful size tank IMO. I know “bigger is better” is the conventional wisdom. However I don’t mean to be the lone dissenter here but although it is forgiving, along with a tank that size comes a lot of time, money, and work. It will be a LOT of money to plant a 75 gallon, as well as possibly a lot of money in substrate. Equipment will be a lot as well. You will need most likely 2 powerful lights to grow plants in a 75. Naturally there will probably be more fish—also more $ and more at stake if the fish get sick. Water changes and maintenance will be a big project on a planted tank that size.

Please, don’t let me discourage you, if you don’t mind the time money and work, by all means go for it! It is a great size tank. It’s just that a 75 is a big commitment, I personally would enjoy learning on something a little smaller like a 20 long or a 40 breeder. I just see not just in this hobby but in many hobbies people start off with gusto because they want to do it right, but then they run out of steam once the reality of the work sets in.
Whatever you choose to do, good luck and keep us posted! There are a lot of great people here to help you

You are not the lone dissenter. I already noted that the cost of setting up a larger tank will be more and the time to maintain it will be greater. Thus, whether a 75 gallon tank is suitable depends upon the availability of funds, the available of time to maintain it, and the commitment to do so.
 
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CTYankee79

FishBoy101 and RayClem beat me to it, and probably worded it better than me lol.
 
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CTYankee79

You are not the lone dissenter. I already noted that the cost of setting up a larger tank will be more and the time to maintain it will be greater. Thus, whether a 75 gallon tank is suitable depends upon the availability of funds, the available of time to maintain it, and the commitment to do so.
I saw that yourself and fishboy both posted messages while I was composing mine, and I didn’t see until afterwards that I wasn’t the lone dissenter
 
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Kitley

I started with a 75 gallon...almost one year ago, then bought another 75 about 4 months ago, and I also have a 15 gallon QT tank.
My first tank has gravel substrate, and the second has black sand.
I bought fake plants for both, and am now about 80 percent live plants. First try didn't work out well, but seems great now.
I have a python look alike for water changes. Changing the water and vacuuming one tank takes maybe a half hour to 45 minutes. This gadget is well worth the price. I would not even consider a large take if you need to use buckets. Live plants of course take more time to keep trimmed etc.
Best of luck with whatever you decide...this is a great, though somewhat expensive hobby, such fun.
 
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possumWallup

It is absolutely true that a bigger tank is much more forgiving as far as water parameters go. And a 75 gallon is a wonderful size tank IMO. I know “bigger is better” is the conventional wisdom. However I don’t mean to be the lone dissenter here but although it is forgiving, along with a tank that size comes a lot of time, money, and work. It will be a LOT of money to plant a 75 gallon, as well as possibly a lot of money in substrate. Equipment will be a lot as well. You will need most likely 2 powerful lights to grow plants in a 75. Naturally there will probably be more fish—also more $ and more at stake if the fish get sick. Water changes and maintenance will be a big project on a planted tank that size.

Please, don’t let me discourage you, if you don’t mind the time money and work, by all means go for it! It is a great size tank. It’s just that a 75 is a big commitment, I personally would enjoy learning on something a little smaller like a 20 long or a 40 breeder. I just see not just in this hobby but in many hobbies people start off with gusto because they want to do it right, but then they run out of steam once the reality of the work sets in.
Whatever you choose to do, good luck and keep us posted! There are a lot of great people here to help you
It is absolutely true that a bigger tank is much more forgiving as far as water parameters go. And a 75 gallon is a wonderful size tank IMO. I know “bigger is better” is the conventional wisdom. However I don’t mean to be the lone dissenter here but although it is forgiving, along with a tank that size comes a lot of time, money, and work. It will be a LOT of money to plant a 75 gallon, as well as possibly a lot of money in substrate. Equipment will be a lot as well. You will need most likely 2 powerful lights to grow plants in a 75. Naturally there will probably be more fish—also more $ and more at stake if the fish get sick. Water changes and maintenance will be a big project on a planted tank that size.

Please, don’t let me discourage you, if you don’t mind the time money and work, by all means go for it! It is a great size tank. It’s just that a 75 is a big commitment, I personally would enjoy learning on something a little smaller like a 20 long or a 40 breeder. I just see not just in this hobby but in many hobbies people start off with gusto because they want to do it right, but then they run out of steam once the reality of the work sets in.
Whatever you choose to do, good luck and keep us posted! There are a lot of great people here to help you
I appreciate the input. I definitely want to stay on the positive side of this remaining an enjoyable, year-round hobby rather than it turning into something to dread or just plain "work"--especially while keeping the quality of life of the future tank's occupants as the top priority.
 
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RayClem

I appreciate the input. I definitely want to stay on the positive side of this remaining an enjoyable, year-round hobby rather than it turning into something to dread or just plain "work"--especially while keeping the quality of life of the future tank's occupants as the top priority.

That is a great way to look at it.

I used to keep saltwater fish and had three systems, including one tank that was 125 gallons. It got too expensive and too time consuming, so I am back to freshwater tanks. I still have the 125 gallon tank sitting empty in the basement. I would love to reactivate it, but I am not sure I want the workload. Tanks between 29 gallons and 75 gallons are a lot easier to manage and are still large enough to allow room for stocking.
 
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Dechi

75 gallons is the perfect size, so much easier than a 5 or 10 gallons like most people buy when they start.

Go big, it’s much easier !
 
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LeviS

I'm late to this thread but buy proper lighting to start with especially if dealing with planted tank. Something like fluval 3.0, twinstar, or ONF flat. Those are dimmable, have apps to control them and program with your phone.
I love and have a 40 breeder but dream tank is the 75 gallon with one of the twinstar or ONF lights, they are the more expensive ones compared to a fluval 3.0, also not for sure they make a 48" .
As others have stated a planted tank of that size is ALOT of work, im struggling enough on my 40 breeder with a medium? algae outbreak. You could always start with a 40 breeder and learn then upgrade to a 75, I feel as if I had a 75 and was dealing with the algae I am right now id likely just let it go for awhile.
Wide tanks pending quality of light may require more than 1 light for coverage and intensity. The ONF has different mounting options where they can be hung up for better coverage. The twinstars set pretty high compared to a fluval 3.0.
Anything else I mention would just be repeated but I highly suggest researching what light you want.
 
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AquaBaby

Hi, possumWallup! Welcome to Fishlore!

The only thing I wanted to add is quarantine isn't only for fish! You will want to research how to treat your plants to remove nasties (pest snails, algae, etc) and how to quarantine plants.

As mentioned earlier, there is a lot of data out there, and you'll find conflicting information. A lot of the time it's based on what works for someone in their situation. Every tank is different. You'll figure out what works best for your tank.

Best of luck on your new adventure! You're already on the right path by getting information beforehand, and Fishlore is a great place to find a lot of knowledge, resources, and peer support!
 
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