Thinking of getting a new tank... what size?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by Mmbrown, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. MmbrownWell Known MemberMember

    So I would really like to get a bigger tank in order to have more room for me to play with :) But my question is... what size tank should I get? I know most often it's "the bigger the better," but I do have some conditions.

    I'm still in college. This creates two key problems in the tank size discussion: while I will be getting the tank after I move into an off campus apartment, I will inevitably be moving about a year, maybe a bit more, after that (when I graduate). So whatever tank I get can't be impossible to move, it will likely have to be moved back home until I get a job, and then moved to wherever I need to be living once I get said job. The other problem is money - it's limited for me (college motto: free food? sounds delicious).

    So I'm thinking something around 20-30 gallons, but which one? Is "bigger tanks are harder to move" a misconception, and so I could go even bigger? Or should I probably just wait until I have a more permanent home?

    I'm not sure what I would want as far as fish, except that I know I want to keep our BN pleco for sure, and I know that would do fine in 20 long and bigger. If we wanted to get a second pleco, would they both be okay in a 20 or does that up the requirements to 30? I know they can be territorial sometimes. As a note, our pet shops sell Ancistrus Dolichopterus.

    Thanks for reading, and I hope to hear from some people who have been in similar situations as far as the possibility of frequent moving is concerned.

  2. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    In genral larger tanks are easier to care for because the larger volume of water makes any paramiter changes more gradual. I don't keep BNs, but I don't think I would keep 2 in a 20L unless they where breeding, and then only during breeding. So here is my advise, either wait to get the tank for a year so moving isn't a issue, that way maybe you could get an even bigger tank, or get the 30gal now and be prepared for moving time.
  3. Canadian FishValued MemberMember

    I have to agree that the larger the tank, the easier it is to maintain. I started with a 20 gallon tank, then went to 35 and 55 gallon My 55 gallon is by far the easiest to maintain consistent water parameters. The smaller tanks require more maintenance. Also, high tanks are not as practical as long tanks (they're more practical because they have a smaller footprint and take up less space) but other than that, you can keep larger and more active fish in a longer tank.

    We just bought our fourth tank today, and we went with a 55 gallon long again. Not because we want huge fish, but because they are so easy to look after. I do one small water change a week and my 55 gallon is always 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 5 nitrates. It never fluctuates.

    As far as moving goes, I have a small chevy cavalier which is about 49" across the back seat, so we managed to get the tank in the back seat, and the stand in the trunk (with bungee cords holding the trunk lid down, of course) and we got it home in one trip. I figure if you can move a tank and stand without needing a truck or van, it's doable. You can get some amazing fish in a 55 gallon tank. I keep a school of Rainbows in mine right now, with Zebra loaches. Super active tank that just wouldn't be the same if it was smaller.
  4. MmbrownWell Known MemberMember

    You don't move your tank in one piece do you? I was more wondering how difficult it is to deconstruct a bigger tank - we move our 10 by bottling up the water in 1g jugs (leaving enough to cover the gravel so the bacteria in there don't die) and put our fish in a big bucket, wrap up all the decorations, etc. Is the process the same for big tanks? Cause we would need a of a lot more 1g jugs haha.
  5. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    Why save the water? Leaveing the gravel in the tank in a larger tank equals a very heavy tank. Trust me , we. Moved our 75 gal to our house with wet gravel in it. The process is much the same as a smaller tank, you just ned more buckets since there is more stuff in the tank.
  6. DonnerjayWell Known MemberMember


    Actually think about this when moving: You don't need to save the water. Most of the beneficial bacteria is in your FILTER media. Some of it is in the gravel, and very little is in the water column. To preserve the bacteria, keep the filter media and gravel in tank water. You can toss the rest of the water. Just condition/dechlorinate the water when you get to the new location, match the temperature, and SLOWLY acclimate your fish (they will be stressed from the move of course).

    This tip alone should save a lot on your moving headaches.

    Also, I don't know if you have a PetCo near you, but they are having a HUGE sale until 4/21 on Aqueon tank kits. 40 percent off! You can get a 29 gallon kit, with filter, heater, thermometer, water/conditioner samples plus the tank for $72.
  7. MmbrownWell Known MemberMember

    Oh wow, thank you so much for saying something, we do have a PetCo here but I hadn't heard of the sale.

    And I had just read something that said we should keep as much water as possible- or perhaps it was a misinformed pet store employee, I don't really remember. At any rate it wasn't too rough with just a 10g, but good to hear that wouldn't be the case with any bigger tanks.
  8. pirahnah3Fishlore VIPMember

    I would recomend a 29gal as well if oyur getting a kit, if not a 20 long is a great tank and easy to move still as well.
  9. DonnerjayWell Known MemberMember

    You're welcome. So...did the Petco sale work out for you? Today is the last day, I think.

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