Thoughts on the best dimensions for a large aquarium

TClare
  • #1
We are planning on making another big tank. The disadvantage with DIY aquarium is deciding on the best dimensions! The one we already made measures 160 x 60 x 60cm ( 63 x 23.6 x 23.6”) with a stand 84cm (33”) tall, I like it and and originally I was thinking of another the same size. But my husband suggested making the new one 2m long (78.7”), and that sounds good to me! I am particularly unsure about the height though, both of the tank and the stand. I think 60cm is good for the depth (front to back) but I can’t decide whether to make the tank 60 cm or 65 cm tall. 65 (25.6”) would add more volume and my husband thinks it might look more proportioned, but I am not sure, maintenance might be more difficult, and using 12mm glass 60cm would have a higher safety factor. We will make a decision soon, but just wondering if anyone with experience of larger tanks has any thoughts on the ideal dimensions.
 
KingOscar
  • #2
What a fun "disadvantage" to have! I suspect it mostly comes down to personal preference, and what you think will look best. The maintenance consideration is certainly important. Consider also how your new tank will fit in its designated spot. I can't wait to see it! :)
 
86 ssinit
  • #3
The tanks I have now the highest they are is 24”. Years ago I had a 30” and it was just to deep. Looked great but to grab something off the bottom meant putting my whole are into the tank. Next trying to remove a fish was almost impossible. So I’d say no higher than 25”. What types of fish will you be putting in it?
 
RayClem
  • #4
The two things you need to consider are viewing and maintenance. For viewing, longer and taller is better, but once you get over 24" in height, most people do not have arms long enough to reach the bottom. We ran into a similar issue recently with the purchase of a new washing machine. One model we looked at was so deep that my wife could not reach the bottom to retrieve clothing such as socks. I am a little taller, so I could reach the front of the tub, but not the back.

If you are going to make the tank 24" back to front, make sure that you can access the tank from the back as well as the front. Otherwise, you won't be able to reach the substrate near the back of the tank.

I have a 125 gallon tank that is 6 ft long, 20" back to front and 2 ft deep. If it were 24" back to front, that would make it even harder to reach. If you have tools that allow you to maintain the tank without reaching in, that is ideal.
 
WRWAquarium
  • #5
Agree on depth. 2ft deep pushes the limit of what I can reach being 5'11.
 
TClare
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Thanks for the comments everyone, yes my main concern about making it taller was because of the maintenance. We did a diagram to visualize the two options we discussed and in the end have more or less decided to make the height 65cm, that is about 25.5". My husband though it looked moe balanced, also just in case I ever decide to get some altum angelfish, the extra height would be better. It will have fairly deep substrate, deeper at the back than the front. I will not be able to access the tank from the back, except at the two ends, but in any case I have to stand on something to do maintenance and I do have some long tools, I am managing OK with my other big tank which is 60cm (23.6") from back to front.

At the moment I have 5 festivums and a severum which will be moved to the new big tank, and I will probably add one Cichlasoma amazonarum. There are some other fish I would like depending on what becomes available. I would have liked a group of Guianacara, but they no longer look likely to become available, the 9 that arrived at the lfs were all DOA or died shortly after as I have recounted elsewhere. My next choice would be a group of Biotodoma, again if I can get them. Will just have to keep my options open. I probably will not have anything bigger than the severum, unless I get tempted by some Uaru, or as I mentioned altums or Peruvian "altums". In any case the species will all be from South America.

Here is the diagram of the two designs we have considered. The first one shows the tank 2m x 65cm, stand 80cm high, the second shows the tank 60cm tall and stand 84cm. The person in the middle is my height (1.63m, 5'4").
 

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carsonsgjs
  • #7
Thanks for the comments everyone, yes my main concern about making it taller was because of the maintenance. We did a diagram to visualize the two options we discussed and in the end have more or less decided to make the height 65cm, that is about 25.5". My husband though it looked moe balanced, also just in case I ever decide to get some altum angelfish, the extra height would be better. It will have fairly deep substrate, deeper at the back than the front. I will not be able to access the tank from the back, except at the two ends, but in any case I have to stand on something to do maintenance and I do have some long tools, I am managing OK with my other big tank which is 60cm (23.6") from back to front.

At the moment I have 5 festivums and a severum which will be moved to the new big tank, and I will probably add one Cichlasoma amazonarum. There are some other fish I would like depending on what becomes available. I would have liked a group of Guianacara, but they no longer look likely to become available, the 9 that arrived at the lfs were all DOA or died shortly after as I have recounted elsewhere. My next choice would be a group of Biotodoma, again if I can get them. Will just have to keep my options open. I probably will not have anything bigger than the severum, unless I get tempted by some Uaru, or as I mentioned altums or Peruvian "altums". In any case the species will all be from South America.

Here is the diagram of the two designs we have considered. The first one shows the tank 2m x 65cm, stand 80cm high, the second shows the tank 60cm tall and stand 84cm. The person in the middle is my height (1.63m, 5'4").
Looks great, very jealous and hope you go ahead with it. But where are your arms and legs???
 

86 ssinit
  • #8
What person? That’s a lollipop! And a huge one at 5’4”!!!
 
TClare
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
It was just to get an idea!
 
OutsideFoodBlob
  • #10
I’m not ready for that much tank but it’s good to know another person of my stature (5’4”) can maintain one. I have been considering making a wooden base that a metal stand could live on. This would bring the tank above 90 pound dog range. He is unaware of fish as they are currently on a 44” tall cabinet. Still not at needing a step stool to do maintenance but just barely.
Looking forward to seeing your pics of the finished build!
 
TClare
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
I’m not ready for that much tank but it’s good to know another person of my stature (5’4”) can maintain one. I have been considering making a wooden base that a metal stand could live on. This would bring the tank above 90 pound dog range. He is unaware of fish as they are currently on a 44” tall cabinet. Still not at needing a step stool to do maintenance but just barely.
Looking forward to seeing your pics of the finished build!
Thanks, my current largest tank is on a stand 84cm high (33"), my dogs take no notice of the fish (the biggest one is also around 88 pounds (40kg). I do stand on a small (old but steady) table to do the maintenance!

We have decided to make the base out of wood as the steel was going to cost more than we first thought, and we have a lot of pine and cyprus wood stored that is dry now.
 
OutsideFoodBlob
  • #12
Thanks, my current largest tank is on a stand 84cm high (33"), my dogs take no notice of the fish (the biggest one is also around 88 pounds (40kg). I do stand on a small (old but steady) table to do the maintenance!

We have decided to make the base out of wood as the steel was going to cost more than we first thought, and we have a lot of pine and cyprus wood stored that is dry now.
Oh good to know that big dogs are generally who cares it’s not a treat about tanks. He can put his paws on my shoulders when I’m standing so I’m sort of airing on the side of caution with the added stand height. He got rained on the other day by a tail splash and retreated to the dry safety of the bed. Lol.
 
TClare
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
He can put his paws on my shoulders
Mine too, but neither of them have ever taken any notice of the fish tanks. I even have one tank that is much lower!
 
Fisch
  • #14
I am sure it will be gorgeous. Will you make the tank without braces?
I personally shudder to think about the weight of that tank, remembering what pain it was to move the 125gl into the house. That's when people abandon tanks when moving.
 
TClare
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
I am sure it will be gorgeous. Will you make the tank without braces?
I personally shudder to think about the weight of that tank, remembering what pain it was to move the 125gl into the house. That's when people abandon tanks when moving.
It will have braces, and a frame around the top.
 
TClare
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
The project has started...the wood has been stored in planks and is now being cut to size...


IMG_7024.JPG
 

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