Water Level - Where Do You Keep Yours?

Magicpenny75

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I have seen photos of tanks, here and elsewhere, from beginners to seasoned aquarists, with very low water levels. Sometimes I know it is evap, but I've seen folks that have them 2" or more below the tank frame all the time. I've heard lots of reasons, but often it's to create aeration through the waterfall effect from the HOB filter.
I keep my tanks full to the bottom edge of the frame or slightly above. I hate seeing the water line and I cannot stand the noise of falling water or splashing. I keep lots of water movement on the surface through aiming my filter output towards the top. It seems to me if you have a 20 gallon tank and there's only 17 gallons of water in it, you're doing your fish a disservice.
What your opinions on where the waterline should be and why?
 

A201

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I think you are on the right track. I keep my water levels consistant with yours. The more gallons available for the fish to swim in the better. Surface water movement generated by a quality power filter provides plenty of aeration.
 

Skavatar

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I like mine atleast an inch from the bottom of the filter output.

plus, I don't have a lid, I have various house plants attached to the top of the tank, and also floating plants.

I don't top off either, and it can drop about 2 inches during the week.
 

aussieJJDude

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I think waterlevel should be wherever the owner wants it at! Doesn't make much of a difference to me at the end of the day.


For some, like paludarium a shallow water level is ideal, so a low water level is preferred. Really depends on the scale and what the owner wants the tank to look like.
 
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Magicpenny75

Magicpenny75

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Skavatar said:
I like mine atleast an inch from the bottom of the filter output.

plus, I don't have a lid, I have various house plants attached to the top of the tank, and also floating plants.

I don't top off either, and it can drop about 2 inches during the week.
That makes sense. I really am genuinely curious! Of course everyone should keep it right where it makes them happy and works for their setup. My daughter keeps hers low because she likes the sound of falling water. So we "discuss" it regularly.

aussieJJDude said:
I think waterlevel should be wherever the owner wants it at! Doesn't make much of a difference to me at the end of the day.


For some, like paludarium a shallow water level is ideal, so a low water level is preferred. Really depends on the scale and what the owner wants the tank to look like.
Absolutely. I was honestly curious about people's reasons why. I'm nosy. I can't help it - runs in my family.
 

Platylover

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I typically fill my tanks all the way up, but a lot of evaporation happens on a few tanks so sometimes they dip to around 4" below during the week or two between water changes. So I try to keep my waterline at the tippy top, but it does go below this after a bit.
 

ScareCrowe

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I use internal filters on both my tanks (I like keeping the water in the tank) so in order keep a lid on it the filters can only sit so high. That leaves me with about 1" below the frame. In a perfect world I would keep it higher, but it works fine as is.
 

SeanyBaggs123

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Currently, above the roots of the sweet potato in one tank, and at least high enough to fill to the top of the breeder box in the other.
 

FishMommer

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Magicpenny75 said:
That makes sense. I really am genuinely curious! Of course everyone should keep it right where it makes them happy and works for their setup. My daughter keeps hers low because she likes the sound of falling water. So we "discuss" it regularly.
Lol. Just turned filter on in new tank last night for son. He was not sure if he liked it or not. But dad was complaining a bit about the idea of it in our room so the well got poisoned a bit. I think he will actually enjoy it in time. But we will probably keep it low (the sound that is).

It is interesting. We go back n forth in daughters tank depending how much mom is paying attention!
 

RuralGuppykeeper

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It depends, and both ways have pros and cons. The more water there is, the longer it should take the aquarium to heat or cool, even more so with a lid, with or without a power outage. More water will further 'dilute the pollution', if you don't cut back on the maintenance.
If the water level is low enough from the filter's water output, you can get the white noise of running water, which I personally find relaxing. If you don't have a lid, you might have fewer guppies jump out, rather than my previous 'carpet crispies'.

So, for the health of the fish in an aquarium, all else being equal including maintenance, consider keeping the water level higher, preferably with a lid. However, since I enjoy the sound of the running water, I keep it lower in my aquarium...yeah, I'm abit selfish. I have not tried a paludarium yet.:lurking:
 

JenC

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I have HOB filters so I fill tanks as high as possible while still leaving room for a waterfall effect for surface agitation. I also don't typically top off, so the levels fall between water changes.

I have hoods on my tanks. If I didn't, the water levels would be even lower to mitigate the risk of jumpers.
 

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I use to leave mine down a couple inches for the mystery snails to lay eggs, but they never have so I raised it back up. It evaporates about an inch per week though.
 

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I always keep mine near the middle of the frame,as long as the water line isn't noticeable,anything more I get a bit nervous it might be to much water pressure hah,I like the sound of the fulshing water though,when they had a power outage it was so quite whitout it, I couldnt take it , I couldn't wait for it to come back lol
 

jaysurf7

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I always keep mine near the middle of the frame,as long as the water line isn't noticeable,anything more I get a bit nervous it's to much pressure hah,I like the sound of the fulshing water though,when they had a power outage it was so quite without it I couldn't take it I couldn't wait for it to come back lol
 

windrunner9189

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I try to keep the level slightly higher than the rim, but not all the way up the rim.
though my water evaporates very quickly and my air pump sprays everywhere. so it gets about less than an inch under the rI'm at the end of the week
 

Dawn Michele

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I fill mine a little higher than the rim. I don't like all the splashing from the hob filter's.
 

midna

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yeah seeing tanks with unnecessarily low waterlines makes me anxious and annoyed lol. I try to fill mine right up to the output of the hob (the noise bothers me too). I would do higher on certain tanks but i'm not sure if it's a good idea. I have one tank that evaporates like crazy (I think it might also have a tiny leak oop) so sometimes I have to top off even though I do water changes twice a week. plus I gotta leave a little room for my nerite snails to chill at the waterline
 

Dave125g

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I keep my water level in the black rim. I don't like seeing the water line. Unless I need additional surface agitation. It's not a bad idea to keep the water level below the filter output, I just don't like seeing the water level or the waterfall noise.
 

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