Are You Using the Right Size Fish Tank? The Wrong Tank Could Kill Your Fish

fish tank

There are a lot of great reasons to get into fish keeping. You can have a lot of fun, and improve how your space looks. However, it can be overwhelming when just getting started. You might think it’s as simple as buying a tank and some fish, filling your new tank with water, and then watching your new fish grow. On the contrary, every decision in the process will require a lot of careful thought. From the material your fish tank is made from, to the fish you put in it. You’ll even have to consider where you put your aquarium. Don’t feel overwhelmed though, your local aquarium service is here to help.

How Many Fish Do You Want?

The first and most important factor you should take into consideration is how many fish you want. It seems obvious, but if you want more fish you’ll need a bigger tank. Some schools of thought say to use one gallon of water for each inch of fish in your tank. For this rule you’ll count only adult fish, and you won’t count their tails.

The gallon per inch rule has been popular for years, but it doesn’t cover all the bases. Like people, fish come in different sizes, not just length but girth. Some fish are thin, some are pudgy. If you just go by length, you’re going to miss important factors.

Consider the Surface Area Over the Total Volume

In addition to the size issue, if using the gallon per inch rule, you won’t be considering the surface area of the tank. You don’t want to ignore the surface area in your fish tank, because this affects how your fish breathe. Fish breathe by removing oxygen from the water in the fish tank, and then replacing it with carbon dioxide. If you choose a fish tank with more surface area, it can support more fish.

Will You Be Filling Your Fish Tank with Warm or Cold Water?

The differences between tropical fish and cold-water fish are something you need to think about when choosing your fish tank size as well. Tropical fish are usually leaner, which means they’ll need less oxygen than their higher body mass, cold-water counterparts. A good rule of thumb is to use between 20-25 square inches of surface area per inch of adult tropical fish. If you’re putting cold-water fish in your fish tank, you should shoot for 25-30 square inches of surface area, to account for your cold-water fish’s higher oxygen use.

Choose Based on Surface Area, No Matter the Type of Fish Tank you’re Using

No matter the type of fish tank you’re using, you still want to make sure you’re making the choice based on surface area. There are several different styles of tanks to choose from. For example, show tanks are usually tall but narrow, which gives them a great window for viewing the fish. However, these tanks do not generally have a large surface area. Rectangular tanks are much shallower than show tanks, but they’ve got a lot more surface area, even with the same volume. If you’re planning to fill your tank with many fish, you’ll probably be better served with a rectangular fish tank.

If you’re looking to get into the fish keeping hobby, Aquatech Aquarium Service has the experience and skills for to lean on when getting started. Call Aquatech Aquarium Service for any aquarium needs you may have.

Do you have an awesome aquarium you want to show off? Post it on the Aquatech Aquarium Service Facebook page for everyone to see!