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What Size Fish Tank To Get

Updated on November 4, 2007
A fish's tank is his entire world.
A fish's tank is his entire world.

You need to decide what size fish tank to get before you bring home any fish. A responsible fish keeper will always try to pick out a home best suited for the type of fish he or she plans on bringing home. This aquarium will become a mini planet for your fish. You want to make it as healthy for them as possible so you can enjoy your fish's company for years.

Bigger Is Better

Always get the biggest tank that your home and budget can allow. Even if you plan on keeping small fish, it will be healthier for them if they have space. With the exception of starting up the tank, a big tank is easier is maintain than a small tank or bowl.

Try to get a new tank or use a tank that has been a successful home for fish in the past. Avoid using aquariums that may have housed reptiles or rodents. The urine from the previous occupants never quite comes out. You will have ammonia problems all of the time.

Decide what species of fish you want and do research on how big they grow. If you want really big fish, keep in mind the tanks will be incredibly heavy when they are filled with water, gravel and decorations. Are you sure your floors can handle this? For more on how to decide where to place your tank, click here.

If you are a novice or newbie fish keeper, you really are better off keeping smaller freshwater fish that don't die off easily and aren't too fussy. Give yourself a couple of years of experience before attempting keeping brackish or salt water fish.

You Mean A 20 Gallon Is Easier To Take Of Than A 5 Gallon?

Exactly! This is because your fish's tank is his or her whole world. This also means that the bedroom, kitchen and dining room is in the same room as the toilet. Because the wastes aren't pushed away by a free flowing body of water, they just sit there and decompose, adding dangerous chemicals to your fish's entire world.

A smaller tank like a 5 gallon needs a lot more water changes than a 20 gallon, for example. This is because the build up of dangerous chemicals will soon kill the fish. Put the same fish in a 20 gallon, and the dangerous chemicals will be more widely dispersed. You also, most likely, can have more than one fish.

However, if all you and your home can afford is a five gallon tank, be aware that you cannot overstock it and be ready to do water changes every few days. Your filter will also work harder. If you are prepared to deal with more cleanings and keeping only one or two fish in the tank, then you are just as responsible a fish keeper as five goldfish in a twenty gallon tank who only needs to do a partial water change once a week.

A fish tank really livens up the place. Film by Fishfreedom.


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