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Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1

    Default Buying a tank - questions!

    0 Not allowed!

    We are going to be moving into our new house in maybe six weeks, and I plan to set up a community tank. I had a 10g tank years and years ago for my daughter, but basically I'm a newbie. Have decided that I want glass, and probably 30g give or take.

    I'm wondering about the shape of the tank, height vs length. I've been reading the e-book and some posts. I see some advantages to shorter vs taller tanks. I should mention I'm only 5'1" myself and so it's no minor consideration. I do like the idea of longer and lower....but I've seen some comments indicating that (at least some) fish need as much depth as you can give them. Hmmmm.

    Right now I'm thinking this will be a community tank with 3" fish maybe being about the max.

    Any thoughts or suggestions on tank shape/sizes would really be appreciated. I'd like to not spend so much money that I can't afford any fish.

    My second question is about buying new vs used -- I occasionally see used advertised at what seem like great prices, but I wonder about the risk of getting a lemon (leaks). Also it seems like they are often bundled with the supplies which may or may not be a deal depending on the type and quality of those. I suppose it's a crapshoot (like buying most things used can be), but would like to hear other people's experiences.

    Well, those are just the first in what may be a long line of intelligent and not-so-intelligent questions. Thanks much for the help. Cheers!

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    Welcome to AC!

    Generally less height isn't a problem at all for community species, but you'll have to research the specific fish you want. Again only generally speaking, a rectangular tank of good length rather than height is the ideal.

    I have bought a few tanks from kijiji (more popular up here than craigslist, but the same idea) and never had any issue. I bought a tank still new in the box from an ad. However, there are things to look for - good seals, scratches, the lighting, condition of the stand, how many owners its had, how old it is, how often its been can always post the link here that you are interested in and get people's opinion. Generally speaking, buying a used tank, you want the tank to be either still up and running when you see it, or at least have it filled 3/4 by the seller before buying.

    Sometimes people just have life changes go on and the tanks they are selling are perfectly fine...or its been sitting dry in the garage for years and was good when they put it in there, but the seals have dried out and it would leak like a sieve when filled.

    A good rule of thumb too - is to buy the biggest tank you really like, have room for, and can afford. You go thru so much growth in this hobby if you like it, you will throw away far less money in the long run if you buy good equipment right off the bat, and get the size tank you would want in two years (sometimes less) right now. I bought 7 tanks before I settled on the sizes that have become my "permanent" tanks, and wasted a lot of money on them and their equipment before I got here.

    have fun planning your tank! And don't forget to start a journal!

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    +1 to the above

    If you want plants latter on, a shorter tank can make getting the proper lighting to the plants easier. If you feel you will not want plants, a tall tank might suit the needs of your fish better. I guess it can all come down to the requirements of you fish for open swimming space

    I have bought many used tanks and never had a problem. You can get a really good deal on a tank if you don't mind the odd scratch here and there or if you are handy and willing to replace the silicone that is used to seal the tank. The below link might be helpful if you want to buy a used tank
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL=""]

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

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    0 Not allowed!
    Concerning the tank length/height issue, I agree with both responses. Generally speaking, length is more advantageous than height. With the larger surface area, a given volume of water can hold more fish. Now, other factors play into this obviously, but in general terms, this is the case. If the space for the tank in the house is limited in any way, that may factor in.

    Fish that are native to rivers, streams and creeks usually prefer more length. This allows them to "swim" which can be a critical part of their requirements. Rummynose tetra as an example should never be put into tall tanks but always in the longest tank, and at least 3 feet. They simply like to spend their day swimming from end to end. By contrast, cardinal tetra are fine in taller tanks because in their habitat they rarely swim much at all; they like to remain clustered around branches. But whereas the rummys willnot be as well suited to the taller tank, the cardinals can manage in the longer tank just fine, becuase it does not restrict their activity--they can still cluster around branches whatever the tank shape.

    So my advice is to consider the likely fish first. But if you have no real preferences, then go for length over height because it will give you more options.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Gods Country, Eastern High Sierras, California

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    0 Not allowed!
    + 1 to all the above post's, always buy the biggest tank (and your floorboards can hold, LOL) you can afford.
    Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
    Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.
    -Vince Lombardi

    Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” ― John Wooden
    Sandy Hook Elementary......Lest We Forget
    See my profile for my tanks and what fish I keep

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