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I need a new tank

2633 Views 19 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  dennis
I have been wanting to upgrade to a larger tank for a bit now and I think the time come! I have been doing tons of reading and looking in teh scaping forum, AquaJournals and all over the web for inspirational material. I have come to the conclusion that the 15 gallon and the 40 breeder used so frequently by Amano are perfect for aquascapes. since I already have the 15 I guess I need the 40:)

Problem is that I am a little leary of having the 40 in my second floor bedroom, as a renter plus, I will be moving within the next year and a 30 sounds a lot less scary to potential landlords Also, I tend to overanalize things to death so thats all I am doing now](*,) I have decided on the 40 breeder 36x18x16high or the 30gallon 36x12x16high.

Help me choose, please! The 30 seems like it would be enough but I am worried that the shallow depth will make me feel constricted and limit my aquascapes. I can find only a couple good examples of scaped, standard 30gallons. psuedro's is wonderful but its a hairgrass specific tank and I don't think the lack of depth would be an issue with that type of scape. I have an old used one that is 13" deep and the depth does not look to bad, when I look at it but and inch can be alot there. The older tank is out of the question to use, so don't ask.

I guess I am asking for any photos or comments that will aid in my quest. This tank will be replacing 3x10's adn will be in the NA style, if that helps. Any comments are welcome.:) Thanks!
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Dennis, I think you should go with the 40 breeder. I have a 30 that seems not quite deep enough for a really nice aquascape. The weight difference of the two tanks should not be an issue on a second floor. Moving a tank is always a hassle so that wont matter between the two.The extra 6 inches of depth should sway you to the bigger tank. I will try to get some pictures of my 30 posted. You will surely recognize most of the plants.
Phillyman said:
Dennis, I think you should go with the 40 breeder. I have a 30 that seems not quite deep enough for a really nice aquascape. The weight difference of the two tanks should not be an issue on a second floor. Moving a tank is always a hassle so that wont matter between the two.The extra 6 inches of depth should sway you to the bigger tank. I will try to get some pictures of my 30 posted. You will surely recognize most of the plants.
I'd have to agree with what you have said.
I think this is a special order tank but if you are considering the 40 footprint you might consider a 50 special 36x18x18. My lfs has been keeping at least one of these in stock and it becons me every time I visit. If you compare the measurements to ADAs most common competition tank I think you will be impressed by the similarity. If I had to limit myself to one modest tank this would be my choice.
oceanic makes a 50 gal, and I believe it's to those specifications as jeff indicated. However, I believe oceanic has stopped making these tanks because of leaking issues. They might be harder to get now.

OTOH, it's a really nice tank with great dimensions and covered under oceanic's warranty. Another nice thing is depending on your size these can be carried quite a distance with a single person and a flat dolly.


If you are worried about the weight of the 40 on the second floor, I wouldn't worry to much. You are probably not going to be much over 400 pounds with that tank, and with the proper tank stand, the pounds per foot would probably be less than that of a human, or at least a big human.

Hope this helps.

Take care.
My old 55g is setup on the third story of an apartment building. You definitely will not have any problems on the second floor due to the tank being too heavy.

Carlos has a 50 tall (38x18x17hi) for $70, plus freight. The only
complaint I've heard about their tanks is messy silicone gluing in some of the tanks.

I would go with the 40 breeder. It will be much easier to scape. More depth from front to back.
Thanks for all your inputs. Actually, weight was not a concern, sorry if it sounded slow. To me, the 30 is much small and less imposing than the 40, notice my over anyalizing here, hence making it seem less scary to the uninformed. Weight, heck, the tank and stand all filled would barely make 2 of me and moving would be an issue if it were 40 gallons or 3 10s so no biggie there.

I guess I like to be very sure of things before I make my purchases. I bought the Eheim 2215, I will build my own stand and hood, etc. Truth be told, I would love a 36x16x16 but I really can't justify the money for that, right now at least;) Basically now i would like to see if it is possible to scape a 30 and give it depth. Part of me is almost wanting to try just for the extra challenge. Think, a 40breeder is almost twice as deep as anything I have. Whats the opposite of claustrophobic?
I have a 30g also and it is a chore to aquascape. It just doesn't have enough depth when compared to my 75g. If it were me, I would take Jeff's advice and go with the 50g for the added depth for aquascaping.

However I do know what you mean about being a renter. Some places won't let you have more than a 10g if you live on the second floor but they will let you have a waterbed. I know you aren't worried about the weight and the floor so I'll leave that one alone :)

Can you make room for a larger tank on the first floor? You did say you were getting rid of (3) 10g tanks. Most landlords aren't too worried about first floor tanks unless there are also renters in the basement. The other thing that may help is having renter's insurance the covers water damage to both your Apt and those below you. Check with your insurer and I think you will find they can include that kind of coverage. They do it for waterbeds, why not aquariums? It may be something to check into as it will put current and future landlords much more at ease.
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Thanks Matt,

I had considered the renters ins and to be honest, I am not to worried about my current landlady as I am about future ones. I will probaly be moving by the fall. Part of this new tank thing is to also simplify my life and possesions a little. Guess I should just say bugger it and stop wasting everyones time:)
There's always Perfecto's 30 breeder (30x12x18). The same front pane as a 20L, but 6" wider. I'm just throwing this one out there cause I have never seen or heard of anyone using it. I have 2 of them, but they are no longer scaped, just used for their original intention- breeding fish.

I like what you said about taking the narrow footprint as a challenge. I have a 40 long and feel I was successful overcoming the narrow depth problem. I found that terracing and sloping the substrate helps a lot in creating perceived depth. Also, plant choice and placement will help. Have groupings grow forward as well as upward. By showing the tops of the plants the viewer gets a skewed vantage point and perspective, again creating perceived depth. (Comic book art makes good use of this) Then, when you shoot your tank, use a really wide angle lense and you'll futher increase the depth in your tanks. There are so many examples of this in Amano's work, you look at the tank, then the specs and you think, "heh? those dimensions can't be right."
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Sloping and terracing. Funny you mentioned as i have noticed reciently that ADA sells a tapered, I assume plastic, block for the bottom of aquariums. It is ribbed to help hold the gravel in place and looks like it helps you get a good 3" of slope at the backs of tanks. Very interesting idea. I noticed that many of his 15 gallons are heavily sloped to the back and he often grows his stems so they come right to the front glass, lower in the front and higher in the back. Sometime this seems to rob it of depth, IMO but usually that works great.

Can i see a pic of your 40?

I think the ADA "wedge" is a heating system.

The 30g I have is frustrating. Front to back dimension is very limiting. The top to bottom dimension means a lot of pruning for stem plants, especially in summer. I imagine the 40, which solves the first problem is going to be even more frustrating to work with in terms of top to bottom dimension, at least for stem plants. The 40 seems perfect for a low-level grass-lands aquascape. The 58 is surely the best option.

As regards moving, a 58 is no less convenient to tear down than a 30, or a 20. As regards land-lady's perception of size, they are all 36 inch widths. Make sure you get a flood alarm screamer nearby just in case. Renter's insurance etc. (speaking here as the president of a NYC co-op, I can say I know the ins and outs of these matters).

If moving is on your mind, then the most realistic decision would be not to buy until you have moved. When in the new lodgings, you can better see what type of tank can be situated where. Better still, aim for downstairs lodgings rather that upstairs.

Even better still, save the money, use the low interest rates, and buy something small (I mean a flat or house ;-) not a tank).

Andrew Cribb
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The 30 makes an excellent farm, lousy aquascape. If I had my druthers, I would have a half dozen 30s for raising and keeping species. But they'd be in the fish room, not the living room.

You're talking aquascape, and the 40 breeder is one of the best choices for it IMO. In a hobby with enough difficult choices, this is an easy one. The 30 will frustrate you.
FWIW, I am in the process of getting a 50, as Jeff mentioned, 36x18x18. My feeling was I wanted the extra 6 inches of height over the breeder to let the plants grow taller. This way my C. wendtiis and Anubias can reach a fuller potential.:)
my apologies but the dimensions of the 50g Oceanic were 30½ X 18½ X 21.
The 58 US gallon is 36x18x18 equivalent to the ADA90.

Andrew Cribb
Actually, the 40 breeders I have seen locally are 16"tall. The 50 and 58 gallons are not a direction I want to go in at this time.. Guess it just might be the 40 afterall.

Andrew, thank you for your insights as the co-op president. In all honesty, I like te home ownership idea but the future will hold further education for me. Part of my reason for doing this now is that the next year holds the best times for me to make many of hte bigger purchases I will make for several years. Rings, tanks and a more economical vehicle will lay they groundwork for the next several years. School is a loan and grants, no mater how much I work or save.

But I digress.... Thank you all for the insights. Unless somthign much more interesting comes up (like a better dimensioned tank) the 40breeder it is.
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