And now for another common perpetuated myth about saltwater aquariums. Someone in the forums asks if they believe it’s possible to put a 120-gallon aquarium out on the second story of their rental apartment. The responses inevitably go something like this… “just see no reason why you can’t. I’d be really surprised.”
Anyone who has had the privilege of owning an aquarium knows that there is a certain amount of space and volume for all of the fish you’re going to put in there. That’s a given. But did you know that tropical fish require more than gallons of water to survive at all? They also require space. This is especially true for breeding purposes, which are pretty important in the aquarium world.
If you have a standard 120 gallon tank that you use for fish, you’re going to need more than that in order to have enough living space for your fish. A minimum size for a 120 gallon tank would be three feet by six feet. You’ll want a little more room if you plan on running your aquarium on electricity. The electrical requirements will depend on the type of setup you have. You can get information on this from fish or reef keeping forums.
You may feel it would be too big of a project to add a saltwater tank onto your current setup, but that’s not necessarily true. In some cases, it may be a much better idea. Saltwater aquariums have a lot of unique benefits that make them more appealing than a normal freshwater tank holds. The first benefit of a saltwater tank holds water as opposed to air. Since this is a primary source of food for reef fish, the space required for this kind of a tank holds the equivalent of about 96 gallons of water.
A standard 120 gallon tank holds 96 gallons of water. This can vary based on how much fish you have. A small school of fish probably won’t require a larger tank than a single fish will. In this case, the space you save with a smaller tank holds the equivalent of storing a small clothes dryer on your deck.
Tank sizes come in all sizes no matter what you’re looking for. You don’t have to get an aquarium that’s the proper size for your needs. It’s important to know the size of your average home aquarium as well as the commercial aquarium sizes because this information will help you determine the best tank sizes to purchase based on the type and number of fish you’ll have. There are some aquarium retailers that sell aquarium sizes on their websites, so you shouldn’t have any problems finding a tank size in this size range.
If you live somewhere that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight, you probably want to use smaller tanks. You can get bigger aquariums, but these tanks usually hold too much water and they won’t provide enough air flow or room for other fish to swim around. For example, a twenty four inch by twenty four inch tank would be good for one fish. However, if you put a two thousand pound fish into this tank it would be overwhelming. You should use smaller tank sizes like a ten or twelve gallon tank for fish you only want to see a few times a year.
Finally, don’t buy a tank with a capacity to hold more than a few gallons of water unless you absolutely need to do so. It’s easy to buy a six or twelve gallon tank that holds a lot of water but not a lot of fish. It’s also easy to buy a tank that can hold more gallons of propane and is generally installed for larger commercial purposes. If you have a hobby with lots of fish, then you might want to get a bigger tank but that’s generally inadvisable unless you know what you’re doing.