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Old 08-01-2003, 03:47 PM   #1
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ready to purchase

a new tank! My first tank was a ViaAqua tall 10 gal kit. Overall, I'm pleased with it but probably would have bought something different if I had known anything about surface area vs. volume (10 gallons is 10 gallons, duhh right boss?). I'm not certain of what size the next tank will be, it will depend on the tank size vs. where in the house my wife will allow me to put it

So, on to the questions:

How do people feel about the all inclusive kits? Are they kind of a mish-mash of good and bad components?

If I'm planning on a planted tank, does height become a factor?

Are tanks manufactured to specific sizes, for example an All Glass 20 has the same dimensions as an Acme 20? Does anyone know of a listing of general tank dimensions?

And lastly (for now), I know that there is a 29 gal and a 30 gal tank. Why the difference of 1 gal? I think someone mentioned in a different post that one is taller with less surface.


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Old 08-01-2003, 04:24 PM   #2
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I bought a ten gallon kit from Walmart. I am pleased with it. The light bulb burned out with in two weeks, however. But, they replaced it for me, so I'm happy again. That kit has gotten me more interested in fish keeping, so overall I'd say it's a pretty good deal.

The only way height would factor into buying plants is if you were going to buy a plant that gets very tall. I say buy what every plants you like, and trim them if they get too large. Except for show tanks (which can be quite tall) most tanks are between 12-20 inches. So your ten gallon tank should be tall enough to house most plants.

The reason they made the 29 and the 30 gallon tanks goes way back to Jefferson Thompson, the "father" of modern fishkeeping. See, he had the first fish tank. It was twenty-nine gallons. He had to carry water two miles uphill in a five gallon bucket when he did water changes. Since he only had the five gallon bucket, he always had too much water and it would spill one gallon on the floor. Soon, his wooden floor rotted away and he fell through. He became stuck and died there. So, his widow pleaded with the aquarium maker to please make the tank an extra gallon, so more fishkeepers didn't have to senslessly die. You should thank him.

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Old 08-01-2003, 04:35 PM   #3
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wow, I had no idea. What a tragic story
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Old 08-01-2003, 04:41 PM   #4
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Old 08-01-2003, 06:10 PM   #5
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I find planting can be two fold, the more size of the tank the more variety of plants you can have, however the less hieght of the aquarium means less distance from the light to the plant, i had a 5.5 gal planted tank once i had to trim plants every week they were growing so good. and in my 55 gal they dont grow as fast and im using C02 injection and fertilizer.
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Old 08-01-2003, 07:25 PM   #6
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There are many configurations, but in my experience, wider is better. That means more surface area, as fish generally occupy lateral space, rather than vertical tank space. If your kit comes with a filter (not undergravel) and a hood with fluorescent lighting, then it is probably pretty good. Undergravel filters are still being sold but most everyone has abandoned their use. Also, if you have the space, get at least 35 or 40 gallons, as it is so much easier to maintain water quality with larger tanks, and your tank inhabitants get more interesting. Otherwise go with a 20-gal long and that should not be terribly expensive or space-occupying. Good luck and happy fishkeeping!

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