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Old 12-22-2011, 09:40 PM   #1
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Tank upgrade size & position decisions

Hi everyone,

I currently have a 20 gal tall aquarium in my living room (dimensions of the tank are 24" L x 12" D x 16" H) and I've been thinking about upgrading a bit. I also have a metal stand currently that I don't like and would like to upgrade to a wood stand. Given that I live in a small state and don't want to pay to ship a large tank and stand (tried Craigslist and nothing there that would suit my needs, tanks available now are either too large or too small) I'm pretty much limited to PetSmart and PetCo.

I've gone to PetSmart a few times this week to check out their tanks and stands and I can't decide, so thought I'd ask for some help (PetCo for some reason has very little choice in the way of tanks so PetSmart it has to be).

Also keep in mind I live on the top (3rd) Fl of an apartment building. The building is about 15-20 years old. My landlord doesn't know I have a tank yet (even though I've had my current one set up for over 6 months including fishless cycling time) so I want to upgrade before I tell him about it. More on this a bit later for part 2 of my question.

So as far as tanks: I'm in love with the 40 breeders (36" L x 18 D x 16 H) but 1) I'm worried about the weight, 2) Buying a stand for it would be $$ on top of the tank 3) have no idea how I'd get it upstairs to my apartment and 4) what could I possibly fill a 40 gal tank with considering the fish I have (currently have Celestial Pearl Danio, Spotted Blue Eye Rainbows and Panda Corys; all fairly small peaceful fish that like somewhat cooler temps; I have my tank set to 75 F).

So, I think the 40 gal is out BUT I really really (really) like it.

Next up is the TopFin 29 gal standard (30.2" L x 12.5" D x 18.7" H) which is a little longer than my current tank (24") and the same depth and a bit higher (mine is currently 16"). Price is $94.99 for just the tank and hood/light. The 29 looks longer than my tank and not as high/boxy (they had my tank side-by-side with this one so I could compare the two easily) so that's a plus but I'm not sure I like the flat rectangular look for this size tank.

Next consideration is an Aqueon 36 gal bowfront for $140. It's hard to tell what it looks like because the box surrounds most of it. The dimensions are 30" L x 15" D x 21" H. It comes with a heater so that's good and an Aqueon filter although I"ll probably just get a larger AquaClear and move my media over. Now you're probably thinking well if I'm going to get a 37 gal anyway why not the 40? LOL But honestly the 40 looks huge to me and there's really no way I'd be able to get it up the stairs by myself. I''m not even sure I could carry the 37 gal either but it might be more feasible if it's lighter (the box says it's glass, not acrylic though; when I go back tomorrow I"ll have to try lifting it).

I'd have to buy the stand separately for either tank though; the stand for the 37 gal is $169 so that would put me over $300 not including the filter, sand and decor (I hate my current decorations and the black sand I have now, may go for a more natural color).

They do also have a 37 gal standard with stand for $165; the aquarium is 30" L x 12" D x 22" high. It's a heck of a deal for the stand and a 37 gal tank. A major drawback to this tank is that it's a Marineland and comes with an LED light and hood; the light looks like it's attached inside the hood so not removable so I'd have to buy a separate hood and light for it. It looks boxy to me but that's probably b/c I'm impartial to longer looking tanks. But for a gallon less the bowfront has more depth and height. I'm not sure I could get it up the stairs by myself but I'd have to give it a try before bugging the neighbors and risk them telling my landlord before I do.

So I have no idea what to do. I'm leaning toward the 37 gal with stand b/c of the price but I'm not sure I like the boxy look it seemed to have in the store PLUS the lighting would have to be upgraded if I wanted to even keep my low-light plants. Would the bowfront look less boxy? And would it be worth paying an extra $150 for the tank and stand when I can get a standard 37 gal with stand for much less?

Any thoughts?

My major concern though is the weight of a larger tank on a 3rd FL apartment. Plus where I have the tank now I fear it's against a partition wall (photo below). On the other side of the wall where the tank is now is the fridge and if I jump near the tank it wobbles a lot (not that I'm in the habit of jumping near the tank I just read about using it to test the floor and it does wobble a lot). Would moving it against the opposite wall be any better (see pic) or should I avoid either wall?

The second pic is another location I'm considering for the tank but not sure this would be any better or worse.

Any thoughts, opinions, etc would be most helpful. I'm planning to upgrade this weekend (tomorrow if I can) so any replies would be great (what fish I'd put in there will eventually be the topic of another thread but if you have any off-hand ideas don't be afraid to throw them out there). Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:59 PM   #2
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I have no idea which tank to suggest for you but you'd definitely want to move it closer to a load bearing wall. IMO the first position 1) so you can see it when you walk in the door 2) because I'd be afraid the door would swing back and hit the tank in the other position.
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mumma.of.two View Post
I have no idea which tank to suggest for you but you'd definitely want to move it closer to a load bearing wall. IMO the first position 1) so you can see it when you walk in the door 2) because I'd be afraid the door would swing back and hit the tank in the other position.
Thanks! So how can I tell a load-bearing wall?

So either wall where it is now is OK do you think? I like where it is now because I can see it straight-on from the sofa. If I move it to the adjoining wall I'd be looking at it from the side most of the time which might drive me nuts but I'd do it if it's stronger than where it is now. There's really nowhere else to put it in the living room unless I re-arranged the whole space.

And good thinking about the door swinging back and hitting the tank; hasn't happened yet with the door but not to say it wouldn't and I didn't even think of that as a possibility! Thanks!

I guess we'll see what I'll do tomorrow at the store. I keep thinking about each tank and changing my mind each time.
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:11 PM   #4
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This should help

http://www.homebuildingremodeling.co...ng_000256.html
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:46 PM   #5
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Aqueon has a 33 long, it is 36" long, you could have a little longer tank without adding to many more gallons, or weight. If you place your tank across as many floor joists as possible it will be more stable, and the floor will support the weight better. Move the tank in the middle of the night
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:51 PM   #6
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I would be very concerned if your apartment couldn't handle the weight of the size tanks you are looking at regardless of where you place it on the floor. A 40 gal tank would weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 350 lbs with rock and gravel. If that falls through the floor, the landlord has bigger issues than a fish tank in his building . Think of it in terms of 2 full grown adults. If they stand next to each other somewhere in your apartment, is there a chance they might fall through the floor?
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:43 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone. That's what I was thinking too: even a 40 gal shouldn't be an issue but I'm a worry-wart.

Anyway I got the 36 GAL BOWFRONT with STAND

The thing looks MASSIVE to me.

Problem though: I soaked and rinsed it in the tub and as I was carrying it back to the living room I noticed drops of water on the floor. If I tip the tank at a large angle water comes through out of the plastic bottom piece in front in the corners. I'm guessing this isn't normal? I noticed in the store the bottom plastic rim was extended outward a bit from the glass near the corners but it's the only one they had so I got it anyway. I have some Aquarium safe silicone so I'm going to put it in the space between the plastic bottom and glass on the outside and hope that fixes it. You think it'll be OK? I can't imaging having to put that thing back in the car and take it back to the store by myself again plus it's the only 36 gal bow they had.

I might set it up and fill it halfway with water today and silicone the outer plastic and see if it's leaking tomorrow. Not sure if the silicone will properly seal plastic to glass though. If I let it stand upright it doesn't leak only when I angle it toward the floor but I'm still worried about all that water pressure on the plastic bottom. Any thoughts? Is this normal for a bowfront?
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Old 12-23-2011, 03:09 PM   #8
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Hm, well maybe it's just water that got into the plastic rim and not the tank leaking itself. I checked the silicone sealant all around the tank on the inside and it looks good, don't see anywhere where it should be seeping. I sopped up all the water on the inside with paper towels until it was bone dry, then tipped the aquarium forward close to the rug again and a bit of water came out. No water on the inside, so I'm thinking (hoping) that it's leftover water that got into the outer space in the rim while it was in the tub. Cross your fingers for me.

**Edit: I'm going to take it back. I couldn't rest with it thinking it might have a leak and honestly the 36 bow looks massive to me anyway. I'll probably exchange it for the 29 gal I was going to get in the first place. I guess larger tanks aren't for me at least not at this time. lol
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