Basic Advice

Height and Width: Fitting Your Aquarium in Your Home

The standard measurement for aquarium is gallons, but when deciding on the dimensions of your future aquarium, the relative size of an ‘X’ gallon aquarium can be hard to visualize. Customers find it more helpful to settle on dimensions (length, height, width) instead, based on the space they have to fill, and not worrying about the gallon measurements.

The cost of acrylic aquarium has two components: the cost of the acrylic material itself, and the cost of labor in assembling the aquarium. A tank with numerous curves or bends will require some special tooling and extra labor so the larger the number of bends and unusual surfaces, the more the cost will increase.

Where many people get into problems with cost in planning the aquarium is in height. People often want their aquariums to be tall, sometimes around 6 feet. However, what deserves consideration is that the taller or wider an aquarium becomes, the thicker the material needed to keep it from bowing, which increases the materials cost exponentially. Generally speaking, the thickness of the acrylic material has to increase above standard with any height or width over 30 inches. At 36 inches, the thickness of the acrylic needs to be increased yet again. A 6 foot tall tank will not only be difficult to service (because of limited accessibility), but also very costly because of the thickness of the acrylic required to prevent the panels from bowing.

Because of these size considerations, the simulation of height tends to be a better alternative. We’ve found that aquariums are most visible and most easily enjoyed when top of the aquarium to be somewhere around eye level, 6 feet from the ground. If a tank is 30 inches tall, sits on a 38 inch cabinet and has a 4 inch cap above it, the top is at six feet. Or, if the budget allows for a 36 inch tall aquarium, a 32 inch cabinet will results in a top height of 6 feet. Cabinets are considerably cheaper to construct than aquariums, and by manipulating the cabinet below the tank you can still give the appearance of a 6 feet tall tank while not breaking the bank.

About Jon Wolf

Servicing Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana & Michigan, Blue Planet Aquarium Services has been the most trusted name in aquarium design, installation and maintenance since 1999. A company large enough to be dependable but small enough to still watch out for your best interests, Blue Planet is the only company to call if you are planning to install an aquarium or have one maintained.