How Big a Tank Should I Get?
You want to make sure that when you set up your mega-aquarium that it does
not end up in the apartment downstairs. Donít laugh, because this has actually
happened on numerous occasions! If you live in an upstairs apartment,
you probably donít want to place a 200-gallon tank directly over the downstairs
residentís bedroom. Homes with older floors my have weak spots that
cannot be seen. Always use common sense when choosing an aquarium size
to match the home you live in.
In order to give you a better idea of what an aquarium weighs when it is full
of water, and also empty, we provide Table A-1. All weights in the table are
accurate to within a few pounds, depending on what equipment you use,
the amount of gravel in the tank, and other factors such as the weight of
1000 cubic centimeters = 1 liter
1 liter of water = 1 kilogram in weight
1 cubic foot of water = 6.23 imperial gallons
1 imperial gallon of water = 10 pounds in weight
1 U.S. gallon = .8 imperial gallons
1 imperial gallon = 4.55 liters
1 English degree of hardness = 14.3 ppm (parts per million) of calcium
1 French degree of hardness = 10.0 ppm of calcium carbonate
1 American degree of hardness = 17.1 ppm of calcium carbonate
1 German degree of hardness = 17.9 ppm of calcium oxide
One liter = 0.26 gallons
One gallon = 3.78 liters
1 inch = 2.54 centimeters
One foot = 30 centimeters
One yard = 36 inches
One meter = 39.4 inches
Once ounce = 29 grams
To convert centimeters to inches, multiply by 0.40
To convert inches to centimeters, multiply by 2.54
To convert kilograms to pounds, multiply by 2.2
To convert pounds to kilograms, multiply by 0.453
Celsius = (Fahrenheit Ė 32) ◊ 5/9
Fahrenheit = (Celsius ◊ 9/5) + 32
Volume = Length ◊ Width ◊ Height
1. Determine capacity.
Capacity in gallons = (Length ◊ Width ◊ Height [in inches]) divided by
2. Use capacity to determine weight.
One gallon of fresh water at 4 degrees Celsius = 8.57 pounds of weight.
How Many Fish Can I Put in the Tank?
It is very important to remember that fish need space in order to be healthy.
(Think about it, would you want to live in an elevator with ten other people?)
A crowded tank that has exceeded its stocking limits leads to poor water conditions
that can adversely affect your fishís health. Overcrowded tanks are
low in oxygen levels and pollute quickly ó much more so than the filter
medium or biological bacteria can handle efficiently.
Table A-2 gives you an idea of how many fish can safely be put into a tank
with the given dimensions.
The first column is simply the length of the tank multiplied by the width. This
can be measured with a yardstick or measuring tape. The second column
tells you the total surface area of what you measured. The third and fourth
columns give you the total length of all the fish, in inches, that can be safely
put in that size tank, depending on whether they are freshwater or marine
fish. (This is a handy table to have if you decide to enter the marine side of
the hobby later on as well.) Remember that the total length of the fish is measured
from the snout to the beginning of the tail fin, and all the fish lengths
are added together. Also remember that fish grow!
Smaller tanks (under 36 inches in length) are not recommended for saltwater,
except when being used as a hospital tank.
How Much Gravel Can I Put in the Tank?
In order to determine the approximate number of pounds of gravel that will
be needed for a rectangular aquarium, you can use this formula:
Length (in inches) ◊ Width (in inches) ◊ desired gravel depth (in inches) ◊ .05
= pounds of gravel
All credit goes to, For Dummies.