I have a 125 gallon (72 1/2" x 18 1/2" x 23 3/8") with angels and discus. From observations, the angels and discus don't seem to care too much about the height of the tank, but more of the width and length. They don't really swim close to the surface, unless when they are hand fed, therefore, spend most of the time in the mid level and lower level of the tank.
I notice the same thing with my Angels, but they are only in an 18" high tank at the moment so did not know if it was just their current surroundings. Thanks for the info!
I have several planted tanks of different sizes and heights. While the difference from a 21" to a 24" tank doesn't sound like a lot....just three inches. However it is a world of difference. I've come to hate working in my 24" deep tank. I now make all design decisions for this tank based on minimal maintanence requirements. Being a smaller person (5'2") my armpit gets gouged by the rim when I'm trying to touch the gravel in the bottom of the tank. Now, I know that you can do plenty with tools - I do have a set of long tweezers and other stuff. However certain things are best done by hand. Ie., try removing well developed crypts without grasping them firmly by their bases and gently wiggling! You'll tear up either the plant or your whole substrate, or both.
I would give it some careful consideration before going for the tank which is 28" deep. It may turn out to be a nightmare for you to try working in - - unless you happen to be 6ft+++. If you do get the 175g, ask if they've got a snorkle to throw in? Just be sure to really test it based on your own physical proportions.
My 135 is 24 inches deep, but the stand is VERY low (too low at only about 26") but the canopy adds another 5 inches or so. I am 6 foot but still cannot reach the far back of the tank without a step stool. With a taller stand, taller tank, and taller canopy that snorkel is not looking like too much to ask for!
I had only really been thinking about the fish and not really me when it comes to the depth of the tank. I cannot keep foreground plants anyway (ALL of the fish just rip them out) so maybe I will be OK but you bring up some awesome points for me to consider, thanks.
Noob, I just would not give up length or depth for height, and you'd be losing both by choosing the 175 over the 180.
Thanks, and I agree. The extra 6 inches of front to back depth sure would make for a lot more space. My only want with the 175 is that it has the stand, canopy and everything else with it. This would make things easier to get everything setup faster. However it REALLY starts to make me think the 180 may be the best way to go, not to mention it is a lot cheaper.
Thanks for all your comments to this point, but what do you all think about the stocking? Would 11 angles, 3 severums, 6 geophagus, 12 tetras, and 6 plecos be OK in one tank? After reading I think the 180 is the best, but now I am concerned as to whether the stocking levels will be OK long term (a few years when everyone is full grown). Thoughts?
And btw, Merry Christmas!