Rectangular tanks vs. Bowfront setups - The Planted Tank Forum

View Poll Results: Which aquarium setup do you prefer?
Rectangular tanks 38 76.00%
Bowfront tanks 12 24.00%
Voters: 50. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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Rectangular tanks vs. Bowfront setups

I'm kinda curious, I've never had a bowfront, but some people swear by them I guess.

Which do you guys prefer?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 12:49 AM
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My personal preference is for rectangular tanks, but there are plenty of people that love their bowfronts.

You don't really need a poll. Pick the type you like best.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 01:36 AM
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Love my 26 bowfront. Not sure I would swear by it but it just gives a different look to the tank
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 01:41 AM
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I like rectangular tanks because if you break the lid it's easily replaceable. Can't tell you how many times I get customers coming in asking for a bowfront lid and we can't accomodate them.

Other than that there's not much difference IMO, just personal preference. I like the sleeker look of rectangular tanks.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 01:46 AM
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The bowfront does seem to distort some, which is why I like rectangular.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 01:59 AM
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My best friend loves the bowfront, but it makes me nauseous. I can't stand to look at them. I feel like I'm looking through a magnifying glass that's moving.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 02:40 AM
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I've never seen a bowfront that actually looked nice, aquascaping wise. So I'm going to go to with rectangle.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 02:34 PM
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I own 2 tanks, both bowfronts, but I like flat fronts better.

So why do I have all bowfronts then? The 36 gallon looks better in a bow from a 'furniture in the room' standpoint to to non-aquarium people (like my wife). Has some flair to the tank and a nicer looking stand than non-bowfronts in the same size range. This was ok with me as I get a wife approved tank in the living room where we spend all our time (and even she sees it as adding to the room, not somethign she just puts up with because I like it), and the 36 has a mild enough bow that the warped, magnifying glass look is minimized.

Same thing with the 3 gallon, it just happens to be the perfect size for my desk, was a great price, looks great with the seamless bent front corners, is good to look into as the bow is very slight.

Bottom line - I would prefer a big (and wide front-to-back) flat front tank from the fish & plant keeping/watching end of things, but a largish mildly bowed tank is more pleasing to the non-fish persons eye (flat=old & common, bow = new hotness & style for some reason) and as 'furniture'.

As for bows being hard to plant/scape - I don't think the bow causes that, only the width of the tank (tall, long, and narrow like a 55 can be hard to work with). Check out the 2 tanks in my sig (lots of pics) - I think they turned out nice and they are both low/mid light bowfronts.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 04:05 PM
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I have a 36 bowfront. I think the main "use-case" for a BF is when you will be viewing the tank mostly from the front, from a medium to long distance. So like jbrady said, if it's going to be more of a "furniture" type situation. Try sitting about 6 feet away from one, directly in front of it, and watch how your fish seem to be kind of swimming in mid-air between you and the tank. It's a nice effect.

That said, viewing it from any other angle is a bit jarring visually. I think my next tank will be rectangular.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 06:23 AM
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I've always had rectangular tanks. Thought a bow front would look cool. My next project is big cube tank 36"x 36"x 30"
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 10:17 AM
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our first TV with a twist knob tuners was a sony trinitron with a 14" curved screen. worked for nearly 13 years until we bought a new flat screened CRT.

since then we've upgraded to a flatscreen LED as did the tv market.

I think the flat screen gives the best perspective and accuracy where the bow would otherwise skew proportions when viewing. really its subject to personal preference...

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 06:05 PM
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I have a 55g rectangular and 26g bowfront sitting side by side and I enjoy both. With the bowfront you do get a bit more real estate for creating a 3D layered look that is interesting visually. As others have noted it is a good looking piece of furniture if that is a concern to others you reside with.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 07:56 PM
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Has anyone used a bowfront backwards? It would require a little thought regarding filters and cords if you wanted to use the glass cover but I wonder what kind of sense of depth a bowed back and flat front would give you?
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 08:16 PM
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Smaller bowfronts distort. There is someone in the local club who had a planted 155g bowfront with starphire glass and it is by far the best looking planted tank I've ever seen, and there is no visible distortion
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggsteve View Post
Has anyone used a bowfront backwards? It would require a little thought regarding filters and cords if you wanted to use the glass cover but I wonder what kind of sense of depth a bowed back and flat front would give you?
That's a really interesting concept - like a diorama in a museum...for people like me that like to make 3D backgrounds, I bet you could create a great illusion of added depth. Fix doors to the back of the stand, put a sponge filter or a Hamburg Mattenfilter in it with Koralias or other powerhead type equipment ...now you've got me thinking! lol

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