Which tank would you choose? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-20-2003, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jun 2003
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I'm trying to decide between a 72 gal. bowfront or a 80 gal. rectangular for a planted South American tank.

I haven't seen too many planted bowfronts. Is it because they're hard to light properly?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-20-2003, 02:28 PM
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Get the rectangular.

People usually stay away from bowfronts because of the distorted image they provide.

Try to find the one you like that is set up with fish and plants or even a reef tank will do. Look at it from 3 feet away. You'll know exactly what I am referring to. Any bowfront (50+ gallons) should show you the concept anyways.

Convert my 125 to something new.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-20-2003, 06:22 PM
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Get the one you like. It's a little harder to light a bow front tank but if you get a wooden canopy you can just add more light to the front. I personally like the look of the bow front tanks. What are the dimensions on the 80 gallon tank?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-20-2003, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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The 80 gallon is 48x18x22 I believe. The same as the 72 gal. bow but, obviously all the way across. These are Island brand tanks which always seem to be slightly larger are smaller than the standard All-Glass sizes.

I thought the bowfront might look a little nicer in the living room than just a big rectangular box. I've never heard of distortion being an issue but, I've also never seen a picture of one taken at an angle. Also being wishy-washy on whether I'll miss the extra space of the 80 g. for plants and another fish or two!
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2003, 12:59 PM
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I highly recomend you try to find these two aquarium filled with water and setup to look at prior to making your purchase.

The empty bow-front at a store doen't really show you how it can be annoying (at least in my opinion). It's almost like looking through a magnifying glass. The edges always look warped.

This way, you can make an informed decision on your own. Notice that your store probably doesn't have any bowfronts setup.

It doesn't really support my argument, but go read this:

Convert my 125 to something new.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-22-2003, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Thanks for the info kherman!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-22-2003, 10:56 PM
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I prefer rectangular tanks for the previously mentioned reasons...dont like the distortion in them.


100 Gal Planted, two Filstar XP3, Milwaukee SMS 122 pH controller, Milwaukee reg/bubble, compressed CO2, reactor 1000, 7 WCMM, 12 Ottos, 14 neons, 1 SAE, 3 German blue rams, 2 Florida Flag Fish

10 Gallon...20 Endler's live bearers planted, peat/kitty litter/sand substrate

15 Gallon...Just Schultz Aquatic Plant soil
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-23-2003, 05:13 AM
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Checking out a filled bowfront is a good idea. I do believe there is a certain amount of visual distortion when viewing.
However, Rex is absolutely right, get the aquarium you want!


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-27-2003, 04:13 PM
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Might want to look into the future a little too on this decision. If you ever move or rearrange your living room you have alot more placement options with a rectangular tank. With a bow front you'll always need a corner and I know it sounds funny but in my living room there is only one corner where a bow front could go but 3 walls where a rectangular tank could go. Wouldn't want to be basing your decision about where to live on "where will my fish tank go".
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-28-2003, 03:22 AM
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Rectangles are easier to get stand, lights and hoods for. You may find them easier to aquascape.

Depending on point of view/opinion, you may find that the bowfront lacks visual depth. This sounds strange but I have seen some bow fronts where the shorter sides make the tank feel shallow.
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