Reasons not to do a 37 gallon? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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Reasons not to do a 37 gallon?

It's been a long time since my last planted tank (15 years) so I know there's a lot to freshen up about before I kick off this new one. I'm gathering the components slowly but while I do I wanted to ask if there are reasons not to do this with a 37 gallon tank? I've seen some posts about the issues with 37 gallon tanks height and light penetration to the bottom to support healthy ground cover but it seems some have no issues. Although the additional real estate of the 37 over a 29 is vertical it still provides more space and room for fish.

Anything else that should concern me with going the route of the 37 gallon?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 03:01 AM
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I don't hate mine but I don't really like it all that much either. Probably the least favorite of my current tanks. I got it basically for free if I'd move it and it happened to fit perfectly where I wanted to put it so worked in that respect at the time. If I were to do it again, I probably wouldn't. Kind of a pain to do anything at the bottom. I had a real nice full 'carpet' of S. repens going for a long time up until my Bolivian rams started mating and destroyed it all digging pits for the eggs and fry. On the positive side it does look and work like a much larger tank than a 29 in the same footprint.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
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Funny I never thought of the cleaning/aquascaping aspect at the depth, its a good point. I wish I had room to go wider but the optimal spot for the tank only accommodates 30-32 inches.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 04:05 AM
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If you're going for as much tank as you can fit into a ~30" space, then that's kind of it for standard dimension tanks. Big difference in apparent size vs a 29. The latter seems relatively small compared to it. But overall it's better as a fish tank than a planted tank I think. I have a huge piece of driftwood that pretty much fills mine with plants and moss all over it. Some crypts at the bottom. Real tall crypt spiralis behind as a background.

Personally, I think I'd rather have a smaller nicer long, low rimless tank in the same space. But depends on what you want.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Personally, I think I'd rather have a smaller nicer long, low rimless tank in the same space. But depends on what you want.
All fun and games until you're cat decides to try for some snacks!

I've had a 29 in the past I enjoyed it, however your comment about the 37 is spot on, it's optically a much bigger looking tank. You have any pictures of your setup with the piece of driftwood? I was thinking of doing something similar with hardscaping up and creating levels to bring some of the plants with higher light requirements closer to the source. One of the challenges I'm finding is what light would work best on a 37 to make sure I get adequate penetration all the way to soil level. Seems there's not many using a 37 for real life advise on what works and what doesn't.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 06:29 PM
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All fun and games until you're cat decides to try for some snacks!

I've had a 29 in the past I enjoyed it, however your comment about the 37 is spot on, it's optically a much bigger looking tank. You have any pictures of your setup with the piece of driftwood? I was thinking of doing something similar with hardscaping up and creating levels to bring some of the plants with higher light requirements closer to the source. One of the challenges I'm finding is what light would work best on a 37 to make sure I get adequate penetration all the way to soil level. Seems there's not many using a 37 for real life advise on what works and what doesn't.
Yeah, that could be a problem. Fortunately mine are bored with the fish and don't bother them anymore.

I'll get a pic later tonight. Yes, lighting is kind of a challenge between too little at the bottom and too much at the top. Took me a while to get things balanced. If I ran it hard enough to make things at the bottom happy, then I was fighting some black algae on areas at the top where there's a lot of flow from a spray bar and green algae on slower growing anubias that I have a lot of. Moving things around some and adding floating plants helped by shading some areas. After the rams decided to destroy most everything on the bottom it's now not really enough light to get anything started well there again. I'd have to change everything around again to do it so I've written off the bottom for now. Kind of hard to run in between with a deeper tank. I went more low-tech with lower/shorter light/slower growing plants (other than floaters that are easy to just pull and toss now and then). You could go the complete opposite direction and make it work. Not sure that there's much in the middle that works very well.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
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All fun and games until you're cat decides to try for some snacks!

I've had a 29 in the past I enjoyed it, however your comment about the 37 is spot on, it's optically a much bigger looking tank. You have any pictures of your setup with the piece of driftwood? I was thinking of doing something similar with hardscaping up and creating levels to bring some of the plants with higher light requirements closer to the source. One of the challenges I'm finding is what light would work best on a 37 to make sure I get adequate penetration all the way to soil level. Seems there's not many using a 37 for real life advise on what works and what doesn't.
If you start out with a few inches of substrate, then plant some of the more demanding plants in pots, they will already be 6" closer to the light.

You can absolutely make it work, but be prepared to buy/build more lights.


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-03-2019, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
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I think I'll work on sketching out what I'd like the tank to look like and what plants would be where to try and see if I could get the look I want with whats available in lighting.

Bump: I think I'll work on sketching out what I'd like the tank to look like and what plants would be where to try and see if I could get the look I want with whats available in lighting.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-03-2019, 06:39 AM
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I run a 37gal and love it. The vertical space is good for stem plants. With enough light you can grow a carpet. I have a journal which may or may not help you. You can definitely learn what not to do from it. Hahaha


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 04:58 AM
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My 37 after pulling out about a bushel of pennywort so you could see anything in it.

Pictures don't really show what a massive hunk of wood that is. Basically spans the entire back of the tank in both directions so probably ~26" x 22". Hollow through both ends which I thought would be kinda cool for fish to cruise through and hang out in but other than maybe the corys stumbling in a few times don't think I've ever actually seen any go in it. /facepalm

And just one pitiful little patch of S. repens left. I was so happy with how thick and full if was. They completely wrecked it in about a week. lol Didn't expect that. But I guess they're cichlids so...




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