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I'm gonna agree it depends on what you have planned. This isn't just limited to fish (do you want smaller fish or larger, fast swimming fish which require more length), it also extends to your scape and plant preferences. If you like vals and swords, the column would look pretty great, but if you like lots of stems and dutch style aquascaping, the 60 gallon is the only way to go in my eyes. Ultimately they are both tall tanks so you may struggle a bit to properly light them. You might also appreciate the extra depth the column offers. All things to think about.

Personally, I think I'd go with the 56 column for that extra depth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmmm....I do like vals and swords...

I was going to plan my design and community based on the shape of the tank. I want small/medium fish (Pearl Gouramis and a BN Pleco would be the largest in there). This is going to be my first large project. I have pretty much accepted that my short shelf is going to need a stepstool for the tanks that appeal to me size/budget wise. I don't mind getting my arm wet as long as I can reach the bottom. The fastest swimmer I had lightly considered was maybe a few Danios. I am going to do a low tech tank with low/med light plants. I really appreciate all your feedback. I want this to be a fun project, but want to make sure I plan it well.
 

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A 75 is going a bit too big for me. Wish I could though.

Then I would suggest a 40 gallon breeder tank.
It's also a better shape than the others.

Wait for the petco or petsmart $1 per gallon sale. Grab tank for $40. A stand and filter should be cheap on craigslist. Order a cheap t5 highoutput light. Buy 6500k bulbs from hydro store.
 

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I agree with others that it depends on your flora and fauna plans. I recently bought a 56 column and when I saw it in the store I immediately got the idea to use vals as my background and crypts as my foreground, so that's what I did. :p
 
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