Different Types of Aquarium: Which One You Should Pick

​The aquarium is an artificial reservoir or tank which is used for keeping and breeding decorative pet fish and ornamental aquatic plants under suitable artificial condition. The term ‘aquarium’ came from Latin word ‘aqua’ meaning water. The aquarium should be small or large size with gorgeous and attractive features which creates eye catching underwater world.  The aquarium should be installed properly in your home in a right place to look gorgeous and make your fish happy. It is generally a closed corner of nature in your home where decorative pet fish and ornamental aquatic plants are kept together. To keep your fish happy it requires more attention, patience and perseverance. To make your aquarium beauty, you need to read, learn and follow the golden rule and everything must be done wisely and gradually. The aquarium is an almost closed biological system where everything is interconnected. It is a set of hydrobionts, those make suitable place for all live aquatic organisms like fish, plants, shellfish, crustaceans, algae, protozoan, bacteria and fungi. After all, it consists of a ‘chain of living links’.

Ecological Components of an Aquarium: 

There are two main ecological components of an aquarium:

1. Abiotic factors: Physico-chemical properties such as temperature, lighting, water movement, DO, free CO2, water pH, hardness, alkalinity, phosphorus, nitrite, nitrate, ammonia and other components.

2. Biotic factors: ​These are of three types-

  • Producers: aquatic plants which provide foods for herbivorous animals;
  • Consumers: aquatic animals such as zooplankton, fish and amphibians, etc;
  • Decomposers and reducing agents: These are bacteria and fungi that decompose the complex parts of dead organic matter and release simple substances, and which are again used by producers.

Aquarium Environment

For making long-term, balanced and stable environment of aquarium, following rules should be followed:

  • You should avoid overloading of the aquarium;
  • You should feed the fish moderately to keep your fish healthy;
  • You should make changes 20-25% water regularly;
  • You should maintain all the physico-chemical parameters within suitable level;
  • ​You should install aerator and filtration system to make your tank environment healthy;

Size of the Aquarium

The aquarium should not be very small because the larger aquarium provides the more favorable conditions for your aquarium fish. It is very easy to clean and water does not pollution so quickly. The aquarium height should be less than the width or equal. The size of the aquarium depends on the water capacity and generally it can be following types-

  • Small size: up to 25 liters
  • Medium size: 25-100 liters
  • Large size: 100-250 liters
  • Very large size: more than 250 liters-Aquariums with more than 250 liters are mainly used in offices, shops or institutions with a large area. This type of aquarium is not recommended as home aquarium.

Basic Aquarium Sizes:

Small sized aquariums: This type of aquarium is not recommended for beginner’s pet fish keepers. Standard measurement of small sized aquarium is given below:

Aquarium size (gallon)

Dimension (cm)


Blank weight (kg)

Weight with water (kg)

​2.5 gallon​30 × 15 × 20​1.5​12.0
​5 gallon​40 × 20 × 25​3.0​28.0
​​10 gallon​50 × 25 × 30​5.0​50.0
​15 gallon​60 × 30 × 30​10.0​77.0
​15 gallon (high)​50 × 25 × 45​11.0​77.0

Medium sized aquarium:

​Aquarium size (gallon)

Dimension (cm)


​Blank weight (kg)

Weight with water (kg)

​20 gallon high​​60 × 30 × 40​11.0​102.0
​20 gallon long​75 × 30 ×30​15.0​102.0
​25 gallon​​60 × 30 × 50​18.0​128.0
​29 gallon​75 × 30 × 45​10.0​150.0
​30 gallon (breeders)​90 × 45 × 30​22.0​158.0
​40 gallon (breeders)​90 × 45 × 40​26.0​208.0
​40 gallon (long)​120 × 30 × 45​25.0​207.0

Large sized aquarium:

​Aquarium size (gallon)


​Blank weight (kg)

Weight with water (kg)

​50 gallon​90 × 46 × 48​45.0​​​272.0​
​​55 gallon​120 × 34 x 52​​36.0​284.0
​​65 gallon​90 × 45 × 60​​57.0​350.0
​75 gallon​120 × 45 × 52​64.0​386.0
​​90 gallon ​​120 × 45 × 60​​73.0​​476.0
​​125 gallon ​180 × 45 × 52​​94.0​​635.0
150 gallon​​180 × 45 × 70153.0816.0
​180 gallon​180 × 60 x 62153.0​953.0

Types of Aquarium

The size of the aquarium should be chosen in such a way where the ratio of water surface area and the height of the water column must be 5 : 2 or more.  At present, verities shape and sizes of aquariums are found in the market. Generally, aquariums are usually divided into two types:

  • Decorative aquariums
  • ​Special aquariums

Decorative aquariums are of several types. These are-

  • Outdoor aquarium: This type of aquarium does not have a lid or cover glass. In this case, bulbs for lighting are suspended at a considerable distance above the water surface that allows plants to grow.
  • Geographical aquarium: The fish and plants living here must come from the same part of the world. To enhance the effect, it is recommended to use self-adhesive film in the underwater landscape. For greater realism, try decorating the underwater interior with stumps, sea shells, hollow ceramics, imitating stones etc.
  • Dutch aquarium:  It is a real underwater garden with various kinds of fish and plants. In this type of aquarium, a good natural stone is used which makes an awesome design of underwater space. The stone should have a smoothed out shape; in this case, rocks from Mountain Rivers are very suitable.
  • Aquarium biotope: It is a kind of copy of any part of the natural environment. This aquarium is populated by fish only in a specific place ; algae that can grow in this place.
  • Species aquarium: It is an Ideal for keeping fish of the one species or closely related species (eg. Zebrafish) and it serves, primarily, to observe their relationships, behaviors and reproduction.
  • Collector’s aquarium: This type of aquarium is inhabited by fish of certain groups representing one family such as characids, cichlids, etc.
  • Paludarium: This is a kind of Dutch aquarium, which is a combination of underwater and above-water vegetation.
  • Aquaterrarium: In this type of an aquarium, fish and amphibians are kept together.
  • Aquarium of invertebrates: In this type of aquarium, only invertebrate animals and plants are kept together.
  • General (mixed) aquarium: In this type of aquarium, a variety of fish species or systematic groups and plants are kept together in a various geographical zones. Its main criterion is aesthetics. This is the most common type of aquarium.
  • Special type aquarium: Special aquarium is that type of aquarium which serves for life support of developing eggs, fish larvae, for fish reproduction and quarantine measure.
Types of Aquarium
Types of Aquarium

​​Special type aquariums are of following types:

  • The spawning aquarium. It is designed for breeding fish. It is always constructed with all-glass, because when water contacts with metal and putty, the spawning fish and its eggs are negatively affected by the substances. This type of aquarium is designed exclusively for spawning fish.
  • Incubator aquarium. This type of aquarium is used for maintaining eggs, fish larvae and their further development. Typically, this is a small, up to 25 liters glass aquarium that should have the same water parameters as in the spawning aquarium. In this type of aquarium, special care is taken. To make water purity methylene blue is mixed at the rate of 1-5 mg/liter of water.
  • Growing up aquarium. It is designed for growing a large number of fry fish. The optimal size of this type of  an aquarium is 150x45x60 cm; In this type of aquarium, the fry are transferred from an incubator aquarium at the age between 2-3 weeks. This aquarium must have aeration and filtration system.
  • Quarantine and treatment aquarium. This type of aquarium is constructed only with glass, without soil and plants. Aeration and filtration system are also needed. It is serves exclusively for quarantine of fish and for the treatment of diseased fish.
  • Aquarium-cultivator: This type of aquarium is designed for growing live feeds such as ciliates, algae, rotifers, crayfish etc.
  • Experimental aquarium: It serves the prospecting purposes of the aquarist.

Also Read: Best Aquarium Heaters: Reviews and Tips that Works

Final Verdict

Aquarium is a closed artificial reservoir where decorative pet fish and ornamental aquatic plants are kept together. To keep your fish healthy and happy, appropriate types and sizes of aquarium are needed. In this case, you should need to read, learn and follow the golden rule to make your aquarium beauty.

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