How size affects the weight of an aquarium

Fish tanks can be surprisingly heavy when filled with water. Therefore, before you fill a new or used aquarium, it is best to know how heavy it will be, in order to make sure that the table, cabinet, or even the ground is loading.

Basic aquarium sizes

Aquariums come in many sizes, ranging from 2.5 gallons to 180 gallons or more. It’s a wide range, so finding the right one for you will depend on your goals and level of experience.

The tables below detail the most common aquarium sizes, including size and curb weight information in US units, as well as the weight when the tank is filled with water. This is an important consideration, especially for larger tanks. Remember that a gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds. So you need to make sure that your cabinet and floor can support the weight of your aquarium.

This information will also help you guide several decisions, such as determining the space required, the amount of substrate and amount of lighting you will need, the recommended filter size, and other equipment needs. Also, keep in mind that the surface of the water in the tank will determine how many fish you can store.

The weights given are for glass aquariums; acrylic aquariums will weigh a little less. Also, the exact dimensions may vary depending on the brand and trim used in the aquarium. It’s best to take a tape measure with you to the fish store to get exact measurements and to make sure all of your accessories, especially tank covers and cabinets, fit properly.

Small aquariums

Contrary to what one might think, small aquariums are not recommended for beginners. These small environments are very temperamental, so that a minimal change in the chemistry of the water – ammonia, pH, etc. – can have a significant impact.

If you decide to keep a small aquarium, keep in mind that its bioburden will be much smaller. It is therefore important not to over-stock with too many fish.

Also, since this is a very sensitive environment, good filtration is absolutely essential on small tanks.

Tank size L x W x HUnloaded weightFilled weight
 2.5 gallons12 “x 6″ x 8 ” 3 pounds27 lbs
 5 gallons16 “x 8″ x 10 ” 7 lbs62 lbs
10 gallons  20 “x 10″ x 12 ”  11 lbs111 lbs
15 gallons24 “x 12″ x 12 ”  21 lbs170 lbs
15 gallons high20 “x 10″ x 18 ”  22 lbs170 lbs

Medium sized aquariums

These are the most frequently recommended aquariums for beginners. Anything in the 20 to 40 gallon range has enough volume to minimize adverse effects from chemical changes in the water and will be large enough to handle a nice stock of fish.

Also, these tanks are not so big that cleaning will be difficult. This is important because many people who are new to aquariums find it very difficult to stay in the maintenance phase. Overall, medium sized tanks are a nice and manageable size.

 Tank size     L x W x HUnloaded weight  Filled weight   
  20 gallons high   24 “x 12″ x 16 ”  25 lbs225 lbs
  20 gallons long   30 “x 12″ x 12 ”  25 lbs225 lbs
  25 gallons   24 “x 12″ x 20 ”  32 lbs282 lbs
  29 gallons   30 “x 12″ x 18 ”  40 lbs330 lbs
  30 gallon   36 “x 18″ x 12 ”   48 lbs348 lbs
  40 gallon     36 “x 18″ x 16 ”   58 lbs458 lbs
  40 gallons long   48 “x 12″ x 16 ”   55 lbs455 lbs

Large aquariums

The larger the aquarium, the more fish you can store. That’s a big plus, but it also means you’ll have to work harder to maintain those tanks. Tanks of this size also have weight issues when filled. So make sure your floor and cabinet can handle such heavy loads. Owners of very large tanks may even find that the reinforcement of the floor is necessary to support a load greater than a ton.

Larger tanks have great appeal, especially when you want to create a diverse aquarium. However, you should also consider the scale of the tank in relation to the room and its surroundings. Is there enough room for pipes and accessories between the tank and the wall? Is it a high traffic room? Are there space constraints that could lead to accidents and broken glass?

Do you have shelves overhanging the tank that could fall out and create an emergency for your fish? These are important questions to ask before making such a large investment with your time and money.

Tank size  L x W x H  Unloaded weight     Filled weight   
  50 gallons  36 “x 18″ x 19 ”  100 lbs600 lb
  55 gallons  48 “x 13″ x 21 ”  78 lbs625 lb
  65 gallons  36 “x 18″ x 24 ”  126 lbs772 lb
  75 gallons  48 “x 18″ x 21 ”  140 lbs850 lb
  90 gallons  48 “x 18″ x 24 ”  160 lbs1050 lb
  125 gallons    72 “x 18″ x 21 ”  206 lbs1400 lb
  150 gallons    72 “x 18″ x 28 ”  308 lbs1800 pounds
  180 gallons     72 “x 24″ x 25 ”  338 lbs2100 lb

Calculation of the weight of other shapes

In addition to the basic rectangles, aquariums can be shaped like hexagons, pentagons, or even cylinders. If you purchase such a tank, the volume in gallons will already be specified and you can use the tables above to calculate the empty and full weight of the tank. A 50 gallon aquarium will have the same weight whether it is rectangular, hexagonal or cylindrical in shape.

But if you buy or received a used tank and don’t know the gallon size, calculating the tank volume and weight is actually just a matter of first calculating the volume in cubic inches. The essential to know:

  • 1 gallon of water = 231 cubic inches

If you can figure out the volume of a tank in cubic inches, it’s fairly easy to translate it into gallons. You can then use the tables above to estimate the empty and full weight of the tank.

The volume of a tank is determined by first determining the area of ​​the basic shape in square inches, and then multiplying it by the height. The easiest way to do this is to draw the shape of the base and then divide it into shapes whose areas can be easily calculated. A hexagon, for example, can be divided into rectangles and triangles – calculate the area of ​​each shape and add them together to represent the area of ​​the basic tank shape. Then multiply that number by the height of the tank to calculate the total volume in cubic inches.

Next, divide the total volume in cubic inches by 231 to find the gallon capacity of the tank. Finally, find a corresponding gallon count in the tables above and analyze it to find the weight values ​​for your tank.

See more: 🥇🐠 Table of Values – Aquarium | Fish Tank

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