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Minimum Tank Height?

Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:01 pm

I’m already planning my next tank upgrade for next year and looking at 60” tank options for an all male peacock/hap tank. The two options I’m looking at have heights of either 19” or 24”, but the difference in gallons is 100 vs 150. I’m leaning towards the 100 gallon, but wondering if the 5” difference in height is needed for an ideal tank. Do you think 19” is tall enough?

Thank you!

Re: Minimum Tank Height?

Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:09 am

Of course length is the most important measure but I also consider that many haps inhabit the upper water regions so more height is welcome there IMO. You should also look at the aesthetics of each tank, that is which height makes the tank look better proportioned in your opinion.

The height of my 180gal is 24" which is fine when I clean and gives the tank a good visually balanced look. My 450gal height is 30" and I really have to reach during tank maintenance cleaning the walls, but again that height looks better IMO than 24" would since the tank is 84" wide.

Re: Minimum Tank Height?

Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:52 am

Correction: my 450gal is 96" wide.

Re: Minimum Tank Height?

Sat Dec 21, 2019 4:33 am

Good call on the aesthetics. I guess if the stand is at least 30” tall then it should be fine. I’ll break out the measuring tape and measure against my current setup. I’m tall, so a little higher wouldn’t be a bad thing. The more I think about it, the more a deeper tank would allow for a 3D background. Hahah. This hobby can get expensive. Thanks for the insight.

Re: Minimum Tank Height?

Sat Dec 21, 2019 7:51 am

Riggs503 wrote:The more I think about it, the more a deeper tank would allow for a 3D background. Hahah.


Exactly :wink: I myself love larger tanks.

Re: Minimum Tank Height?

Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:58 am

I prefer the shorter tank...both visually and for the fish. The only time my fish are at the top is at feeding time or if a chase is on . I have never kept a hap or peacock or mbuna (even acei) for that matter that uses the top. Tanganyikans cyps, that is a different story, but I still kept them with success in a shorter tank.

The other advantage for shorter tanks is that you can reach the bottom from the outside with just a step stool...no ladder required. And I am tall, so even more of an issue for people of other dimensions. Long arms, even with a 19" height are required to lower 40 pound rocks to the bottom. And maintenance is every week, so this is not just an occasional advantage.

Re: Minimum Tank Height?

Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:05 am

DJRansome wrote:The only time my fish are at the top is at feeding time or if a chase is on . I have never kept a hap or peacock or mbuna (even acei) for that matter that uses the top.


I've heard (most?) haps are open water swimmers. With the few haps tanks I've kept I've noticed that though they don't swim at the top they do prefer the mid to upper water which, in taller tanks there is more space in these regions.

The other advantage for shorter tanks is that you can reach the bottom from the outside with just a step stool...no ladder required. And I am tall, so even more of an issue for people of other dimensions. Long arms, even with a 19" height are required to lower 40 pound rocks to the bottom. And maintenance is every week, so this is not just an occasional advantage.


Agree 100%. My 450gal cabinet stand is 36" high, hood is another 7", so I need a step ladder to get high enough for tank maintenance. Tank footprint is 96" x 36" so reaching the bottom of the back wall is a stretch. The setup looks awesome though and I wouldn't have it any other way. I have no problem with the work involved.

Re: Minimum Tank Height?

Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:26 am

DJRansome wrote:I prefer the shorter tank...both visually and for the fish. The only time my fish are at the top is at feeding time or if a chase is on . I have never kept a hap or peacock or mbuna (even acei) for that matter that uses the top. Tanganyikans cyps, that is a different story, but I still kept them with success in a shorter tank.

The other advantage for shorter tanks is that you can reach the bottom from the outside with just a step stool...no ladder required. And I am tall, so even more of an issue for people of other dimensions. Long arms, even with a 19" height are required to lower 40 pound rocks to the bottom. And maintenance is every week, so this is not just an occasional advantage.


Sorry to hijack the thread , but I have a similar question. I’m housing only Mbuna , I’m expanding my tank from a 240 litre(63 USGallons) to a 400-450 litre (approx 118 US gallons). Was debating either a H66 , D51, L150cm, or go for a H60, D60, L120cm. Was wondering if the depth or the length would be better for the fish please?.
Edit : current tank H55, D41, L120cm.

Re: Minimum Tank Height?

Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:50 pm

Length always. Mbuna even more than haps and peacocks hug the rocks except for chases and feeding.

Re: Minimum Tank Height?

Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:10 pm

Length is always number one consideration, but height for me is also important as well, for visual appeal as well as fish room. Personally I never found the idea that haps & mbuna stay near bottom to be true at all. My main Hap & mbuna tank is my 240g which is 30" tall and mine always are all over the tank. They use the top part of the water just as much as they use the lower level and always have.
Only drawback to tall tanks is cleaning as was mentioned above. It can be a pain, but it's a trade off I don't mind making to have a tank that has the visual impact that a big tank has.

Re: Minimum Tank Height?

Sat Dec 21, 2019 2:03 pm

Thanks for replies, 5 foot tank it is

Re: Minimum Tank Height?

Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:11 pm

My current tank is 22” tall, thinking about 2 more inches is really nothing. In my comparison of the two tanks an advantage to the shorter tank is water volume...100 vs 150. Water changes would be easier and overall weight would be lesser. In reality I’d love a 5 footer that was 120-125 gallons. Top Fin has one in those dimensions but not sure about the brand as PetSmarts reviews are either 5 stars or 1 Star with the ladder due to leaks. Not trying to put myself in that scenario.

Re: Minimum Tank Height?

Tue Dec 24, 2019 8:06 am

I've had tanks ranging from 22 to 30" tall with 6 foot length. Aesthetically, I strongly prefer the 30 over the 22 (150 vs 125 gal), the 24 is still a surprising difference compared to the 22. (I like it better) That said, getting to the bottom rear of the taller tank was unpleasant for me.

In terms of day to day, i did not find any real appreciable difference in running the 30" vs the 22" tanks. Fish still come to surface to eat, even my Fronts.

Re: Minimum Tank Height?

Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:25 am

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