Bigger tanks not only offer more surface area, but they are also better at diluting waste from fish waste or overfeeding, meaning healthier and cleaner water conditions for their inhabitants.

This experiment demonstrated that tank scale does affect performance (research question 1). Average end weights increased with increasing tank size.

Water Volume

Your water volume in your aquarium refers to how much liquid is contained within its confines. As your tank becomes larger, so too will its holdings. More volume means your fish have more room to move around freely and will experience less stress compared to when kept in smaller quarters. Furthermore, larger tanks make maintaining healthy conditions simpler with increased dissolved oxygen available to fight off nitrates and ammonia levels more effectively.

An important factor that can determine a fish tank’s volume is the size and configuration of its filter and heater. A large aquarium with too small of either component won’t be able to keep up with water flow, leading to problems and potentially stunted growth due to build-up.

In this experiment, water velocities were set at typical values used in the salmon industry since increasing HRT would result in unacceptably high water velocity (Davidson & Summerfelt 2004). Feed distribution would likely differ according to fish size and water velocity; to offset these effects, feeding systems were adjusted so as to distribute feed over as much surface area of the tank as possible.

Results of this experiment indicated that weight variation between tanks was lower among those ranging in volume size between 103 m3 tanks and those 0.9 m3, even though their HRT differences were comparable between groups; suggesting that tank size has more of an effect than water velocity on fish performance.

Results indicated that larger 103 m3 tanks produced superior growth when compared with their smaller 0.9 m3 counterparts, even though initial stocking density was equal. This supports Kirschbaum, Hensel & Williot’s (2006) hypothesis that growth depends upon both tank size and fish interactions (Kirschbaum, Hensel & Williot 2006).

Notably, this experiment was conducted under controlled conditions at Korsneset’s sea cage facility and thus its results should be treated with caution. They do however suggest that poorer performance of 0.9-m3 tanks might be related more closely with fish scaling history rather than tank size based on these data.


Temperature regulation in a fish tank is essential to the wellbeing of its inhabitants. Too low a temperature can result in illness for some species while others will become lethargic as their metabolism slows. Extremely low temperatures have even been known to kill fish; thus it should remain close to recommended levels to ensure healthy living conditions for fish in its care.

Temperature aside, oxygen levels in a tank are also of vital importance. Too little oxygen can lead to gasping for air at the surface of the tank and could eventually deplete all available oxygen, leading fish to starve to death. For larger species such as sharks or marine turtles, insufficient oxygen could cause them to breathe faster than they can actually absorb; though in small aquariums this issue typically doesn’t pose much of a problem, larger tanks present greater challenges in this regard.

Temperature readings in Fahrenheit or Celsius provide valuable feedback about water temperatures in your tank, making it easier to assess if any are too warm or too cool. Digital thermometers offer more accuracy and easier reading capabilities compared to their mercury counterparts.

An experiment was conducted to explore the effect of tank size on growth rate and food intake of salmon smolts. Multiple tanks with similar initial stocking density were utilized. Results revealed that larger tanks produced faster growth, as well as fish that were in better body condition than those kept in smaller ones. So it is extremely important to use a fish tank capacity calculator if you want an aquarium at home.

Research concluded that increased water velocity led to improved fish health in large tanks, as this increases nutrient distribution (Davidson & Summerfelt 2004).

Studies revealed that neither the hepatic somatic index or gonadal somatic index were affected by tank size; however, CSI was negatively impacted. A higher CSI in 103 m3 tanks could possibly be explained by providing more space for swimming around and moving freely than other tank scale treatments.


Filtration in an aquarium is the process that restores water back to its state prior to entering a tank, by removing particulate matter, dissolving pollutants, and helping maintain low ammonia levels. Since fish tanks are closed systems, only initial water used to fill it gets drawn through and filtered by its filter; its effectiveness thus plays an integral role in overall tank health and performance.

Filters that filter too little water per unit time (called their turnover rate ) can create problems for aquariums. Issues could include stagnant and stale water that creates the ideal environment for harmful organisms to flourish and cause infections in fish inhabitants as well as infections among themselves and create other issues in other ways. Filtration systems also impact carrying capacity – the maximum number of organisms which can inhabit an adequate water volume tank with effective filtration.

An aquarium may be considered a closed system, yet waste products such as ammonia and nitrite still accumulate, posing danger to its inhabitants and needing to be prevented from reaching toxic levels by performing regular water changes; however, if your aquarium is heavily stocked then these measures might not be sufficient; at that point the filtration system often becomes the limiting factor of its performance.

One way of identifying the limiting factor is to examine how much ammonia and nitrite is being produced by its inhabitants, which will then have an impact on fish deaths. A biofilter and regular tank cleaning will help achieve this.

Noteworthy is also that certain tanks generate more waste material than others; this is particularly evident in aquariums with many large fancy goldfish species, making filtration systems with increased power necessary. To effectively filter this type of waste out, additional filter systems may need to be utilized.


Lighting systems are one of the most crucial factors when setting up a fish tank, so be sure to select a system with enough intensity for your tank and that suits its contents; red or orange hues make corals pop while they don’t work for cichlid tanks.

Consider also the duration of light. Leaving lights on all day may make fish stressed out, so gradually dimming them at night should be set in place to reduce stress rather than cutting power suddenly – sudden darkness could shock and stress fish to sickness!

Energy efficient lighting can save both money and the environment. Many people opt for LED bulbs, which are energy efficient and last longer than other bulbs; additionally, these lights can be used in multiple tanks types; however, their intensity cannot compete with more powerful types such as T5 bulbs or metal halide lights.

Lighting system should also suit the type of fish and plants in your tank. A full hood with lighting and filtration works best in tanks housing many plants; while glass canopy aquariums work great if fish-only tanks are involved.

Considerations should always be given when keeping larger tanks as these may impact fish performance and growth. A study of Atlantic post-smolts living in tanks of various sizes (0.9, 3 and 103 m3) discovered higher feed intake and SGR rates among post-smolts living in large tanks compared with smaller tanks, though why this happened remains unknown – researchers speculate this may have something to do with increased tank size, stocking density or how fish interact among themselves.