55 Gallon Tank Dimensions: Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the right fish tank dimensions is essential for the health and happiness of your aquatic pets. These dimensions directly influence the number of fish your aquarium can hold and their overall well-being. Choose wisely to create a stunning underwater world that’s easy to maintain and enjoyable to observe.

55 gallon tank dimensions

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What are the Different Types of 55-Gallon Tanks?

Choosing a 55-gallon tank can be overwhelming sometimes. There are numerous types to pick from. Before you go shopping, it’s best you understand the different types available.

  • Standard 55-Gallon Tank: This is the most common type of 55-gallon tank, as it is rectangular and measures 48″ L x 13″ W x 20″ H (122 cm x 33 cm x 51 cm). Typically, these tanks are made of glass, offering excellent clarity for viewing your aquatic friends.
  • 55-Gallon Breeder Tank: A breeder tank is wider than a standard tank, allowing more room for your fish to swim horizontally. A typical breeder tank measures 36″ L x 18″ W x 21″ H (91 cm x 46 cm x 53 cm), ensuring ample space for spawning and nest building.
  • 55-Gallon Corner Tank: These tanks literally fit into a corner, featuring a unique pentagon shape. They typically measure 38″ L x 27″ W x 22″ H (97 cm x 68 cm x 56 cm), optimizing your room’s square footage.
  • 55-Gallon Column Tank: A column tank is taller than it is wide, ranging upwards of 30″ in height (76 cm). It is ideal for fish that thrive in deep-water environments.
  • 55-Gallon Hexagon Tank: A hexagon tank has six sides, adding visual interest to any room. Typically, they measure 24″ L x 24″ W x 24″ H (61 cm x 61 cm x 61 cm).

Each of these tanks comes with its unique features and advantages. It is crucial to select one that fits your fish’s natural habitat for their overall health and well-being.

Knowing that standard, breeder, corner, column, or hexagon tanks exist, you can make an informed decision to suit not only your fish’s needs but also your personal preferences. It’s your choice, made easier with the right knowledge.

What is the Importance of Knowing the Accurate 55-Gallon Tank Dimensions?

Knowing the exact dimensions of your 55-gallon tank is crucial, and here are the reasons:

  • Spatial Allocation: Understanding the measurement can help determine where to place the tank in your home. Regular 55-gallon tanks stand at 48″ L x 13″ W x 20″ H (121.92cm L x 33.02cm W x 50.8cm H), and this defines the space you will need to allocate.
  • Choosing the Right Tank Decor: Knowing the space inside your tank is key to picking the right decor. Too much or too little can negatively impact your fish.
  • Planning for the Fish Species: Different species of fish require different space. Knowing the dimensions can help decide which species to introduce to the tank.
  • Maintaining Water Quality: The tank size will impact the water quality. It will determine how often you need to clean it and how much treatment it needs.
  • Avoiding Overcrowding: Overcrowding can cause stress to the fish and lead to illness. The right dimensions can guide you on the correct fish quantity to prevent overcrowding.

The importance of the tank’s dimensions doesn’t just end at purchasing. It continues to influence every aspect of aquarium maintenance.

Whether it’s the decor you choose, the fish species you introduce, or water quality, every detail is tied to the dimensions. Therefore, being aware of your tank’s size, both the external footprint and internal volume, is not just a feature – it’s a necessity in the world of aquarium-keeping.

It’s this knowledge that will ensure your aquatic pets lead a healthy and comfortable life. This understanding forms a bridge between you and your aquarium, ensuring you can fully comprehend and cater to your fish’s needs.

Essentially, the dimensions of a 55-gallon tank are the foundation on which your aquatic ecosystem will thrive and stand test of time.

How to Select the Right 55-Gallon Tank for Your Needs

Selecting the perfect 55-gallon tank is crucial. It forms the basis of a flourishing aquatic environment. Follow the steps below:

  1. Assess Room Space: Begin with assessing the space where the tank will be. Standard dimensions of a 55-gallon tank are typically 48 inches (122 cm) long13 inches (33 cm) wide, and 20 inches (51 cm) high. Ensure there is enough room.
  2. Decide on the Type of Tank: There are two main types of materials for 55-gallon tanks – glass and acrylic. Glass is heavier, but is less prone to scratches. Acrylic, while lighter and more resistant to impact, scratches easily.
  3. Understand the Weight Implications: An empty 55-gallon tank weighs around 80 pounds (36 kg). Once full, the weight shoots up to roughly 456 pounds (207 kg). Make sure your stand or surface can support this weight.
  4. Check the Lid: A sturdy lid is essential to prevent fish from jumping out or curious pets from getting in. It also reduces the rate of water evaporation.
  5. Examine the Lighting System: Built-in lighting systems offer aesthetic value, but they also benefit plant life within the tank and help in controlling algae growth.

Your choice should not only suit your aesthetic preferences, but it should also fit well within the available space and meet the weight constraints of your setup. Carefully considering these aspects will pave the way for a successful selection. Enjoy setting up your aquatic paradise.

What are the Common Uses for 55-Gallon Tanks?

Firstly, 55-gallon tanks are not only versatile but also serve multiple purposes and applications. They’re like the Swiss Army knife of container storage. Now, let’s dive into some of the most common uses:

  • Aquarium Hobby: The dimensions of these tanks make them a favorite amongst aquatic life enthusiasts. With a measure of 48″ L x 13″ W x 20″ H or 121.92cm L x 33.02cm W x 50.8cm H, there’s ample room for a variety of fish species, aquatic plants, and other living creatures.
  • Water Storage: Secure, high volume water storage is another practical application. Used predominantly for emergency preparedness, these tanks can store a significant amount of water for a lengthy duration.
  • Oil Storage: The same applies for oil as well. The petroleum industry often uses these tanks to store oil products safely due to their high resistance capabilities.
  • Growing Plants: In the sphere of horticulture, these tanks prove useful for creating miniature aquatic ecosystems or hydroponic systems.

Switching gears, let’s also consider some non-traditional utilizations of these tanks:

  • Beverage Production: Winemakers and brewers often utilize this size of tank. It offers ample space for fermenting large batches of alcoholic beverages.
  • Industrial Storage: Quite popular in industries as well. They store chemicals, solvents, and other materials safely due to their robust build.

Whether it’s nurturing a thriving marine ecosystem, storing life-essential liquids, or fermenting your favorite drink, there’s a 55-gallon tank fit for the task.

What are the Advantages of a 55-Gallon Breeder Tank?

An appealing choice for aquarists seeking a larger setup, the 55-gallon breeder tank brings many distinct advantages. Not necessarily just for breeders, it is excellent even for setting up a vivid, thriving aquatic ecosystem.

  • More Space: The size of the tank, 48″ L x 13″ W x 20″ H, or in metric terms approximately 122 cm x 33 cm x 51 cm, offers a notable capacity. This is fantastic for a variety of fish, not to mention the additional room for aquatic plants and other decors.
  • Enhanced Health of the Fish: With more water volume, toxins dilute and do not concentrate quickly. This, combined with the larger surface area for gaseous exchange, enhances the overall health of your aquatic life.
  • Versatility: The spaciousness of a 55-gallon tank allows aquarists to keep a variety of species together. Fish of various sizes and temperaments can flourish in such space.
  • Incredible Display: Lastly, this type of tank can house a fantastic diversity of life, creating an eyecatching, ever-changing underwater scene. From schools of colorful fish to intricate coral reefs, a 55-gallon tank can make a fantastic centerpiece.

Please note, while having many advantages, a larger tank also brings increased responsibility. Maintenance and proper installation become incredibly important. However, if managed efficiently, a 55-gallon tank offers an unmatched spectacle of aquatic life.

So, whether you are a breeder, a hobbyist, or just an enthusiast, opting for a 55-gallon breeder tank can prove to be a rewarding and fulfilling choice. Experience a whole new world of aquatic exploration as you dive into the depths of a 55-gallon tank adventure!

What is the Weight of a 55 Gallon Tank?

When considering tank dimensions, weight is also a crucial component. Here’s an overview:

  • Glass Tank: Empty – Roughly 80 pounds (36.3 kgs). Filled – Close to 456 pounds (206.8 kgs).
  • Acrylic Tank: Lighter than glass, approximately 20-30% less in weight.

Remember, a filled tank doesn’t only contain the weight of the water but also the gravel, plants, and other miscellaneous decor.

Weight Distribution

An empty glass 55-gallon tank weighs around 80 pounds (36.3 kgs). That’s empty. But, once you add water, the equation changes entirely. Every gallon of water added adds approximately 8.34 pounds (3.8 kgs). That means a filled glass tank can weigh close to 456 pounds (206.8 kgs).

On the other hand, acrylic tanks tend to be lighter. Typically, they might weigh 20-30% less than their glass counterparts, which can have significant implications if you’re concerned about floor load-baring capacity. Nevertheless, even an acrylic tank, when filled, becomes considerably heavy.

Variable Elements

Understand that these figures change based on various factors. Mixed materials, different types of water, decor, and the creatures inside also add to the final ‘occupied’ weight.

To sum up, knowing the weight of your chosen tank, both when empty and filled, is crucial. This will help you ensure your chosen spot can handle the weight, preventing potential disaster.

How do 55-Gallon Fish Tanks Compare to Other Tank Sizes?

Understanding fish tank sizes are vital for making wise decisions in fishkeeping. Unlike smaller tanks that require intense care due to limited water volume, the 55-gallon fish tank is a perfect balance.

  • Compared to small tanks (5-10 gallons), a 55-gallon tank provides more space for fish and decoration. These large tanks enhance the overall aesthetic of your room with an aquatic showpiece.
  • A 55-gallon fish tank allows fishes to behave more naturally than in smaller tanks. It accommodates more significant schools of fish and can even house larger species.
  • In the world of filters, more is better. With the more abundant space, you can install more substantial, more effective filters.
  • Compared to the larger tanks (75-100 gallons), a 55-gallon tank needs less upkeep.
  • Size definitely affects the waste-dilution process. The larger the tank size, the more efficient the process becomes. Hence, a 55-gallon tank requires less frequent water changes than its smaller counterparts.

Nevertheless, a 55-gallon tank is heavier and requires more space. A filled 55-gallon tank weighs 456 pounds (207 kg) and measures 48” L x 13” W x 20” H (approximately 122 cm x 33 cm x 51 cm). Set up in the wrong spot, it may require significant effort to move.

Tank Size (gallons) Water Volume (liters) Dimensions (inches) Dimensions (cm)
5-10 19-38 Various, usually compact Variably compact
55 208 48″ L x 13″ W x 20″ H 122 cm x 33 cm x 51 cm
75-100 284-378 Vary, generally larger sizes Vary, generally larger sizes

A 55-gallon tank strikes a balance between size, maintenance, and fish well-being. It’s the stepping stone into the realm of large, feature-filled fish tanks. Choose carefully based on your needs and capabilities.

What are the Practical Tips for Setting Up a 55-Gallon Tank?

Setting up a 55-gallon tank is an exciting challenge for fish lovers. With the right tips, this process becomes easier.

  1. Understand the Dimensions: Familiarise yourself with the dimensions of a standard 55-gallon tank – 48″ L x 13″ W x 20″ H (122 cm L x 33 cm W x 51 cm H). This allows you to decide the best location in your home.
  2. Choose the Right Location: Place your tank in a spot that supports its weight, is away from direct sunlight and near an electrical outlet.
  3. Consider the Weight: Remember, an empty 55-gallon tank weighs around 80 pounds (36 kg). Once filled with water, its weight shoots up to roughly 456 pounds (207 kg).
  4. Install Proper Equipment: Setting up the right equipment like heaters, filters, and lights is essential. Make sure they are suitable for a tank of this size.
  5. Layer Your Substrate: Spread 1-2 inches (2.5 – 5 cm) of substrate at the bottom of the tank for plant roots or aesthetic appeal.
  6. Introduce Decorations Strategically: Arrange rocks, plants, and other decorations in a way that mimics the natural habitats of your fish.
  7. Fill with Water: Fill the tank slowly and carefully to avoid disturbing the substrate or decorations.
  8. Run Your Equipment: Make sure all your equipment is working perfectly before introducing your fish.
  9. Introduce Your Fish: Once your tank is stable, start introducing your fish, but do it slowly and over time to prevent overwhelming the ecosystem.

Remember, patience is key when setting up a 55-gallon tank. Regularly check the water parameters and make sure your fish are comfortable. Stick to this guide and you’ll have a flourishing aquarium ready to impress!

FAQs About 55-Gallon Tank Dimensions

Here are 5 most common questions answered about 55 gallon fish tanks:

What are the dimensions of a standard 55-gallon tank?

The standard dimensions for a 55-gallon tank are 48 inches long (or 122 cm), 13 inches wide (or 33 cm), and 20 inches high (or 51 cm). It has a rectangular shape with comparatively longer length compared to its width and height.

Can I get a 55-gallon tank in different dimensions?

Yes, definitely. 55-gallon tanks can come in different shapes such as regular, long, and breeder. Its dimensions may vary depending on its shape. For example, a 55-gallon breeder tank may have more surface area and less height compared to a standard 55-gallon tank.

What is the space requirement for a 55-gallon tank?

Adding 4 to 5 inches (or 10 to 13 cm) to the length and width dimensions should be more than enough for equipment and maintenance. Hence, you’ll need a space of about 52 to 53 inches long, and 17 to 18 inches wide.

How about the weight of a 55-gallon tank when it’s full?

A full 55-gallon tank will weigh around 456 pounds (or 207 kilograms) filled with water. However, this could increase with decorations, equipment, and fish.

What is the weight of an empty 55-gallon tank?

An empty 55-gallon aquarium will weigh around 80 pounds (or 37 kilograms). So, plan your tank’s location keeping this in mind.


In deciding which 55-gallon tank suits best for your needs, considering dimensions, weight, and use will undoubtedly pave the way for a wise purchase. This guide provided you a comprehensive discussion about 55-gallon tank dimensions and we hope it was beneficial. Please share your experience or post any further questions you might have in the comments below.

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