Bow Front Aquarium Sizes & Dimensions [A Beginners Guide]

When it comes to bow-front aquariums, you can find a wide range of sizes to choose from. These aquariums have a curved front, which creates a unique and visually appealing look.

Small bow front aquariums typically range from 16 to 26 gallons, suitable for a few small fish species or a single betta fish. Medium-sized ones, ranging from 36 to 46 gallons, offer ample space for a diverse fish collection. Larger bow-front aquariums start from 72 gallons and go up to several hundred gallons, perfect for housing sizable fish like Oscars and cichlids.

You need to choose the right bow front aquarium size that suits your space, budget, and the fish species you want to keep. Are you excited to enjoy the beauty of a curved aquarium that adds a touch of elegance to any room?

Bow front fish tank

What Is A Bow Front Aquarium?

A bow-front aquarium is a type of aquarium that features a curved front panel, giving it a unique and visually appealing appearance.

Unlike traditional rectangular aquariums, bow-front aquariums have a convex-shaped front glass that creates a panoramic view of the aquatic environment.

These aquariums are becoming increasingly popular among fishkeepers and are suitable for both freshwater and saltwater setups. Here are some key points to consider about bow-front aquariums:

Are Bow Front Aquariums Good? [Pros & Cons]

Bow-front aquariums are a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts due to their unique design and aesthetic appeal. But are bow-front aquariums good?

Let’s explore the pros and cons of these aquariums to help you make an informed decision.

36 gallon bow front fish tank
36-gallon bow front fish tank

Pros Of Bow Front Aquariums

  • Charming aesthetics: Bow-front aquariums have a unique and elegant appearance that can enhance the overall aesthetics of your room. The curved glass front adds sophistication and beauty to your aquarium setup, making it a stunning centerpiece in any home or office.
  • Ample swimming space: Bow front aquariums typically offer more swimming space for your fish compared to standard rectangular tanks of the same gallonage. The curved front panel gives your fish more room to explore, promoting active swimming behaviors and reducing stress.
  • Versatile placement options: Thanks to their curved design, bow front aquariums fit well in corners or against walls, saving valuable space. This versatility allows you to position your tank in various locations, maximizing the visual impact without compromising on convenience.
  • Suitable for community tanks: Bow-front aquariums are an excellent choice for community tanks due to their curved shape. The curved front panel offers more swimming space and reduces the aggression that can occur in some fish species, creating a harmonious environment for multiple fish species to coexist.
A beautiful bow front fish tank
A beautiful bow-front fish tank

Cons Of Bow Front Aquariums

  • Cost: Bow-front aquariums tend to be slightly more expensive than their rectangular counterparts. The curved glass and custom design contribute to the higher price tag. However, the unique aesthetics and added swimming space can outweigh this drawback for many aquarium enthusiasts.
  • Limited aquascape options: The curved front panel of a bow front aquarium can limit your aquascaping options. It can be more challenging to create intricate underwater landscapes or arrange rocks and driftwood due to the curved surface. However, with careful planning and creativity, you can still achieve a visually pleasing aquascape in a bow front tank.
  • Cleaning challenges: Cleaning a bow-front aquarium can be slightly more challenging than cleaning a standard rectangular tank. The curved front panel can make it trickier to reach all areas of the tank during maintenance. However, specialized cleaning tools and equipment can help overcome this hurdle.
  • Distorted view: Due to the curved glass, some distortion may occur, which can slightly affect the clarity of the view. However, this is a minor drawback that is usually not overly noticeable and doesn’t significantly impact the overall enjoyment of the aquarium.
  • Availability: Bow-front aquariums may not be available in as many sizes as standard rectangular tanks. While there is a good range of sizes to choose from, you may find slightly fewer options when compared to regular tanks. However, the available sizes should still be sufficient to meet the needs of most hobbyists.
Bowfront saltwater fish tank
Bow-front saltwater fish tank

Bow Front Aquarium Sizes [With Dimensions]

The dimensions and water capacity provided in the below table are based on typical industry standards for bow-front aquariums. The most common bow front shape is the “standard” design, where the front panel gently curves outward, creating a bow-like appearance.

Aquarium Size (Gallons)Dimensions (Inches)Water Capacity (Pounds)
1620 x 10 x 19.5133.4
2624 x 15 x 21.5221.8
3630 x 15 x 21.5319.1
4636 x 16 x 20.2407.6
7248 x 18 x 23.6642.9
9048.5 x 18.5 x 25.3750.6

To find the water capacity or size of the aquarium, I used the formula for the volume of a rectangular aquarium (L x W x H) and then adjust it to account for the curved front panel.

The standard formula for calculating the volume of a rectangular aquarium is: Volume (in gallons) = Length (in inches) x Width (in inches) x Height (in inches) / 231

Since a bow front aquarium has a curved front panel, I will consider the water capacity based on the widest point of the front curve to ensure an accurate estimate.

Again, please remember that these values are approximations and may vary based on the specific design and construction of each individual aquarium. Always check with the manufacturer or seller for precise measurements and water capacity.

I’ll now provide a little more information on the most popular bow-front aquariums.

16 Gallon Bow Front Aquarium

  • Capacity: 16 gallons
  • Dimensions: 20 inches (l) x 10 inches (w) x 19.5 inches (h)
  • Ideal for: Small to medium-sized fish species such as tetras, guppies, and angelfish
  • Noteworthy features: Compact size, fits well in smaller spaces, and requires less maintenance compared to larger aquariums
  • Suitable for: Beginners and those with limited space

36 Gallon Bow Front Aquarium

36 gallon bow front aquarium with stand
36-gallon bow front aquarium with stand
  • Capacity: 36 gallons
  • Dimensions: 30 inches (l) x 15 inches (w) x 21.5 inches (h)
  • Ideal for: Medium-sized fish species like cichlids, mollies, and swordtails
  • Noteworthy features: Provides ample swimming space for fish, allowing them to exhibit their natural behaviors and thrive
  • Suitable for: Intermediate fishkeepers with some experience in aquarium maintenance

72 Gallon Bow Front Aquarium

72-gallon bow-front aquarium
72-gallon bow-front aquarium
  • Capacity: 72 gallons
  • Dimensions: 48 inches (l) x 18 inches (w) x 23.6 inches (h)
  • Ideal for: Larger fish species such as Oscars, large cichlids, and certain freshwater predators
  • Noteworthy features: Spacious tank size, perfect for showcasing a diverse selection of fish or creating stunning aquascape designs
  • Suitable for: Experienced fishkeepers with a strong knowledge of fish compatibility and tank maintenance

90 Gallon Bow Front Aquarium

90 gallon bow-front aquarium
90-gallon bow-front aquarium
  • Capacity: 90 gallons
  • Dimensions: 48.5 inches (l) x 18.5 inches (w) x 25.3 inches (h)
  • Ideal for: Large fish species including datnoids, arowanas, and other big fishes.
  • Noteworthy features: Impressive size, serves as an eye-catching centerpiece, and offers ample room for fish to grow and thrive
  • Suitable for: Advanced fishkeepers with experience in maintaining larger aquariums

The popularity of bow-front aquariums can be attributed to their unique shape, which adds depth and dimension to the aquatic environment. Additionally, their elegant design complements a wide range of decorative styles and enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of any space.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned fish enthusiast, there’s a bow-front aquarium size to suit your preferences and skill level.

What Are Different Shapes Available Of Bow Front Aquarium?

If you’re considering getting a bow-front aquarium, it’s essential to understand the different shapes available to find the perfect fit for your home or office.

In this section, I’ll explore the various shapes of bow-front aquariums and the features each one offers.

Standard Bow Front Aquariums

46-gallon standard bow-front aquarium
46-gallon standard bow-front aquarium
  • Standard bow front aquariums feature a gentle curve in the front panel, creating a smooth and seamless look. They are the most common type of bow front shape and are available in a wide range of sizes, making them suitable for both beginners and experienced fishkeepers.
  • The curved front panel not only enhances the viewing experience but also provides a larger swimming space for your aquatic pets compared to traditional rectangular tanks.

Cube Bow Front Aquariums

Cube bow front aquarium Courtesy: AquaVim
  • For those looking to make a statement, cube bow-front aquariums are an excellent choice. These tanks feature a square front panel with a pronounced bow, creating a striking and dramatic effect.
  • Cube bow front aquariums offer a more compact and space-saving design compared to their standard counterparts. They are ideal for smaller rooms or areas where space is limited.
  • Despite their compact size, cube bow front aquariums still provide ample swimming space for your fish.

Corner Bow Front Aquariums

Corner bow front aquarium
Corner bow front aquarium
  • If you have an empty corner in your living room or office that’s just begging to be filled, a corner bow-front aquarium is the perfect solution. These tanks are specifically designed to fit snugly into corners, maximizing space utilization.
  • Corner bow front aquariums feature an angled front panel that seamlessly integrates into the room’s architecture. creating a visually pleasing and harmonious display. It also allows for a broader viewing angle.

Half Cylinder Bow Front Aquariums

half-cylinder 72 gallon bow-front aquarium
half-cylinder 72-gallon bow-front aquarium
  • For those who want to go beyond traditional shapes, half-cylinder bow-front aquariums offer a unique and captivating design. These tanks feature a cylindrical front panel that curves gracefully, resembling half of a cylinder.
  • Half-cylinder bow front aquariums create a stunning focal point wherever they are placed, drawing the eye to their mesmerizing curved front. Their captivating shape brings a touch of elegance and sophistication to any space.
  • The cylindrical design of these tanks means they are best suited for larger areas where they can be showcased and admired from all angles.

Inverted Bow Front Aquariums

Bow front fish tank; Courtesy: titan aquatic exhibits
  • An inverted bow front aquarium, also known as a reverse bow front, is a fascinating variation of the traditional bow front tank. What sets it apart is its gracefully curved front panel that bends inwards, creating a unique concave shape instead of the usual outward curve seen in regular bow front tanks
  • The curved glass of the front panel minimizes distortion, providing a clearer and more immersive view of the aquatic life inside the tank.
  • Inverted bow-front aquariums are often designed to fit into corners or against walls, making efficient use of available space in a room. However, The concave shape may reduce the swim space for fish at the front.

Choosing The Right Size For Your Space

When it comes to choosing the perfect bow-front aquarium size, there are several factors you need to consider. Each factor plays a crucial role in creating an optimal environment for your fish and enhancing your overall aquarium experience. Here are the key points to keep in mind:

Available Space And Location In Your Home

  • Measure the available space: Before selecting the size of your bow-front aquarium, measure the area where you plan to place it. This will help you determine the maximum dimensions that will fit perfectly.
  • Consider the room layout: Take into account the location and layout of the room. Make sure the aquarium will not obstruct walkways or interfere with other furniture.
  • Suitable support surface: Ensure that the chosen location can provide stable support for the weight of the aquarium, including the water, decorations, and equipment.
Top view of a bow front aquarium
Top view of a bow-front aquarium

Ease Of Maintenance And Cleaning

  • Accessibility for maintenance: A larger aquarium may require more effort and time for maintenance. Consider the accessibility of the tank for cleaning, water changes, and equipment maintenance.

Budget Considerations

  • Initial setup costs: Larger bow-front aquariums tend to have higher initial costs due to the increased size and required equipment. Consider your budget when selecting the tank size and factor in expenses like lighting, filtration, substrate, and decorations.
  • Long-term costs: A larger aquarium generally requires more resources for maintenance, such as increased electricity for lighting and filtration. Take into account the long-term costs involved in running and maintaining a larger tank.

By considering these factors – available space and location in your home, ease of maintenance and cleaning, and budget considerations – you can choose the ideal bow-front aquarium size.

Frequently Asked Questions On Bow Front Aquariums

Are Bow Front Aquariums More Expensive Than Standard Rectangular Ones?

Typically, bow-front aquariums are slightly more expensive than standard rectangular tanks. The curved glass and additional structural support required for the bow front design contribute to the higher cost. However, the enhanced visual appeal and unique look make it a worthwhile investment for many aquarium enthusiasts.

Can I Use A Bow Front Aquarium For Saltwater Fish?

Yes, bow-front aquariums are suitable for saltwater fish. With proper equipment, filtration, and maintenance, you can create a beautiful saltwater tank in a bow-front aquarium. Just ensure you research the specific needs and requirements of the saltwater fish you plan to keep and provide them with the necessary conditions for their well-being.

What Should I Consider When Choosing A Stand For My Bow Front Aquarium?

When choosing a stand for your bow front aquarium, it is crucial to consider its size, weight-bearing capacity, and overall design. Ensure the stand is specifically designed to support the weight and shape of a bow front tank. It should be sturdy, level, and capable of providing adequate support to prevent any accidents or damage to the aquarium.


Overall, choosing the right size for your bow-front aquarium is crucial to the health and happiness of your fish. The size of your tank will impact the number and types of fish you can keep, as well as the overall maintenance and care required.

It’s important to consider the space you have available, as well as your budget and level of experience. While larger tanks may require more effort to maintain, they often provide a more stable environment for your fish.

On the other hand, smaller tanks can be more affordable and easier to manage if you are just starting out.

Sujit Modak

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