Have you ever tried to move a fish tank to a new spot, only to realize how heavy it is? While they may not look like it, even small tanks are incredibly heavy. Before bringing your new fish tank home, it’s important to know how heavy it is.
When it’s empty, a 20 gallon glass fish tank has a weight of 25 pounds. However, water adds more weight. A tank full of water weighs 225 pounds. Any gravel, decorations, and filters will also increase the weight.
Keep reading to learn how to create the right environment for fish in your new tank.
How Much Does a 20 Gallon Fish Tank Weigh Empty?
The weight of an aquarium depends on the thickness of its walls, its dimensions, and the weight of the glass per millimeter. Thankfully, we’ve completed this confusing mathematical equation for you so that you don’t have to.
When it’s empty, a 20 gallon glass fish tank weighs 25 pounds. An acrylic fish tank of the same size will weigh slightly less. Glass fish tanks are much more common than acrylic fish tanks, so you’ll probably be bringing home a glass fish tank.
Is a 20 Gallon Aquarium a Good Size?
A 20 gallon aquarium is a good size for many situations. It’s considered a medium-size aquarium, which makes it ideal for most fish owners.
If you’re new to keeping fish, a 20 gallon aquarium will help keep your fish happy and healthy. While smaller tanks may seem easier to care for, the opposite is actually true. A 20 gallon tank is easier to clean than a 5 or 10 gallon tank because it’s easier to reach inside the tank to clean it thoroughly.
A 20 gallon tank is also less temperamental than smaller tanks. Its larger size helps to reduce the effects of any changes in pH or water cleanliness. Because there is more water in the tank, it takes a larger change in environment for fish to be affected.
How Many Fish Can Live in a 20 Gallon Tank?
You will need to provide a gallon of water for each inch of fish in your aquarium. This makes sure each fish has enough room to be comfortable.
Let’s say you want to try adding tetra fish to your new tank. They can grow to be 1.5 inches long, so you can safely keep up to 13 of them in your 20 gallon tank.If you add platies, which can grow to be up to 3 inches long, you should only keep 6 or 7 of them to make sure they have enough room.
While this rule of thumb works in many cases, you should also consider the temperament of the fish you hope to keep in your 20 gallon tank. Some don’t play well with others and prefer to be by themselves.
Betta fish are a great example: even though they are only about 2 inches long full-grown, they are incredibly territorial and need a lot of space. For this reason, you should only have one male and/or two to three female betta fish in your 20 gallon tank.
What Temperature Does a 20 Gallon Fish Tank Need to Be?
Unfortunately, there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to aquarium temperature. The ideal temperature for your tank depends on the type of fish you plan to keep in it.
Cold water fish prefer typically prefer water temperatures around 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. For these fish, a tank heater is usually unnecessary. Here are some common cold water fish:
- Paradise Fish
- Clown Killifish
- Dojo Loach
Tropical fish, on the other hand, usually require a tank heater to thrive. These fish prefer water temperatures ranging anywhere from 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Here are some tropical fish to consider adding to your 20 gallon fish tank:
- Betta Fish
- Cherry Barb
- Neon Tetra
Be sure to research the specific species of fish you’d like to add to your tank before bringing them home to make sure they will do well with your current setup.
How Much Gravel Do I Need for a 20 Gallon Fish Tank?
Adding gravel to your fish tank serves two main purposes: it gives fish a place to burrow and hide, and it gives beneficial bacteria a place to thrive. However, you don’t want to add too much or too little gravel to your tank. Adding too much will make the tank difficult to clean, while not adding enough can prevent beneficial bacteria from growing.
You should add one pound of gravel for each gallon of water your tank can hold. For a 20 gallon tank, then, you would add 20 pounds of gravel. This will cover 1-2 inches of the bottom of your tank, giving the fish a place to safely hang out.
How Long Does It Take for a 20 Gallon Tank to Cycle?
It can take anywhere from four to eight weeks to cycle a 20 gallon fish tank. You can speed up the cycling process by adding established media, such as a used filter from an established fish tank.
Be sure to do a water change each day while your tank is cycling. Remove and replace about 15% of the water in your tank each day. After a few weeks, the ammonia and nitrate levels in the water will start to decrease.
To make sure your tank has cycled completely, take a sample of the tank water to a fish store near you. Most offer water testing for free. It’s important to confirm that your tank has completely cycled before adding new fish to the water. Doing so will help your fish thrive.
A 20 gallon fish tank is a great choice for most hobby fish owners. It’s easy to clean, large enough to house several fish, and it’s easy to transport when it’s empty. By following the tips in this article, you’ll be able to create the perfect environment for the fish of your choice in your new 20 gallon tank.