Aquarium advice

Shallow, Cube or Long Aquarium? - Which Fish Tank Shape is Best 2023

Planted Cube Aquarium

Rimless Aquariums:

High quality glass aquariums come in a range of sizes, some rimless aquariums are available in standard dimensions and others are bit different. High quality rimless aquariums are normally given a code name depending on their length and shape. For example, you can purchase a 45P aquarium which is a tank with standard dimensions and 45cm in length, however a 45F is also 45cm long but will be a shallow version of the same tank. Always check the actual dimensions of the tank that you plan to buy as exact dimensions can differ slightly between brands. In the last 5 years we have seen new shapes of aquarium become more readily available which is great to see! The shape of your rimless tank can impact the overall look and what livestock you can keep.


Standard – Standard shaped aquariums are robust and very popular for a reason. You have lots of options in terms of aquascape and livestock choice with these tanks. They provide ample horizontal and vertical space. These tanks are best enjoyed when viewed from the side.

Shallow – Tanks which are wider than they are deep can look great with emersed hardscape and plants. Floor spaced is maximised in a tank like this when you compare water volume to different shapes of aquariums. Nano fish and shrimp can work well in setups of this style. Shallow tanks are great for creating an indoor pond style tank which can be enjoyed from above as well as side on.

Long – Long aquariums are great for aquascaping as the eye is drawn from left to right across the aquascape. Because they are not very deep, smaller hardscape can still be impactful making them much easier to scape than a standard sized aquarium. Long tanks are great for maximising floor space, species like shell dwellers can do well in long tanks. These are my personal favourite shape of aquarium and I think they look best when placed in a peninsula orientation allowing them to be viewed from both sides.

Tall – Tall aquariums can be a bit tricky, most fish appreciated horizontal space over vertical space. Also, because you have a smaller area of water in contact with the air there will be slightly less oxygen available. However, tall aquascapes can look amazing, tall plants and hardscape look best in this style of tank. Shrimp usually do best in tanks of this shape due to the limited horizontal space.

Cube – Cube tanks look neat and do not require much footprint space, cube tanks are commonly used on desks because of this. Cube tanks are generally quite diverse in the fact that they provide the same amount of horizontal space as vertical space. Cube style aquariums are very popular fish nano fish and nano reef tanks.


Please note: No matter the shape of aquarium you choose, ensure you tank is large enough for your livestock and has adequate water volume and filtration.



AQUAnatur was created by an established UK aquarium installation and maintenance company near London which has been running for over 25 years! Our team are very experienced and happy to help offer advice with any aquarium questions. We are always available via phone or email Monday-Friday, feel free to contact us, we would love to help! AQUAnatur supply a range of aquariums and aquascaping products. If you have a question, please leave a comment or contact us via phone or email.

By Alasdair McPhail

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