Corner Fish Tank (Setup Ideas, Equipment, Stocking And Much More…)

If you have a boring corner in your home or office, a corner fish tank is a wonderful way to liven it up.

With its unique curved shape, it offers an attractive panoramic view into your miniature watery world.

They will support just about any kind of saltwater or freshwater habitat, but are best for your most eye-catching setups.

From freshwater forests to colorful reefs, corner fish tanks have a lot to offer.

Are you ready to keep your first one? Keep reading to learn all you need to know about corner fish tanks…

Corner Fish Tank 101 (Overview)

Corner Fish Tank

A corner fish tank is a wedge shaped aquarium with a wide, curved glass front.

They can be long or tall and come in many different sizes, but they are typically smaller (75 gallons or less) than other kinds of aquariums.

Their smaller dimensions make them beginner friendly, and they are often found as part of aquarium starter kit.

They are safe for most beginner fish and plants, and large enough to hold all of the necessary fishkeeping equipment.

Since they do not offer as much space as a rectangular aquarium, stocking and decoration can be a bit of a challenge. However, the picturesque curved view of your habitat makes it well worth it!

Corner fish tanks are usually made from acrylic, rather than glass. If possible, we would recommend you get a glass corner tank as it is sturdier and provides a much clearer view.

A 10 to 15 gallon beginner corner aquarium can be as little as $40, while you will be paying over $200 for a 75 gallon. Those with built-in hoods and stands will be even more – they can be anywhere from $400 to $1000.

Corner Fish Tank Equipment

Fish Tank Gravel Syphon

Filter

When picking your aquarium filter, you should always keep three things in mind:

  1. Size of your habitat
  2. Number of fish
  3. Tolerance ranges for these fish

If your aquarium is less than 30 gallons, an internal filter is the best choice. These include internal power filters and undergravel filters.

These types of filters will also create small currents and movement in your tank, simulating the natural flow of freshwater streams.

For larger habitats, you will need to use an external filter.

A canister filter is the best kind of external filter for this setup. They are easy to clean and provide the added bonus of helping to keep your water aerated.

Heater

A heater is a must for any kind of tropical setup.

Tropical fish and plants are often very sensitive to temperatures below 75°F. You will also need one for warmer temperate environments and to maintain your temperature during the colder months.

Room temperature for water can be as low as 68°F, which is too low for many fish to tolerate.

Since curved tanks usually come with built-in hoods, the best choice is a hang on back heater.

There are heaters that can work in conjunction with your filter to keep a supply of warm water circulating through your tank. These mimic the thermohaline circulation that occurs in the ocean.

Some power filters may even come equipped with heaters. These are great for larger tropical environments that need a power filter.

Lights

Hooded aquariums benefit from a light that sits right on top of the hood. Some hoods even come with these lights built in. Hood lights are usually fluorescent or LED.

LED lights are often included in aquarium starter kits and will usually clip right on to your hood. These lights are not only beneficial, but can be very attractive. They can even come in different colors.

Full-spectrum lights are a must for some species of fish and many tropical plants. For heavily planted biotopes, you may need to buy a separate lighting system that mimics the sun’s rays.

Other Equipment

Corner fish tanks are designed to sit on top of stands – for the best appearance, your stand should match the color and texture of your hood.

All fish need enough oxygen, and sometimes the aeration provided by your filter is not enough.

An aerator or a few well-placed air stones provide some extra oxygen to your water column and form sparkling bubbles in your water.

Just like in nature, temperature and water parameters can shift and fluctuate for all kinds of reasons – for this reason a thermometer and a water quality testing kit is a must.

You will also need some cleaning equipment such as a gravel syphon, an algae magnet and a bucket to carry out water changes.

Best Fish For Corner Fish Tanks

Adding Fish to Tank

The best fish for a corner tank are the ones bright enough to make it stand out.

These tanks are perfect for colorful tropical fish, but there are plenty of beautiful temperate fish that can make it stand out as well.

Freshwater Fish Description
Goldfish This iconic aquarium fish can be found in just about any fish store. Goldfish must be kept in a tank that is at least 50 gallons.
Tetras Tetras are an aquarium staple that you will find in most tropical setups. Their iridescent scales and bright colors will liven up just about any aquarium.
Gouramis These tropical freshwater fish are among the showiest you can find. Most of them are very peaceful and compatible with other tropical fish.
Rasboras These shy minnows will add a dash of color to a tiny tabletop biotope. A few schools of Harlequin or Chili Rasboras can liven up a single species planted habitat.
Zebra Danios A community classic that comes in all sorts of different colors and patterns. These peaceful Danios will get along well with just about anything.
Saltwater Fish Description
Clownfish The coral reef classic Clownfish and their anemone partners will give your reef a great natural look. They are compatible with most other peaceful reef fish.
Surgeonfish Surgeonfish, particularly the Blue Tang, are very common sights in saltwater reef setups. However they can be difficult to care for and are better for keepers with lots of experience.
Royal Gramma This regal purple fish commands attention, adding a few of them is guaranteed to make your reef stand out.
Wrasses Wrasses are both small enough to fit in a basic corner setup and bright enough to stand out against your corals and your other fish. Blue Line and Six Line Wrasses are particularly popular choices.
Gobies Gobies include both freshwater and saltwater fish, but the reef dwelling Gobies have the most striking patterns. Neon Gobies and Spotted Gobies are among the best and brightest.

Corner Tank Setup Ideas

Stocking Ideas

Due to their shape, most corner fish tanks do not provide the same amount of space as a typical rectangular aquarium.

The largest corner fish tanks are around 75 gallons.

These tanks are typically used to draw attention to a particularly dull area of a room. You will want to make sure that your setup is bright and colorful enough to stand out.

Coldwater

Coldwater freshwater setups are the easiest to maintain.

They can have layered gravel, sand or cobble substrates. You can decorate them with large boulders and rocky structures and arches.

Naturally these habitats are among the dullest – you will have to select the right fish and plants to make sure they command attention.

Dwarf Rotalas grow in beautiful red, pink, or yellow colors to accent your midground or background.

Weeds such as Anacharis and Tapegrass will give your habitat a natural look. These can grow very tall and are great for the backgrounds of tall setups.

You could also consider your typical Goldfish habitat.

Tropical

Tropical freshwater setups have slightly higher demands than temperate habitats. They must maintain a temperature between 77-85°F.

The substrate should be mud, sand or very fine gravel. You can decorate with large stones, logs and driftwood.

A tropical freshwater environment can include Amazon Swords and other smaller Sword Plants, Java Ferns, and Anubias. You can use showy Christmas and Peacock Mosses to carpet your sediment and décor.

Saltwater

If you feel you are ready to take on the demands of a saltwater aquarium, a reef aquarium is one of the best possible corner setups you can have.

Coral reefs should be set on aragonite sand and include rocks for the coral polyps to establish themselves on. You can decorate with colorful Cowrie or Conch shells.

Corals are very sensitive to temperature and water quality. They need temperatures between 74-85°F to grow.

They need a marine salinity between 32-42 ppt. A reef aquarium will need to be checked on a weekly basis to make sure the environment is stable enough for your corals.

How To Maintain A Corner Fish Tank

Tank Maintenance

Most aquariums can be cleaned every month – if yours is particularly crowded or messy, it may need to be cleaned twice a month.

When caring for your aquarium, the temperature and water quality should be checked on a daily basis. If your temperature is too high or too low, you will need to adjust your heater. Temperature checks are especially important in reef aquariums and other tropical biotopes. A drastic drop or rise in temperature could spell disaster!

If your pH is too high, adding a bit of Sphagnum Moss or other plant material will help make your environment more acidic. Low pHs can be raised by adding a small amount of baking soda to your water.

You should check your filter every week to make sure it is circulating water – if not, it will need to be cleaned or repaired.

Your corner fish tank should be given a partial water change every 2 to 4 weeks. Replace up to 50 percent of the water with new clean, dechlorinated water.

You may notice a buildup of waste around your screen and under your hood. This is caused by the natural buildup of algae over time. You can use a magnetic algae cleaner to remove algae from your screen and your hood. For non-algal residue, use a damp rag and a fish-safe cleaner from an aquarium supplier.

Summary

A corner fish tank can easily become the showpiece of even the most dull and drab rooms.

Whether you are just starting out or are a seasoned fishkeeping veteran, there is something for you with this kind of setup.

If you are used to working with larger size aquariums, you might find the size and shape to be a little daunting at first. However, you will soon learn that it can be home just about any kind of habitat and plenty of colorful fish and plants.

What kind of habitat will you keep in your corner fish tank? Let us know in the comments section below…

Robert Woods Portrait
Robert Woods is the creator of FishKeeping World, a third generation fish keeper and a graduate in animal welfare and behavior. He is also a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America and the Nature Conservancy.

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