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200 Gallon Fish Tank: Our Top Five Picks

Last Updated September 22, 2020
200 Gallon Fish Tank

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If you’re going to go big you might as well go BIG. While it might seem like 200 gallons is a huge aquarium, this amount simply still does not compare to the natural environments that your fish are actually coming from, though your fish will definitely appreciate it. There are a couple of advantages to keeping larger fish tanks, including maintaining water parameters and having a larger selection of livestock. 

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about 200 gallon fish tanks and some options that may be right for you!

Benefits of a larger aquarium size

When starting out in the home aquarium hobby, it is usually recommended to get the biggest fish tank that you can. But if you’re just becoming interested in marine life, wouldn’t you want to see if you like it before you make a huge investment? Here are a few reasons why it is always better to go bigger:

Water chemistry

At the heart of it all, science governs your fish aquarium. Delicate balances between ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, alkalinity, pH, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, dKH, salinity (if a saltwater tank), and many other trace nutrients and elements, are constantly interacting and exchanging and ultimately deciding the resulting system.

So when something causes one of these variables to fluctuate, like a dead fish, too much fish food, or other contaminants, the entire system is affected. For example, if one of your fish were to die and you couldn’t find it or reach it because it’s at the back of your tank, your ammonia would spike. However, with more water in a larger tank, detectable levels would be much less than they would be in a smaller aquarium due to more volume for dispersion as well as more filter media. 

Because of this, water changes are also a lot more forgiving if you don’t exactly match the parameters of the new water to the old water. The new water won’t have as much influence on the old parameters since only 10-20% of the water is being replaced. In larger saltwater fish tanks, this also helps with freshwater evaporation and maintaining salinity levels. 

Temperature fluctuations are also more likely to happen in smaller aquariums. Because there is more water volume in large systems, it takes longer for the water to cool off or heat up if your heater was to malfunction. 

Space

Overall, a larger aquarium offers more surface area for healthy bacteria that can support more fish, plants, and corals with still plenty of swimming space leftover. Many freshwater fish need to be kept in schools and in dense vegetation; a large aquarium can help bring their natural environment into the home and foster a mutual community ecosystem. Many saltwater fish can also be kept in schools, but more so, need space to establish their own territories. A larger aquarium allows more room for livestock that can happily live together!

No matter the species, most fish need to be able to have their own spot in the tank that they control and feel safe in. Many beginners immediately overstock their tanks and forget that it is best to introduce new fish based on aggressive and territorial tendencies. While this still holds true for larger fish tanks, it certainly makes establishing territories easier for more fish so that you don’t need to worry so much about them fighting. 

Larger fish tanks also allow for more physical filtration. Most hobbyists who decide on an aquarium of this size opt for a sump or canister filter system. As most large aquariums are kept on stands, it is convenient to hide equipment underneath the tank. With smaller fish tanks, it can be difficult to find a filter system that is an appropriate size for the bioload of the tank as well as the space in the cabinet. 

If this doesn’t convince you, just look at some pictures of emperor angelfish, arrowana, a massive school of tetras, or a complete mixed reef tank (soft corals, large polyp stony corals, small polyp stony corals). 

Our top five 200 gallon aquariums

Because it can be a little more difficult to find a large fish tank for sale that has 200 gallon dimensions, we have conveniently listed our top five choices. We considered practicality, durability, the ability to be customized, as well as customer reviews to compile our favorites. 

All fish tanks listed can be used for either freshwater or saltwater purposes. If desired, an acrylic tank would most likely need to be specially ordered. 

NUVO EXT 200 gallon Aquarium w/ APS Black Stand

The sleek NUVO EXT 200 gallon Aquarium w/ APS Black Stand includes a solid external glass overflow that is already pre-drilled at the far ends of the aquarium and comes will all the plumbing needed for a sump or canister filtration system. This aquarium measures 70.9″ L x 30″ W x 21.7″ H with the overflow being 23.6″ L x 3.5″ W x 5.9″H. It has 19 mm high clarity low iron glass with the thickness being 22 mm on the bottom panel. Silicone and back panel are colored black.

The 5-door (3 front, 2 “winged”) black aluminum stand is included and measures 70.9″ L x 30″ W x 35.4″ H. 

What we like:

  • Pre-drilled
  • Manageable height
  • Thicker bottom glass panel
  • Overflow doesn’t take up space in the tank

Room for improvement:

  • Pricey
  • Cannot lay flush against the wall due to external overflow

NUVO INT 200 Gallon Aquarium w/ APS Black Stand

The NUVO INT 200 Gallon Aquarium w/ APS Black Stand shares the same seamless design as the previous aquarium but includes an internal Infinity Overflow (C2C) instead of an external one. This tank measures 70.9″ L x 30″ W x 21.7″ H and has 19 mm high clarity low iron glass with 22 mm thickness on the bottom panel. All plumbing is included for external filtration and has centered return nozzles. Silicone and back panel are colored black.

The 5-door (3 front, 2 “winged”) black aluminum stand is included and measures 70.9″ L x 30″ W x 35.4″ H. 

What we like:

  • Pre-drilled
  • Manageable height
  • Thicker bottom glass panel
  • Tank can lay flush against the wall

Room for improvement:

  • Pricey
  • Overflow takes up space within the tank

200 Gallon ProStar Rimless Glass Aquarium – White

The 200 Gallon ProStar Rimless Glass Aquarium – White is an almost-complete all in one system that includes an internal overflow, stand, plumbing, sump, and auto top off (ATO) system. This rimless tank measures 60″ L x 26″ W x 24″ H and has high clarity low iron glass. 

The glossy white aluminum stand is lightweight and measures 60″ L x 26″ W x 34″ H. 

What we like:

  • Includes plumbing, ATO, and sump
  • Rimless
  • Stand has adjustable legs for leveling
  • Good budget tank

Room for improvement:

  • Plumbing is not the best quality
  • Tank is a little taller than average

Marineland Deep Dimension Corner-Flo™ Black Aquarium

If you’re not looking for anything too fancy, the Marineland Deep Dimension Corner-Flo™ Black Aquarium is a good base system that may need some reinforcement. This rimmed tank measures 48.13″ L x 36″ W x 27.13″ H and has 12 mm glass with a 16 mm bottom panel. These fish tanks have pre-drilled corner overflows for external plumbing and include some parts needed. Silicone is colored black. 

Stand is not included. 

What we like:

  • Included plumbing and pre-installed overflow
  • Pre-drilled
  • Two overflows

Room for improvement:

  • Notorious for leaks in 100+ systems
  • Deep tank
  • No stand included

ELOS System Diamond Line 160 XL (200 gal)

The ELOS System Diamond Line 160 XL (200 gal) is perfect for those wanting a rimless peninsula setup with vantage points from three sides. These minimalistic fish tanks measure 63″ L x 31.5″ W x 23.6″ H and have 15 mm diamond glass that has an impressive 98% clarity. A small internal corner quiet drain overflow leads to an optional SS 36 XL Bashsea sump that perfectly fits in the aquarium stand. This sump features a de-gas chamber, mechanical chamber, and chemical chamber. 

The stand measures 63″ H x 31.5″ W x 35″ H. 

What we like:

  • Small internal overflow
  • Peninsula setup
  • Rimless

Room for improvement:

  • Sump not included
  • Available in the United States but limited in Europe

FAQ

How much does a 200 gallon fish tank cost?

The cost for setting up a 200 gallon tank can greatly vary. Some hobbyists will use this space to set up a simple freshwater community tank while others will bring a slice of the ocean into their home with a massive reef system. 

On average, a new 200 gallon tank will cost easily upwards of 3,000 USD just for the tank alone; luckily, for these prices, the stand will also usually be included.

No matter a sump or a hang on the back filter (HOB), equipment for this large of a tank will be expensive regardless. It all depends on what kind of tank you want to set up and the filtration system you want to run. However, it is definitely worth it to go with more reliable and durable equipment from the start so that you don’t need to replace anything down the line. 

How big is a 200 gallon fish tank?

200 gallons is not one of the most typical standard sizes for aquariums, so measurements are very likely to differ between manufacturers. 

On average, your tank will measure 65″ L x 30″ W x 24″ H. 

How heavy is a 200 gallon fish tank?

A gallon of water weighs approximately 8 lbs. Multiply this by 200 and the water weight alone of your tank is 1600 lbs. Add in all the substrate, decorations, weight of the physical tank and stand, as well as all the other equipment–which could also include a sizeable filled sump–and you’re looking at another several hundred pounds. 

In the end, your fish tank could end up weighing close to or over a ton! Definitely make sure that your floorboards can handle that amount of weight. 

What is the biggest fish tank you can buy?

Nowadays, there are many options for customizable aquarium tanks so there is a lot more availability of the desired gallons and dimensions. However, anything past a 100 gallon fish tank starts to become harder to find, more expensive, and the gallons become less incremental. 

If you’re looking for something smaller, we have also compiled a list of our favorite 90 gallon aquariums

200 Gallon Aquarium

Conclusion 

A 200 gallon aquarium is no small commitment but after a year of having a spectacular display, you will have no regrets. Larger fish tanks are ultimately easier to maintain and offer more space for a happy and healthy ecosystem. 

There are a few things to consider before purchasing your home aquarium, especially concerning the schematics of the physical tank and the filtration system. Before getting your fish aquarium, ask yourself:

  • Where do you want to place the tank? And will your floor support the weight?
  • Do you want an overflow box in the corner or in the center?
  • Do you want a rimless or a rimmed tank?
  • Do you want to be able to customize the stand and sump?
  • Do you want a peninsula display or traditional? 

While you may be eager to get your tank wet, remember that nothing in fish husbandry comes fast. Take your time and invest in quality early to prevent having to spend extra later. Make a plan and a budget and lastly, enjoy it!

Good luck on your new home aquarium!

If you have any questions about 200-gallon aquarium systems or have experience with larger fish tanks, make sure to leave a comment below!

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