Bow front aquariums are typically made of acrylic and come in a number of shapes and sizes. As the name suggests, a bow front tank will have a curved front panel, making a convex shape for viewing fish in the aquarium. Larger acrylic bow front tanks are preferable to their glass counterparts, since they weigh significantly less. Bow front aquariums can be used for both freshwater and saltwater fish tanks.
The smallest bow front tanks available are considered "mini" tanks, and range in size from one to five gallons. These tanks can hold one to two fish, depending on the size of the fish. These tanks typically have a filter and light built into the lid, and are used for freshwater fish. This size is often used for desk top or counter top tanks.
Comparable to a standard 10-gallon tank, a bow front comes in 13.3 and 16 gallon sizes. These can hold larger quantities of community fish, usually in freshwater environments. The 13.3-gallon tank is 23.6 inches long by 11.4 inches wide and 11.4 inches tall. The 16-gallon tank is 20 inches long by 13 inches wide and 18 inches tall.
Larger bow front tanks come in a variety of sizes ranging from 50 gallons to 125 gallons. These sizes are usually made of acrylic to reduce the overall weight of the tank. Acrylic tanks are more vibrant, as they appear 40 percent brighter than a glass tank. They also don't have corner seams like rectangle tanks, so there is no discoloration from sealants.
Irregular Sizes and Shapes
Bow front tanks also come in irregular shapes, such as corner or hexagonal tanks. These are more rare than the standard bow front and the irregular size can reduce the amount of fish that can be housed. The footprint of an aquarium ultimately dictates how many fish can live in the habitat. The footprint is calculated by multiplying the tanks length by its width as measured at the bottom of the tank. Taller tanks with a smaller footprint will ultimately hold less fish than a tank of longer dimensions.