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How many gallons of water can you put in a 10 gallon aquarium?


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9 hours ago, Daniel said:

One of the many questions @Cory gets is: How many...

So, in today's inaugural episode of 'Care Forum Investigates', where average fish keepers of average intelligence attempt to solve simple problems, the question is…

How many gallons of water can I put in a 10 gallon tank?


I'm not the only one apparently. According to Google people have asked:


Not having the fancy scientific equipment to answer the question 'How many gallons does a 10 gallon tank hold per hour?', in this episode we will confine ourselves to the 'how many gallons can I put' question.

Equipment used:


Non Affiliate Links

Aqueon "10 gallon" aquarium:


United Scientific Large Beaker:


Medelco Small Beaker:


The result after adding 37.85 liters of RO/DI tap water 25°C (but with no dechlorinator) is seen below:


The aquarium began to leak at about 9.95 gallons apparently because of the lack of an unbroken seal along the top most part of the rim.


While technically possible to put 10 gallons of water in a 10 gallon aquarium, you may not be able to do so without a substantial leak. It is also possible that if we were to increase the total dissolved solids (TDS) by foregoing reverse osmosis water, that all the little solids in the water would plug the leak along the rim, thus allowing for the full 10 gallons of water.

Next week on 'Care Forum Investigates': How many gallons of water can I put in a 20 gallon aquarium?




Entertaining and educational. 

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I have legitimate future topic ideas:

Compare widths of rims on rimmed tanks. This would be useful for fitting lights, and perhaps HoB filters.

Document all AquaClear rectangular foam sizes and test fit in x, y, z. Maybe we end up with pre-cut Co-Op foam in the perfect modular sizes to fit everything, like Lego bricks.

Test the capacity of the USB pumps. Figure out the optimum fish room size, or total gallons where the linear air piston pump becomes the best choice.


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A post I've been meaning to make but haven't found the time:

How many gallons can you fit in a 40 breeder? Haven't done the experiment to confirm, but from my rough estimates based on the dimensions it's actually 47-48 gallons (or exactly 40 so long as you add just the right amount of substrate first). I'd be curious to see which other tank sizes deviate significantly from their advertised size.

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  • 8 months later...

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