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How To Keep A 1000 Gallon Fish Tank!

After the initial spike in people getting involved in aquarium keeping a few years back, we are getting to the stage where people are looking to upgrade to larger tanks and although we have already published some content on intermediate level aquariums, we have seen more and more people asking about keeping a 1000 gallon aquarium.

Due to 1000 gallon aquariums being a large commitment often being more expensive just to purchase while also having higher running charges and maintenance requirements, we have decided to publish this dedicated article.

Our hope is that we will be able to help any of our readers looking to pick up a 1000 gallon fish tank and help them get the most bang for their buck while also learn some simple tips and tricks that they are able to use to their advantage too.

There are a number of excellent photographs of 1000 gallon fish tank setups on social media to offer inspiration for your tank layout but they usually just show the highlights of owning such a large aquarium without offering a realistic insight into the time and money sink that they usually are.

As we see such a range of different questions bout 1000 gallon fish tanks, we have decided to try and cover them all in this article.

Below is our table of contents going over the various questions that we will be covering to help our readers quickly navigate our article and get to the specific sections that they want to read quickly.

How Much Does A 1000 Gallon Fish Tank Cost?

As with most of the intermediate and professional level aquarium sizes, the cost of a 1000 gallon fish tank can range from around $2000 for a second hand tank up to as much as $50,000 or more for a custom built, high end tank made by a professional installation team.

This wide range in the price of 1000 gallon fish tank is good news for anyone on a tight budget as you can find some pre-owned, basic designed 1000 gallon aquariums for sale for heavily discounted prices.

We would recommend that you check the current listing on eBay for 1000 gallon fish tanks in your local area as you really can find some bargains on pre-owned tanks.

You can often find them for a fraction of their standard retail prices due to the sheer size of them and the current owners often need to get rid of them quickly due to already having their new large aquarium installed.

Due to there being such a small market for fish tanks above the 300 gallons, it can be difficult to find any retailers who sell 1000 gallon fish tanks.

Most of the pre-owned ones you find for sale online will usually be self-made or have been specially made by companies who specialize in building larger fish tanks and aquariums.

What Fish Can You Keep In A 1000 Gallon Fish Tank?

There really are a huge number of possibilities for the fish you are able to keep in a 1000 gallon fish tank due to it being so large that it offers plenty of space for so many fish without them getting stressed or anxious.

Some people will keep a single large fish like a arowana in these larger tanks where as most people tend to keep a collection of smaller different fish species in their larger tanks.

At the time of writing, arrowana are very popular options with silver arowana being very popular single fish options for larger fish tanks although a 1000 gallon tank can usually house multiple large arowana anyway.

We have a dedicated article on the smallest arowana species that you may find helpful if you do want to keep multiple arowana in the tank though.

Other single fish options include the very popular Dovii cichlid too with a 1000 gallon tank usually being able to hold multiple Dovii cichlids without issue.

The majority of people who own such a large fish tank do tend to prefer to keep multiple species in the tank though rather than smaller numbers of larger fish.

Popular options include plecos, oscars, loachs, and mollies but there are a huge number of options when it comes to the smaller fish for such a large tank.

How Much Maintenance Does A 1000 Gallon Fish Tank Require?

A 1000 gallon fish tank does require a large amount of maintenance due to its sheer size and the volume of water that it holds.

Thankfully, there are various tools and algae eater fish that you are able to use to your advantage to automate as much of the maintenance as possible with some people who own 1000 gallon aquariums paying someone else to maintain the tank for them.

As a minimum, you should be using something like hillstream loaches, cherry shrimp or ramshorn snails to eat as much of the algae build up in the tank as possible but our article on the more popular algae eaters can help you choose the right option for your needs.

Even just a small number of algae eaters can drastically reduce the amount of algae in your tank and reduce the amount of maintenance that it requires.

There will still be other essential maintenance such as checking pH levels of your water to optimise it for the fish you keep, using an aquarium gravel vacuum to clean up waste or disagreed food from your fish, and keeping any plant growth under control.

The more intricate the design of your aquarium the more maintenance it will require too and some of the custom shapes for 1000 gallon fish tanks can make maintenance much harder than it would be in a standard square or rectangle shaped tank too.

Can You Buy 1000 Gallon Fish Tank Heaters?

Some specialist companies will sell single heaters that are able to heat a 1000 gallon fish tank but many people prefer to use multiple heaters for the tank.

A single heater head can take longer to heat up the full tank and will sometimes struggle to maintain a steady temperature once at the target heat setting.

One of the more common setups is to use multiple 800w heaters that are able to heat up to 220 gallons each but there are a number of suitable products that you are able to use.

Multi-heater setups for larger tanks are more common than single heater setups too but there is still some trial and error involved so it is usually recommended that you try the heaters in the 1000 gallon aquarium for a week prior to adding fish to ensure it can hold the required temperature.

Most of the single heater setups do require a specialist heater that is made to order rather than available off the shelf.

The heater will usually be made specific to your tank with its dimensions, water volume, and heater placement all taken into place.

This does push the costs up higher though but when done correctly, can be the better option for some people.

1000 Gallon Fish Tank Dimensions!

The minimum dimensions for a standard rectangle-shaped 1000 gallon aquarium are usually 10′ long x 5′ wide x 32” high with the bulk of the aquarium tank being made from acrylic rather than glass.

Although there are some that are made from glass, acrylic offers a higher flex rating before failing while also having much easier seems to maintain for larger tanks like a 1000 gallon aquarium.

One downside of using acrylic over glass is that acrylic does tend to scratch much easier than actual glass and when you have built a 1000 gallon tank, repairs or replacing acrylic panes can quickly become costly.

This is why some people pay the initial higher prices for a glass 1000 gallon fish tank as it can sometimes work out cheaper in the long run.

The shapes and sizes of larger fish tanks like a 1000 gallon or up aquarium are only limited by your imagination though.

Due to holding so much water, the minimum requirements required to allow even larger fish to turn in the tank easier are almost always met with ease offering a large amount of spare volume to play with and come up with different designs to meet your needs.


That brings our article going over the more commonly asked questions that we see about a 1000 gallon fish tank to an end. We hope that we have been able to help any questions that you may have had but a 1000 gallon aquarium really is not for beginners and some intermediates may find themself struggling to maintain it correctly unless they have people helping them sure to the sheer amount of upkeep the take requires to keep it at its best.