Best 180-Gallon Aquarium 2021 & Buyers Guide

If you’re ready to level up to a 180-gallon aquarium, then you’ve definitely become a serious fish keeper. This is classified as a large aquarium, usually acquired by hobbyists who have already successfully maintained smaller-sized aquariums. This means that the aquarium owner already has sufficient know-how and skills to take care of various fish and sustain big tanks. Getting a 180-gallon is no mean feat. Many hobbyists who have leaped suggest that taking the time to do it right to set it up is key. There is a lot of maintenance involved in a tank this big, so the owner must be prepared to give time, energy, effort, and finances to this endeavor.

Whether you choose saltwater or freshwater fish, there are a lot of options to consider. You can have a large community tank with many schools of different tetra species or even an Amazon or Asian biotope. The possibilities are endless. A 180 is a great tank with a good amount of room for fish to roam for passionate fish enthusiasts, provided that it is stocked well and the plants and rocks are placed properly.

If you’re looking for a 180-gallon aquarium, there are several important factors to consider. Here is a list of the best 180-gallon fish tanks in 2021.

Cheap & Good

Our Favorite

Customers Choice

Product

Innovative Marine NUVO 170 EXT

Waterbox Aquariums Reef 180.5

Waterbox Aquariums Peninsula 6025

Tank Dimensions

59 x 30 x 21.7 inches

60.5 x 25.3 x 21.7 inches

60.5 x 25.3 x 23.6 inches

Capacity

170 gallons

180 gallons

186 gallons

Weight

252 lbs

not stated

not stated

Color

black

white or black

white or black

Our Rating

The best 180-Gallon Fish Tanks in 2021

1st Waterbox Aquariums Reef 180.5

Specifications

  • Tank Dimensions (L x W x H): 60.5 x 25.3 x 21.7 inches
  • Weight: not stated
  • Size: 180.5 Gallons
  • Color: white or black
  • Comes with:
    • Check valve to eliminate back siphoning when there’s a power failure
    • Two 7” Micron Felt filter socks to filter harmful bacteria and waste
    • Removable refugium baffle
    • External evaporation reservoir
    • Pre-cut filter sponge which increases filtration and reduces micro-bubbles
    • Sock silencer that reduces micro-bubbles

This is ideal for a hobbyist who wants to start with their first large saltwater tank. Brought to us by one of the best-loved aquarium brands, the best thing about this saltwater aquarium is its customizable foundation. However, all essential equipment is part of the package – including the aquarium, the cabinet, and the sump filtration system. The advanced hobbyist is free to design their dream aquarium without the hassle with Waterbox Aquariums’ original “Reef Ready” system.

With its elegant rimless aquarium design and Starphire Ultra-Clear glass, this aquarium is thoroughly water-tested. The glass overflow boxes are made entirely with glass with water-etched weir teeth. It is backed up by the brand’s core values of culture, sustainability, and enjoyment. It also comes with a plumbing kit that is simplified for the user, ready-to-assemble, and easy to follow.

True to its customizability features, Waterbox has partnered with Aquallumination and Ecotech Marine. If you want to add overflow mounted lights, they have created the +PLUS HD and +PLUS XR bundles as additional options. Customers have given this highly-rated aquarium rave reviews. It also has flexible payment options in the form of monthly installments.

Pros

  • Comes with a pre-fabricated proprietary plumbing system
  • Several customizability options are available
  • It has an integrated reservoir for auto top off water

Cons

  • Customer service lapses
  • Plumbing is not up to standard compared with the tank and stand
  • No other option for filtration other than filter socks
View on Marine Depot

2nd Waterbox Aquariums Peninsula 6025

Specifications

  • Tank Dimensions (L x W x H): 60.5 x 25.3 x 23.6 inches
  • Weight: not stated
  • Size: 186.3 Gallons
  • Color: white or black
  • Comes with:
    • Two 4” mesh and two 4” 225 microns felt filter socks
    • Two 4” silencers
    • Removable refugium baffle for nutrient export
    • The sump system has a dedicated chamber for the use of an auto top-off controller
    • Pre-cut filter sponge

Another great product from Waterbox Aquariums, fish keeping enthusiasts are given free rein to create an environment that is 100% unique. Often dubbed as “the most beautiful room divider”, the Peninsula 6025 is not just beautiful on the outside. Still, it also has top-notch features such as dual adjustable return nozzles on its overflow box, a precision gate valve, a safety drain, and a flexible return line.

With its patented Water Etched glass overflow systems, this guarantees an algae-free zone. It is beautifully designed with the unique Starphire Ultra-Clear glass on all panels, which creates their “5D Ultra Clear Aquarium Environment.” The glass isn’t the only thing that’s well-crafted in this aquarium: its cabinet is also made of high-quality, heavy-duty, UV coated plywood and the only one in the industry with access from both sides.

The Waterbox brand is synonymous with simplicity, style, and quality. They are passionate about everything aquatic, and the design of the Peninsula 6025 is a great reflection of this passion. It also comes with a 2-year warranty and a buy-now, pay-later scheme.

Pros

  • Dedicated sump compartment
  • Precision gate valve for overflow adjustment
  • Easy to assemble plumbing kit with no gluing required
  • Stainless hinges

Cons

  • Slow customer service response to queries and concerns
  • Assembly instructions can be complicated
View on Marine Depot

3rd Innovative Marine NUVO 170 EXT

Specifications

  • Tank Dimensions (L x W x H): 59 x 30 x 21.7 inches
  • Weight: 252 lbs
  • Size: 170 Gallons
  • Color: black
  • Comes with:
    • Included Plumbing: ¾ LOC-LINE with dual flare nozzles
    • E-Drain Assembly
    • Primary Drain Assembly
    • Secondary E-Drain Assembly
    • 1” pre-drilled internal overflow
    • 1 pre-installed rubber leveling mat

Innovative Marine is a premier aquarium manufacturer. They describe their aquariums as a blank canvass, and the owner is the artist. This California-based aquarium company presents the EXT model, which stands for External and Reef Ready.

The best thing about the Innovative Marine NUVO 170 EXT is its overflow system with a superb center glass overflow and a proprietary “Bean Animal” style safety drain system. A “Bean Animal” drain has a 3-drain pipe overflow system. These are the following: primary emergency, secondary emergency, and one primary siphon. This means that the aquarium owner has 100% usable display space, with water cascading through the center weir and flows into a sump below. It also features a laser-cut overflow cover.

This fully customizable, full-sized panorama aquarium is an efficient tank, ideal for the hobbyist who wants the best possible equipment for a reasonable price. The NUVO 170 EXT comes with an aluminum stand that is sturdy and easy to set up. Innovative Marine offers PayPal credit financing.

Pros

  • It has an ultra-thick, high-clarity low iron glass (19mm)
  • Centered external overflow
  • Ultra-quiet
  • Pre-drilled drain and return holes

Cons

  • The sump is not included
  • Plumbing outside overflow box is not included
View on Marine Depot

Why should I buy a 180-Gallon Aquarium?

Having a 180-gallon aquarium is definitely a responsibility and can be very daunting. But the beauty of what you create with those beautiful fish is worth it. Staring at a fish tank for hours on end is the ultimate stress-buster. Seasoned fish keepers will tell you that getting a bigger aquarium is better in the long run than starting with a smaller tank. Large aquariums give more room for fish to swim in and allow you to have enough space to decorate it any way you wish without constraining the fish’s swimming area. Also, the margin of error in a smaller fish tank and small. It is easy to overstock fish in a smaller tank than in a bigger tank. You can’t easily overcrowd a 180-gallon fish tank.

How do I choose the best 180-Gallon Fish Tank?

What features should you look for when choosing a 180-gallon fish tank?

Aquarium Materials

When it comes to aquarium materials, there are two to choose from: acrylic and glass. There is no clear-cut superior material between the two, but acrylic is a popular choice for large aquariums because it is lighter. A glass aquarium can be as much as ten times heavier than an acrylic aquarium. Acrylic aquariums are also more impact-resistant than glass. However, glass aquariums cost lower than acrylic. Glass also beats an acrylic aquarium when it comes to durability and clarity.

Size

For a 180-gallon aquarium, keep in mind that its dimensions should stay within 72” x 24” x 25”. Always check the tank’s dimensions and keep in mind that you’re checking how much water it will hold, so measure from inside the glass or acrylic. Its empty weight should be around 338 pounds, and its filled weight should be within the vicinity of 2,100 pounds. When measuring how much water it will hold, there is the theoretical volume, which is the size which the manufacturer states, and there is the realistic volume, which allows for décor and plant displacement.

Lighting

Bigger tanks have a special appeal and are the focal point of any room. Lighting is important in bigger, 180-gallon aquariums. However, you have to consider the type of fish that will live in that environment. Fish and live plants have specific lighting needs. Some prefer really bright lights, while others prefer dimmer lights. Intensity and spectrum are also important. Planted aquariums do best with 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness, mimicking their natural habitat. Considering getting a light that uses a timer tool creates a consistent day/night cycle.

Shape

180-gallon tanks have to be in a rectangular, panoramic shape. Bigger tanks will have more fish, and they should have lots of room to swim on. A tall, narrow shape doesn’t have much swimming area and surface for gas exchange.

Open or Closed Top

Traditionally, aquariums have a closed top made of plastic with integrated lighting. In recent years, open tanks are becoming more popular. The biggest difference is maintenance. Uncovered aquariums look very aesthetically pleasing as there are no obstructions to the view, but they require extra work to maintain. Covered aquariums may suffer from poor ventilation, but these are necessary, especially for 180-gallon tanks. Lids reduce evaporation and keep the fish from jumping out. It is best to get a glass lid that is durable and provides sufficient ventilation.

Accessories

A 180-gallon fish tank should come equipped with a lot of additional aeration, circulation, skimming capacity, flow, and surface area of biofiltration.

Stand

The stand should be sturdy, able to hold a heavy tank. You have to make sure that the stand will withstand a heavy load, particularly when the task is filled with water.

 

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