πŸ₯‡ 4 Best 40 Gallon Breeder Tanks – A Complete Guide

If you would love to venture into breeding fish, you would want 40 gallon breeder tanks. These tanks can accommodate a variety of fish, both freshwater and marine species.

You can keep and breed different beautiful fish in such large tanks. Bigger fish may need more space to settle and they may also demand an environment customized to their comfort. They thrive well in large spaces and enjoy living there.

Breeding fish is not simple! It involves a lot of skill and time to understand what conditions are best suited for your fish to reproduce and how you can maintain the right environment for breeding.

This can be particularly difficult if you don’t have prior experience with fish breeding. 

While a 40 gallon tank is a great choice for breeding, it is advisable that you understand the space requirement of the fish you want to keep before buying one.

Moreover, you should note that the size of tanks is measured in terms of the amount of water it holds and not the dimensions of the tank itself. As a general rule of thumb, you can select the size depending on the number of fishes you have. 

You can calculate as one inch of fish per gallon of water in capacity. This means a 40-gallon tank can easily accommodate eight 5-inches fish or thirteen 3-inches fish. In addition to this, you should consider the arrangements like lights, gravel and hood you will have in your tank. 

In this guide, we discuss everything you need to know about breeder tanks and review the best options available. 

40-Gallon Breeder Tanks – What are They?

As the name suggests, a breeder tank is essentially a tank used to facilitate the breeding of fish. It is a special type of tank which differs in shape and dimensions from regular aquarium tanks.

Such a tank is usually lower in height than other tanks. Breeder tanks are set up in such a way as to encourage the fish to breed to produce baby fish. A 40 gallon breeder tank is constructed to be shorter in height compared to a regular tank holding 40 gallons of water.

Breeder tanks are designed to offer more surface area. 

A 40-gallon breeder tank offers a large space ideal for breeding a variety of species including reef and tropical fishes. It can be used as either a species-specific tank or a common breeding ground.

You don’t need a big tank like 40 gallons to breed small fish but if the space is bigger, the fish will be happier. You can use the breeder tank to keep any type of aquarium fish you find at your local store.

40-gallon breeder tanks are popularly used to breed large species of fish. It is safe to have a number of fish up to 10 inches in length in the breeder tank. Such a tank offers sufficient space to breed fish like Cichlids, Guppies, Bettas (an excellent choice for Giant Betta), Clownfish, Panda Telescope or Plecos.

Apart from fish, this type of tank offers the perfect environment for invertebrates as well. But you should remember that they are kept here for a specific purpose and should be shifted slowly to their original aquarium as the job gets done. 

A breeder tank is essentially an aquarium with a lower profile as compared to traditional ones to give the breeder easy access to the fish. This type of tank is often long and narrow or square-shaped. The average dimension of a 40-gallon breeder tank is 36 inches in length and 18 inches in height.

The distance between the front and the back is about 16 inches. A glass breeder tank would weigh about 55 pounds while an acrylic tank with the same dimensions would weigh anywhere between 20 to 25 pounds. 

Best 40 Gallon Breeder Tanks

Here are some of the best choices for 40-gallon breeder tanks and a brief overview of each of them, along with their features, pros, and cons. 

1. Aqueon 40 Gallon Breeder Tank 

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The perfect choice for breeders who want a tank-only aquarium to be able to add their own equipment, the 40-gallon tank from Aqueon suits enthusiasts of any level, from novice to experts. It is constructed using high-quality, sturdy glass and features smooth silicone edges to protect against leakage. 

This solid, durable tank would make an amazing breeder aquarium. Aqueon is a popular brand in the industry, known for offering tanks in a variety of styles and sizes. The 40-gallon tank is available in two color options – oak trim and black. It also comes with a brace across the center to prevent the glass from bowing. The tank has dimensions of 36 x 18 x 16 inches.

This 40-gallon tank is highly versatile as it provides an amazing reef setup for freshwater and marine environments. The sleek and smooth design adds to the beauty of your decor. However, it doesn’t include hoods or accessories like filters, lighting, and nets that you would need to purchase separately.

Beginner-level breeders may be more interested in a fully-featured tank with all the extras included. Yet, this medium-sized tank is a good value for money. 


  • Offers enough height to adjust water levels for breeding
  • Available in oak or black trim options
  • A reputed brand, known for high-quality products
  • Tank-only product means you can add your own equipment 


  • The price is somewhat higher for just a tank
  • It can be difficult to find the right-fitting lid

2. Marineland 40 Gallon Breeder Tank

Marineland is known for producing superior quality aquariums and the 40-gallon breeder from the brand is a great example of its craftsmanship. Perfect for home as well as office, this glass tank has a black frame encapsulating the structure to provide a modern yet simplistic touch.

It is a great choice for beginners as it packs a good value in a comprehensive package. This breeder tank is a worthy investment for casual aquarists interested in freshwater or marine setups. Its special use of distortion-free glass provides lifetime durability and reliability. 

Silicone sealing on the top ensures there is no capillary action. It is perfect for saltwater as well as freshwater applications and can be used with canister filters as well as hang-on tank filters.

Included accessories are day and night lighting, net, heater, hood, filter, and cartridge providing all you need to get started with your fish breeding hobby. The curved glass bow front of the tank delivers a spectacular view of the interior and suits small spaces. 


  • High-quality construction ensures durability
  • Curved glass front for better viewing
  • The black frame gives a stylish look
  • Contains accessories to offer a complete package
  • Offers value for money


  • Needs periodic cleaning
  • You require adding lighting

3.SeaClear 40 Gallon Acrylic Aquarium

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.A value-for-money offering by SeaClear, this 40-gallon aquarium is 36 inches wide, 15 inches long and 16 inches high and comes as a combo package to offer value for money.

It includes several accessories so buyers need not worry about other things to complete the setup for fish breeding. It is made out of acrylic in a rectangular shape.  This type of construction is advantageous as acrylic is lightweight and scratch-resistant

This tank is designed to provide strength and support without any shattering, unlike glass tanks. Users need not worry about transporting and maintaining this tank. As it is less prone to damage or cracks, it makes a great choice for users with pets or kids at home.

This type of construction also makes it the perfect breeder tank that is checked and monitored constantly. The combo includes a 24-inch light fixture and a reflector. 

This tank is constructed keeping multiple purposes in mind and is aimed to suit marine, salt, reef, and freshwater setups. What makes this aquarium tank different from others is the special bow-shaped front that offers a convex shape for viewing. This allows you to keep a watch on eggs and breeding. The invisible seams add to the great view it already offers. 


  • Acrylic makes the tank lighter and stronger
  • Boasts extensive warranty
  • Available in three options for background
  • Seamless corners enhance visibility 
  • Less prone to damage because of durable acrylic
  • The package includes reflectors and fixtures


  • Light fixtures are difficult to install
  • You need to buy lighting
  • There are two small top openings so cleaning is tricky
  • Acrylic is more prone to scratching than glass

4. Top Fin 40 Gallon Hooded Aquarium

This is another amazing choice for a 40-gallon glass tank that offers a lightweight and compact setup ideal for use on a table. The tank dimensions are 36 x 18 x 16 inches and it has a sleek black frame that provides support to make it sturdy.

It also comes with center bracing to avoid any glass bowing. This glass aquarium is versatile and suits saltwater, freshwater, and reptilian applications.

Like other glass tanks listed here, this Top Fin tank is highly versatile and suits saltwater, freshwater and reptilian applications. It is made up of high-quality glass but like other glass tanks, it has a risk of cracking over time.

Acrylic tanks are usually more durable though they have their own disadvantages. It comes in a standard rectangular shape and suits any decor. It also features a black-trimmed hood and other accessories that can be purchased separately. 

The Top Fin 40-gallon aquarium is certainly a great choice for beginners as well as professionals looking for a new, sturdy breeder tank. You can get a fitting for fluorescent light available separately.

You can even get other accessories like nets and filters. This reduces the value of this tank for new aquarists as they look for a complete package to get started.

However, this tank is taller and slimmer than its other counterparts and better suited for breeding. It is a great startup setup that enables enthusiasts to get used to environments before upgrading to a bigger system. 

However, with all the accessories purchased separately, this tank would still cost less than other high-quality aquariums on the market. It can be used for reptiles by using the fluorescent light fitting with a UV light.

It is, overall, a well-constructed, sturdy glass tank that would definitely not disappoint anybody looking for a great breeder tank deal. 


  • Long and tall design 
  • Includes plastic hood
  • One-piece black center braced frame to avoid bowing
  • Distortion-free glass improves visibility
  • Can be customized 


  • Does not include accessories
  • Glass construction means a risk of cracking

40 Gallon Breeder Tank Setup

When it comes to breeder tanks, the process of setting them up is a little different from other aquariums. Firstly, you clean the tank with water to get rid of any dust.

The next steps depend on the species you want to breed in the tank. Some of the most important parts of any breeder setup are the heater, filtration system, lighting, and substrate. 

1. Heater

Temperature is an important aspect of an aquarium environment. The heater makes sure the temperature is always consistent. This can be specifically important during spawning and breeding. At the time of breeding, some species of fish get quite sensitive to the slightest changes in temperature.

Always check the temperature requirement for the species you are breeding when selecting a heater. An adjustable heater is a great option as some fish need different ranges of temperature for breeding. 

2. Filter

Crucial for any fish tank, a filter is equally important for breeding tanks. It helps maintain a healthy breeding environment by eliminating waste. It also redistributes the nutrients in the tank.

Having a filter in your breeder tank is important because it creates a regulated flow. The function of regulating water flow is essential to breeding some species. 

3. Lid

Tank lid is another essential part of any breeder tank setup. This equipment is available in a great variety to choose from. A lid provides shelter to the fish from excessive light. This can be pretty useful because many species require a slightly dimmed light setting.

A hood for your 40-gallon breeder tank helps you ensure your fish stays safe inside the tank. This is particularly important for species that get stressed often and tend to jump out of the water. 

4. Stand

Aquarium stands are used by most users as they not only provide stability but also add to the decor in any interior. The stand also provides space to store your equipment, food and other items. They come in different sizes and shapes and you can easily find the right one for your tank. 

Breeding tanks require adjustments in conditions from time to time. When you add the substrate, see that it does not have any sharp edges that hurt the fish. Next, you can choose the decorations according to the fish you are breeding. While some species need a lot of free space and a soft substrate, others may prefer a densely planted tank with a lot of rock to breed.

Once you are done with these, you can install a filter and heater. The way you do this depends on the equipment you use. Internal filters have only a power cable while external filters need plumbing inside the tank. Then, you fill the tank with water, deciding the level to suit your species. Some fish require a shallow level for breeding and then an increase later.

Next, you can install a hood with lighting. Some hoods even come with lamps attached. Once the tank is set up, you can switch on your equipment and allow a few weeks before adding the fish into the tank. 

40 Gallon Breeder Tank Dimensions

Dimensions of different tanks from different manufacturers will often vary.

However, the most common dimensions are 36 inches in length, 18 inches in width, and 16 inches in height which is an important aspect to consider especially when planning a stand for your Fish tank.

Also do take into consideration the weight of the tank which is approximately 55 pounds.

See also: 55 gallon fish tank filter system

Most tank dimensions will be expressed as LxDxH ( Length x Depth x Height)

40 gallon breeder tank dimensions

Using this tank for a regular 40-gallon aquarium

This tank is also great for use as a general aquarium due to its dimensions which are ideal for a large variety of species.


Oxford University Press: Variations of Light and Temperature Regimes and Resulting Effects on Reproductive Parameters in Medaka (Oryzias latipes)