Home » Aquarium Guides » 50 Gallon Breeder Tank | The Perfect Guide For Beginners |

50 Gallon Breeder Tank | The Perfect Guide For Beginners |

If you are into fish breeding, you would have heard about breeder tanks often. Although many talks about the 40-gallon breeder tank and the 30-gallon breeder tank, they often don’t talk about the 50-gallon breeder tank. It’s not in the standard aquarium size list either.

But, people who know about the 50-gallon breeder tank see the value of it well.

Today we will talk about this rare type of breeder tank in this article. Also, the difference between 50g breeder and other types of tanks, and more.

But, before going further, let’s learn what breeder tanks are and why we use them instead of regular types of tanks.

50 Gallon Breeder Tank

What is a breeder fish tank?

A breeder tank is a fish tank that has more space than a regular aquarium. It’s basically for breeding fish and plants inside them.

The most essential feature of this type of tank is that they provide enough room to breed and grow.

Basically, breeder tanks have more surface area and a shorter height than regular types of tanks. This will help the breeder to access the fish easier.

There are many types of breeder tanks. The most popular tanks among them are the 40-gallon breeder tank and the 30-gallon breeder tank.

But there’s one more type that often gets ignored – the 50-gallon fish breeding tank.

When it comes to size, a breeder tank can be anything from 20g (one goldfish) – 500 gallons or even bigger depending on the requirement.

Why are breeder tanks used?

Aquariums are not only for decoration purposes but also to keep fish in them safe and happy.

But, they have a limited size where we can’t put too many fishes together or it would rapidly affect the water quality.

Further, most fish types often breed naturally in the tank, which means more fish inside the tank over time. So, what is the solution? Breeder tank!

Breeder tanks are wider than regular types of aquariums, which means more surface area. This will help the bacteria to grow faster and clean water much better.

The second most important thing is height – they have a short height. So we can easily access fish from the top without any problem. 

When your fish population is about to grow or if you plan to breed your fish, you will have to keep a breeder tank near your main tank.

So, when your fish are ready to spawn, you can transfer them to the breeder tank and move them back after they spawn.

The breeder tank is where you keep your fish fry. When the fish babies grow enough, you can either transfer them to the main tank or sell them.

50 Gallon Breeder Tank

50 Gallon Breeder Tank sizes?

A 50-gallon breeder tank can hold 50 gallons of water and measures 36″ length x18″ width x20″ height. They may look like a 50-gallon regular tank but a bit higher.

What are the main differences between 50g breeder and other types of tanks?

50-gallon breeders have more surface area than regular aquariums, so it’s suitable for breeding purposes.

This type of tank also has reduced height which will help us to access fish easily without causing any damage or stress on them.

The height of these tanks is three-quarters of a regular tank, and you can use them to house any fish.

And also, it will help us easily access fish and reduce the risk for injury when we’re cleaning or feeding our pets.

These breeders are also made with thicker glass which increases their durability. So you won’t have to replace it any time soon.

The fact that it’s so durable is another reason you should use this type of tank for breeding purposes. Because there will be less risk for your fish to get injured or escape if the glass breaks.

What is the Difference Between a 50 Gallon Breeder Tank and a Regular 50 Gallon Tank

The dimension of a 50-gallon regular tank is 36″ x 18″ x 19″, and the dimension of a 50-gallon breeder tank is 36″ x 18″ x 20″.

So, they both have the same surface size but, the breeder tank is a bit higher (precisely one inch higher) than the regular tank. However, there is no significant difference in both fish tanks.

What is the Difference Between a 50 Gallon Breeder Tank and a Standard 40 Gallon Breeder Tank

One thing common in all mid-sized and large-sized breeder aquariums is, they all have the same length and width.

This is because more width means more surface area, which is essential for the healthy growth of fish.

But, what’s different in all mid-sized breeder tanks? It’s height!

The standard 40 gallon breeder tank usually measures 24″ x 18″ x 16″, while 50-gallon breeder aquariums measure 36″ x 18″ x 20″.

This is one of the most significant differences among mid-sized breeder tanks.

Another difference is in their price; a 50-gallon tank is more expensive than a 40-gallon tank because it’s heavier and requires thicker glass to support its weight.

Standard sizes of Breeder tanks

As we talk about breeder tanks, you should know that the 50-gallon breeder tank is not a standard-size breeder tank.

These tanks are usually rare to find because not many know about this size.

However, those who know the 50-gallon breeder tank prefer to buy it because they have more space to breed their fish.

The standard sizes of breeder tanks are,

  • 30-gallon breeder tank
  • 40-gallon breeder tank

All breeder tanks have the same width and length. They measure 24 inches in length and 18 inches in width.

However, the 40-gallon breeder tank measures 16 inches in height, while the 30-gallon breeder tank measures only 12 inches.

50 Gallon Breeder Tank

Where Can I Buy a Breeder Tank?

You can buy breeder tanks from many pet supply stores in your area. But, if you don’t find them there.

The best place to purchase breeder tanks is online marketplaces like eBay or Amazon.

You can get 50-gallon breeder aquariums for sale on these sites at a fair price with free shipping anywhere within the USA!

If you prefer to spend less on a breeder tank, we recommend searching on used pet supply pages in your area.

You can find a 50-gallon breeder tank for sale in popular locations like Craigslist and Kijiji too!

What to Look When Buying a Breeder Tank?

When you buy a 50-gallon breeder aquarium, make sure to look at the glass thickness of your tank.

This is one of the essential things about purchasing fish tanks in general.

Because thicker glass means a longer life for your pet’s home so that they will stay stress-free and healthy! If possible, try to buy an aquarium which is made of thick glass. 

If you can spend a bit more you can go for an acrylic tank which is much safer than a glass tank.

Acrylic tanks don’t break easily and, they can survive even if your fish tank falls from a reasonably high height.

The size of the breeder aquarium matters, too, because it determines how many fishes you can keep in there! The ideal number of pet fish is four but not more than eight to avoid overcrowding. 

Why use a breeder tank and how to use it?

Breeder tanks are specially used in breeding fish. You can use them to isolate adult fish to spawn, keep the fish eggs safe, and care for the fish fry.

If you do not plan to breed your fish anytime sooner, you can also use this tank to quarantine your fish if they catch a disease.

When you put a sick fish in this tank, it will be isolated from other healthy fishes and can heal safely without contracting the disease to others.

However, you should fully clean and disinfect the breeder tank when you use that for breeding again.

What are Good Fish for a 50 Gallon Breeder Aquarium

Technically you can put almost all sizes of fish in a breeder tank. However, you may not be able to house massive fish like Arowanas, Oscard, and Gouramis in your breeder tank for spawning.

In this case, you will have to tank the eggs from the main tank manually and place them in the breeding tank to care for.

However, breeding many large fish species is almost impossible in captivity without expert knowledge.

Basically, you can house fish up to 10 inches long in a breeder tank. Apart from that, you can house fish like plecos and fancy goldfish in your 50-gallon breeder tank.

However, they will require more space when breeding, so consider buying a larger size if necessary.

What is the Best Fish to Breed?

Almost all kinds of freshwater fishes breed in captivity at some point or the other! Some species of cichlids are exceptionally good at breeding.

Barbs, gouramis, and bettas can also breed easily if you give them the right conditions to live in.

However, some fishes like goldfish or koi can be challenging to breed without expert knowledge about their spawning cycle!

Breeder Tank Setup

Setting up a breeder tank is quite different than setting up an aquarium. You will have to install filtration, lighting, and an aquarium heater. However, the type of the filter, lighting level can be different.

Filter, Heater and light

Usually, we should install a sponge filter in the breeding tank because almost all fish and shrimp eggs are so tiny.

If you use a more powerful filter like the one you use in the main tank, the eggs and fry may get sucked into the filter and die.

It is better to go for a more gentle filter in the breeding tank not to suck up your fish eggs.

When setting up the light, almost all the fish eggs prefer darker surroundings before hatching.

Even some fish species prefer darker surroundings when spawning. Therefore it is better to keep medium lighting in the breeder tank and turn off all the lights after transferring your spawned fish to the main tank.

In most fish species, temperature changes induce fish spawning. Even in some fish species, the eggs require a specific water temperature in order to hatch.

Therefore, installing a water heater and setting up the required temperature in the breeder tank is essential. 


Usually, fish breeders do not advise decorations in the breeder tank. They recommend keeping the decorations to mimic their main tank but in a minimalist style.

However, you should add some hiding places inside the breeding tank to help your fish when they are frightened.

For egg-laying fish, plants like Java moss are good to go.

Otherwise, you can use breeding carpets in the breeding tank. However, do not put any substrate in the breeding tank that can trap eggs or fry.

Water quality

Maintaining proper water parameters is the most important thing in a breeding tank.

If your breeding tank has impurities like Ammonia and Nitrogen, it will cause diseases, and your fish will not breed.

Maintain the water parameters of the breeding tank just like you do in the main tank because we all know that aquarium fishes are susceptible to changes in their environment!

You should keep nitrate levels below 20 ppm, Ammonia levels 0ppm, and Nitrite levels less than 0.25ppm to maintain proper water parameters.

You should also keep the pH of the breeding tank at a particular level because it helps your fish breed successfully!

Generally, most fishes will spawn when exposed to a more neutral pH environment with moderately acidic or sometimes alkaline levels.

Therefore you must not change this parameter until and unless necessary. You can also add aquarium salt or baking soda to your breeding tank in small quantities when required.

After you have set up the breeder aquarium and finished cycling it with water from your main tank, there is nothing left but waiting for spawning. 

What should you do after your fish spawned?

If you transfer your fish pair to the breeding tank before spawning, you should observe them until they spawn and transfer them back to the main tank after spawning.

However, if the fish species you breed are known for prenatal care, you can keep them in the breeding tank until the babies grow.

If your fish spawned in the main tank, you should immediately transfer the eggs to the breeder tank as other fish may eat them (including the parents).

You can use a fishnet for this purpose. But be careful to take them gently as they are very fragile at this stage.

After you have transferred the eggs to the breeder tank, you must keep a close eye on them.

Avoid changing the water in the breeder tank during this stage, as fish eggs can quickly die because of such sudden changes.

You must also keep a close eye on your breeding tank’s pH level and temperature so that your fish eggs do not die because of it.


A 50-gallon breeder tank is not the usual type of breeder tank every aquarist knows of.

It can hold more water; hence it can have larger fish than the 40-gallon breeder tank for breeding.

If you are the type of guy that prefers more space for your fish and fry, then a 50-gallon breeder tank is the most fitting choice.

Credit to: Prime Time Aquatics
Read More: Half Water Half Land Aquarium (Paludarium) | 14 Useful Tips |

Sharing is caring!

About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.