Bow Front vs Flat Aquariums – Updated 2024

If there’s one thing that can spark the interest of anyone, it would be an aquarium. Imagine a tank filled with water, props, and the most beautiful fishes. This would be a dream for all marine life lovers. Even the ones who like to watch it from afar. It’s always great to have a nice aquarium in your home or in the office.

Not only will it give you peace of mind, but it will also help you be more creative. Naturally, as you look at an aquarium and observe the underwater life, it calms your nerves and activates your sight senses. This helps you relax and think more creatively. In other words, having an aquarium around you, will be like feeding your mind with cognitive nutrition in terms of creativity, calmness and better problem solving abilities.

That having said, it’s also important to be aware of the types of aquariums that exist and the options that you can explore as per your needs and preferences. In this article, we will be discussing the two popular aquarium shapes which include, Bow Front and Flat aquariums.

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Bow Front Aquarium

Aqueon 100544520
Quick view on Amazon

Available in: Australia, Canada, UK and US

Contrary to the ordinary aquariums, this shape brings forth, a modern and curvy element in your fish tank. A bow Front aquarium has a curvy shape and bows out in the middle, that not only looks aesthetically pleasing, but it adds more finesse to the interior design of your rooms too.





Flat Aquarium

Quick view on Amazon

Available in: Australia, Canada, UK and US

As the name suggests, a flat aquarium is generally made up of glass or acrylic and comes in many sizes and typically takes the form of a rectangular. It also comes in square shape, but all of the sizes have regular flat surface front feature, rather than a curvy one in bow front aquarium. It is deemed as one of the most affordable options in terms of aquariums and is a commonly purchased one too.




Bow Front Vs Flat Aquariums – A Comparison

The two different shapes and dimensions of an aquarium can offer a lot but have pros and cons of their own. To establish a comparison between both of them, some factors are mentioned below.

  • Ease of Viewing
    Many people believe that bow front aquariums can make you get head and eye aches because of the distortion owing to the curvy shape, hence making it difficult to get a clearer and easy view. As compared to flat aquariums that allow an easy and stress free view of the underwater world as the front surface is completely flat.
  • Aesthetics
    If you’re the person who falls for the looks, then bow front aquarium should be your go-to. It’s not like regular flat aquariums, but instead, it can add high end and exquisite vibes in your living room with its curvy appeal. Also, a bow front aquarium can enhance the look of any room, more than a flat aquarium can.
  • Use of Space
    From a functional point of view, a flat aquarium can be more space saving, as compared to a bow front aquarium that leaves floor space behind. This floor space can become useless with a bow front aquarium, but it is covered in a rectangular or flat shaped aquarium.
  • Cleaning
    Most people claim that a curved surface is harder to clean than a flat one. This applies to kitchen equipment and cutlery as well. Similarly, a bow front aquarium is harder to clean, requiring a lot more scrubbing to the edges, than a flat aquarium.
  • Ease of Upgrading
    You can easily find the appropriate lighting and hoods for a flat aquarium, however for a bow front aquarium, it can be a difficult task, owing to the unique and curvy shape. Hence it can be hard to make upgrades in a bow front aquarium, as compared to a regular flat one.
  • Ease for Fishes
    Let’s speak from fishes point of view. While small fishes don’t really care about the shape or size of the aquarium, but a large fish, like a giant giraffe catfish, can easily make a turn, owing to the curve in a bow front aquarium. This would be particularly hard for a big fish in a flat aquarium.


All in all, it can be said that there are pros and cons of bow front aquariums and flat aquariums both, but if you’ve got your priorities sorted, then you should be able to make the right decision. For example, if you like big fishes, then you might want a bow front aquarium, and if you are interested in keeping small fishes, then a flat aquarium can be the right fit for you.

Scott Evans

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