Biggest Fish Possible in 7ft tank


MFK Member
Feb 10, 2017
Hello All!

I'm dying to get a Monster tank in my home with some monster sized fish. However, due to spacial limitations the biggest I can go is 7' L x 2' W. Not exactly "monster" but I'll take what I can get.

I can make the tank anywhere from 24" tall to 36". This will result in a tank that holds between 210 and 315 US gallons. Most likely it will end up around 30" Tall, holding 260 US gallons.

Question is this
: what is the biggest fish I can properly keep in this tank? First and foremost to me is fish health and happiness. So my question is not what can I literally squeeze into this tank, but what's the biggest that can happily live in there?

I really want a Giant Gourami, but this tank might be too small for that.

Appreciate any and all feedback! Thank you.


Silver Tier VIP
MFK Member
Aug 6, 2011
I personally would say a pair of Oscar's but some other species will depend on the width of your build.


MFK Member
Aug 27, 2017
You could have some datnoids in that tank or kelberi peacock bass, you could also have a solo jardini. There are quite a few options
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Gourami Swami

MFK Moderators
Staff member
MFK Member
Jul 13, 2006
Saw this thread and expected another guy with a 75 hoping he can keep a silver aro... glad that is not the case, sounds like you have your priorities straight.
The 2' wide is going to be the limiting factor here. Everybody will probably have a different opinion on how long is too long for a 2' wide tank. And there will be lots of fish that would be "okay for a long time, but eventually they get to 2' ". Jardini is one of these fish, it would be a great home for one for a long time, maybe forever, but when the fish is full size you would have to use your judgement of whether you think it is enough room.
Personally, I think that for life, you could keep a fish that gets to 18" max. Most cichlids meet this criteria, with the exception of giants like dovii, umbee, cichla, and snooks. This would be a cool tank for a solo male or pair of large vieja, like argentae for example.


MFK Member
Jan 22, 2017
Your title gave me a totally different impression than the post you made. Glad you're most interested in the fish, rather than just having something big to have something big.

I don't necessarily think that bigger means better. I get a lot of joy out of my 6" Fundulopanchax sjoestedti and arguably less out of say, my 12" Platydoras armatulus that spends all day in his cave.

Regardless - I think you should check out Paratilapia polleni. They reach about a foot long, really stunning, and are big water puppies. Personality of an Oscar, but with a bit more dexterity and grace (they won't demo plants and decor).

You could also keep many species of bichir in the tank. Just about every upper jaw (with the exception of teugelsi, ornatipinnis, and maybe weeksii) could live in there for life and in terms of lower jaws, a captive bred lapradei would fit as well. In my opinion and with my experience, these fish don't need the width to be twice as long as they are. So long as they can comfortably lay down, they're good. To turn, they bend their entire body similar to a snake, so they're not at risk of bashing their nose every time they turn like a typical fish might.

Ropefish are another great alternative. Very long, and about as thick as your big toe. Very personable - you could easily do ten in this tank, likely more depending on your filtration and the like.

I would say no to the giant gourami. They're too big for this tank. However you could go with an Anabas testudineus or any fish from the genus Ctenopoma. They're not as large, but from the same family and are very interesting fish to observe. A friend has a small group of Ctenopoma with her bichirs, and it's a very striking tank with a lot of activity at all levels.

Hope this helps.

mr cichlid

MFK Member
Jan 22, 2017
If somebody already mentioned this and I overlooked it please excuse the redundancy. I believe more important than the gallons is the surface area and even more important is water quality. The question becomes what type of chemical and mechanical filtration and how available are you for water change and regular maintenance
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MFK Member
Feb 5, 2010
Any fish that will max out at the width of the tank. Most cichlids and some catfish don't get 2 ft. Or a fish that sits all day like a lungfish. I'd go for a tiger knifefish, that would be totally cool. Or a Fahaka puffer.