Bow Front Vs. Flat Front

Aurora D.

New member
I would like to know which is better Bow Front or Flat Front, and which advantages/disadvantages one has. Thanks :)


New member
I had a 72bow...wouldn't own another bow. It looked cool, but it was impossible to get a good pic with and was tougher to keep the curve clean. I like the flat glass of my 180 much better.

My .02


New member
I don't like the distortion the bowfronts give off sometimes. All aesthetics I think. Both can work though.


New member
I like the way mine looks with my aquascaping, which was adjusted for a bowfront the minute I put my deposit on the thing..
However, it is a tough cleaning job.
The choice is which one appeals the most to you in the end.



New member
I've seen bow distort but from what I've seen it's the cheap ones I love my Oceanic it wasn't cheap but no distortion, I have not trouble cleaning the glass I use a magnafloat with razor attachment side to side for 95% of curve ,up and down on the top 1"and bottom 1", As for pics I think you can capture some very unique shots.


New member
I bought the oceanic 72 gal as well. I am not bothered by the small bit of distortion and it definately has a clean unique look but . . . I would never go that route again unlees it was at least the 175 gal.
The worst part for me was the inability to drill the tank for my closed loop. All oceanic BFs are fully tempered from what I found out.

Next was the PITA of fitting lights under the canopy which is all plastic and does not like MHs at all. The two 48" atnics were also a bit of a hassle. I felt like I needed a guard on the front one so as not to chance breaking it during feeding time (the bulb has to be set in from the front of the bow about 6 inches. Plus in order to do any coral moving or major maintanance I have to completely remove the whole canopy and that sucks. I am working on a system to lift the whole thing like a lid right now.

Finally the cabinet, I had to build a custom sump to give me the 15 gals of volume I wanted and to house my skimmer. In order to get it into the cabinet though I had to take the top of the stand off and set the sump in (god help me if there ever is a problem with that sump).

Sorry about the book but I thought you might want some insight as to some of the things I overlooked when I started my bowfront tank.

corals b 4 bills

New member
I own a 155 bow front and don't mind some of the restrictions mentioned but I overload my tank and want to upgrade the skimmer.....can't, the stand is only 28 inches or so but I love the look of the bow front (no distortion also) but I am currently looking for a 300 gallon and it will be rectangular, here are some pics of my tank, sump, and canopy to show you what I had to do to make this tank work.


I have a 72 bow and moved everything to a flat front tank because the distortion bothered me. I'm one to stick my face against the glass to stare at the corals and even a little distortion bothers me. That tank is now a goldfish tank and the reef is on the opposite wall.


Staff member
RC Mod
Another Oceanic bow here, 54g. No great distortion: some magnification of far objects. Cleaning front glass no problem: getting at side glass---be sure and leave enough room when setting in corner! I like it because it utterly fills a wasted corner: cabinet is a PITA to get a big sump and big gear into. I went basement for the sump on my second setup. An alternative would be an adjacent armoire.


New member
I agree with the canopy problem that gearbox had, I solved it buy building the tank in the wall then fasening the canopy to the side walls then completely cutting away everything but the front. and I have a 175 and I tried to convert to a sump and no room so I gravity fed a fuge instead. defenatly take some measurements of the stand and equipment you want to use.