When beginners to aquarium care begin to think about adding an aquarium to their home a common concern is the availability of space.
A 5-gallon fish tank is a fantastic solution to this.
They will often come in dimensions that can fit on any desktop or surface. Yet still, they are big enough to be fitted with a filter and heater safely which most fish need to thrive and have happy lives.
Fish bring a different sense of life to the atmosphere of a room. There is nothing better than taking in the beauty of fish swimming peacefully.
To help you make a valuable choice, we have picked five of the best 5-gallon fish tanks. In this list, my best overall is the Fluval Chi for reasons you’ll soon find out below.
We also created a buyer’s guide that tells you what to search for when looking for the ideal aquarium.
A compact aquarium that is kid-friendly and resistant to impact.
Dimensions: 11 x 19-3/4 x 11 inches
Size: 6 gallons
This AquaView aquarium holds six gallons of water and has a cylindrical shape that offers a 360-degree view. The tank is the ideal choice for homes, dormitory rooms, and offices where a bit of subtle style is necessary.
The LED lighting is energy efficient and offers seven different colors which is a unique characteristic.
This aquarium has the Superclean 10 internal power filter that purifies your tank at a flow rate of 45 GPH. Discolorations and odors are the first to go when this cleaning mechanism is activated.
You can get a clear view of your fish with the seamless acrylic construction of this tank. The AquaView fish tank is resistant to impact and kid-friendly. Beginners get all the tools needed to start a freshwater aquarium habitation.
Great outward design
Unique shape which doesn’t take up much bench space for a 6-gallon tank
Heater not included and may be fiddly to fit into a ‘perfect’ place
A beginner tank that comes with everything you need to start up.
Dimension: 14.2 x 10 x 11.5 inches
Size: 5 gallons
The Koller Panaview aquarium is the perfect starter kit that lets beginners get a taste of 5 gallons worth of aquarium goodies. Equipped with a filter that cleans at a 45 GPH flow rate for clear water results. The filter cartridge within the filter purifies water so that discolorations and odors are things of the past.
Great value aquarium for beginners. Another perk associated with this product is the LED lighting that is energy efficient and diverse. Amber, Aqua, and traditional blue are three of many colors that emulate the light. The kit that comes with this tank provides everything you need to start a freshwater aquarium. This tank is the ideal choice for fish lovers.
The Marineland fish tank has a three-stage filter for great water conditions.
Dimension: 11.8 x 11.6 x 17 inches
Size: 5 gallons
The Marineland aquarium is of a portrait orientation – this is good for those that do not have much desk/tabletop space as the tank is not as wide as other 5-gallon fish tanks.
The fish tank has some great design finishing touches such as the modern black frame.
The design is enhanced further with a hidden back compartment that houses the included advanced 3 stage filter. (plus there is enough room for you to squeeze in a small heater)
Bright LED lighting is included on a hinged-over hanging frame and makes part of the well-thought-out design of the tank. The lighting has two settings, white and blue (night mode), that could support some easy-care live plants.
Great for first-time fish owners
3-stage filtration system for great water quality
check-circleHidden back compartment keeps filter and heater out of view
Portrait design means fish have less horizontal swim space
Energy efficiency and hidden LED lights are cool features offered by the Tetra.
Dimension: 16.6 x 11.2 x 13.2 inches
Size: 5 gallons
Energy efficiency and lighting are at the helm of the Tetra Crescent fish tank. Several LED lights are hidden within the design of this aquarium. A mechanical filter neatly fits on the back of the tank and works quietly to keep water conditions optimal.
This aquarium kit is ideal for beginners.
The Tetra aquarium comes with a kit that makes it easy for beginners to start. Ultra Activated carbon is incorporated for more efficient removal of odors and discoloration. The size and shape of this tank make it a great fish tank for a betta fish.
The Fluval Chi is a 5-gallon aquarium inspired by the calming principles of Feng Shui.
Dimension: 14.4 x 10 x 10 inches
Size: 5 gallons
The Fluval Chi is a stylish aquarium that promotes the values of health and prosperity while filling your room with positive energy. It is made from glass and has an aluminum trim which helps give it its modern look.
The robust LED lighting system will support low/medium care live plants.
The 14.4-inch length of this tank is bigger than most 5-gallon fish tanks. We also rate this tank as the best betta fish tank.
Great quality and stylish product
Advanced filtration system included
LED lights included which can support live plants
Fully rotatable center cube for better positioning
Lighting can only be used with the filter turned on
The average 5-gallon fish tank comes equipped with a filtration system, artificial lighting and some include a heater. A top, which is separate from the central part of the compartment, is typically where the lighting system is housed.
The filtration system is a vital component of the 5-gallon aquarium. This is what separates them from fish bowls.
Fishbowls are not healthy places to bring up fish as without a filter the water quickly becomes dirty and full of toxins from fish waste. Great water quality is the staple of good fishkeeping – which is why we would recommend upgrading from that fishbowl to an aquarium like these 5-gallon ones below.
Acrylic Versus Glass Fish Tanks
When shopping around for your first tank you will probably see a variety of designs and a variety of prices – and you may think “what is the difference?”. One main difference is the materials that your aquarium will be made from.
Acrylic Fish Tanks
The advantages of acrylic fish tanks are:
Super clear viewing
Lighter than glass
Can be molded into cool shapes
The disadvantages of acrylic fish tanks are:
Prone to scratches
Porous so can absorb chemicals
Can yellow over time
Generally more expensive
Glass Fish Tanks
The advantages of glass fish tanks are:
More scratch resistant
Won’t ‘yellow’ over time
Non-porous (so don’t absorb chemicals)
Generally cheaper than acrylic tanks
The disadvantages of glass fish tanks are:
Fewer design shapes available
In general, as long as you are aware of the points above you will be able to make a sound choice. We believe a glass tank such as Fluval Spec V tank is the best value as that material holds up over time. It doesn’t discolor and it is resistant to scratches as you clean it.
There is also the option of selecting aquariums according to classifications. The most common of these types of characterizations are:
The Freshwater aquarium, which is the most popular – especially for beginners
The Marine or Saltwater aquariums, which are more work to maintain thereby, less popular to beginners.
The Brackish Water aquarium, which combines elements present in both Freshwater and Marine tanks.
With so many options on the market, it may be challenging for you to decide which 5-gallon fish tank is the best choice. You want something that is bright enough to accentuate the room, yet not so huge that it requires its own specialist aquarium stand.
It is even more critical that you find the best tank that fully satisfies the needs of your fish. Here are five possible options for fish aquariums for you to consider.
The Best Fish Tank From Our Reviews
The Fluval Chi is our best 5-gallon fish tank. With its eye-catching design, advanced 3 stage filter, and LED Lighting is the clear winner among the five fish tanks.
There is a high quality that is expected with Fluval products and the Fluval Chi delivers. The fully rotatable center cube for better positioning is a great feature especially for fish lovers living in small spaces.
Last Updated: October 17, 2021
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