When beginners to aquarium care begin to think about adding an aquarium to their home a common concern is space. A 5 gallon fish tank is a fantastic solution to this.

They will often come in dimensions of around 16" x 8" x 10" and 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.

We have picked five of the best 5 gallon fish tanks. We also created a buyer’s guide that tells you what to search for when looking for the ideal aquarium.

Fish Tank /Aquarium

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More Information

API Aquaview 360 Aquarium Kit

KollerCraft 6.5 Gallon Aquarium Kit

Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit

Tetra Crescent Acrylic Aquarium Kit

Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit

Fish Tank Buyer’s Guide

Features of a Fish Tank

Components

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 a fish bowls. Fish bowls 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 fish keeping - which is why we would recommend upgrading from that fish bowl 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 you aquarium will be made from. 

Acrylic Fish Tanks

The advantages of acrylic fish tanks are:

  • Super clear viewing
  • Lighter than glass
  • Can be moulded 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:

  • Heavier
  • Less 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 is best value as that material holds up over time. It doesn't discolor and it is resistant to scratches as you clean it.

Classifications

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 is requires its own specialist aquarium stand.

It is even more critical that you find a tank that fully satisfies the needs of your fishes. Here are five possible options for fish aquariums for you to consider. 

Best 5 Gallon Fish Tank Reviews

AquaView 6-Gallon 360 Fish Tank with Power Filter and LED Lighting

A compact aquarium that is kid-friendly and resistant to impact.

Dimensions: 11 x 19-3/4 x 11 inches
Size: 6 gallons

This small 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.

Pros

  • Great outward design
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    Unique shape which doesn't take up much bench space for a 6 gallon tank

Cons

  • Heater not included and may be fiddly to fit into a 'perfect' place
  • times-circle
    Acrylic tank may not suit some aquarists needs

KollerCraft 6.5 Gallon Aquarium Kit with Internal Filter and LED Lighting

A beginner tank that comes with enough supplies to last a month.

Dimension: 11 x 18 x 12.5 Inch
Size: 6.5 gallons

This aquarium is the perfect starter kit that lets beginners get a taste of 6.5 gallons worth of fish care. Equipped with a filter that cleans at a 45 GPH flow rate for clear water results. The Tetra Whisper X 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 but could cause bodily harm to other creatures such as frogs.

Pros

  • A unique and interesting shaped aquarium
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • LED light does not work with a timer
  • times-circle
    Acrylic tank may not suit everyone

Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit, 5-Gallon

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 / table top 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 which 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.

Pros

  • Great for first-time fish owners
  • 3-stage filtration system for great water quality
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    Hidden back compartment keeps filter and heater out of view 

Cons

  • Portrait design means fish have less horizontal swim  space 
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    Lid is a little fiddly

Tetra Crescent Acrylic Aquarium Kit

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 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 makes it a great fish tank for a betta fish.

Pros

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    LED lighting is bright
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    Great size and shape

Cons

  • Lid is quite flimsy
  • times-circle
    Acrylic tank is not for everyone

Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit, 5-Gallon

The Fluval Spec is a 5-gallon nano aquarium with a powerful LED lighting system.

Dimension: 17.2 x 10.6 x 6.3 Inches
Size: 5 gallons

The Fluval Spec V is a super stylish aquarium. It is made from glass and has an aluminum trim which helps give it it's modern look.

There is a hidden compartment which keeps the advanced three stage filtration system out of sight - for your fish viewing pleasure.

This compartment can also keep a heater out of sight. The heater is not included and only one of a certain size will fit. The one we use is the Hydor 50 and it fits great! 

The robust 37 LED lighting system which seems to hover above the tank will support low / medium care live plants​.

The 17.2 inch length of this tank is bigger than most 5 gallon fish tanks. This offers more horizontal room for the fish to swim than other options which may suit certain types of fish. We also rate this tank as the best betta fish tank.

Pros

  • Great quality and stylish product
  • Advanced filtration system included
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    Hidden compartment keep wires tidy and tank free of hardware
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    LED lights included which can support live plants

Cons

  • Even though adjustable the pump can be too strong (for betta fish)

The Best Fish Tank From Our Reviews

The Fluval Spec V 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 Spec delivers. The hidden compartment keeps all hardware out of view and gives plenty of room for your fishes to swim.

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