A fish tank can easily be a focal point in any room in your home, and they provide a safe environment for your fish to live in. Everyone wants a great-looking tank (and there are some really cool and sleek designs out there) but also it’s important for your fish to be comfortable at all times.
You can achieve both of these by ensuring you have the best fish tank setup. This is an aquarium round-up, written to cover types of aquariums available that may be very well suited for you. We will start with small nano tanks (great for beginners) but also look at some other sizes and designs going up in size.
There are several benefits that come from having a fish tank in your home. However, there are so many options to choose from that it can be overwhelming. Avoid the anxiety, and check out the tips for choosing a proper tank below.
For the setup I have at home, my personal best is the Marineland Contour 3-Gallon fish tank as I have a very small space at home, but still in love with the idea of having my betta warrior in view. And hey, I also have one in my office! 😉
A great-looking aquarium that hardly takes up any room.
Dimension: 12 x 12 x 12.5 inches ; 10.5 pounds
Size: 3 gallons
If you need something that’s compact and is reasonably easy to maintain, then the Marineland Contour deserves your attention. At 3 gallons, this glass aquarium is perfect for bringing some zen into your life without some of the headaches that come with larger aquariums. You can put it on your desk or even a nightstand if you want a relaxing nightlight.
The LED light that overhangs on the curved arms do a great job at providing enough light for live plants without any extra lighting. The reflector top does the double job of keeping your fish from jumping out and also helping to reflect light onto the water surface.
The pump and the 3 stage filter system, while hidden from view, does a great job at keeping the water crystal clear without any extra fussing.
If you’re thinking about picking this aquarium up for your smaller easy-going fish, make sure you turn the pump down to the absolute minimum setting, otherwise, the current could cause your fish to crash into the walls and decor.
Also, this aquarium doesn’t come with a heater, but if you decide to add a submersible heater, there’s a notch in the lid that will allow the cord to lie flat without impeding the lid in any way.
3 stage filter provides clear water
Small compact size is perfect for small areas
Set the current with the adjustable pump
No tank heater included.
The back-quarters that house filter and pump could be a little cramped when trying to do maintenance
The perfect bachelor’s pad for smaller fish at an entry-level price.
Dimension: 14.4 x 10 x 10 inches
Size: 5 gallon
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
A desktop aquarium that will appeal to most budgets.
Dimension: 10″ D x 10″W x 10.512″H
Size: 3 gallons
Because of the small compact size of the LED Cube Kit, this aquarium is best suited for smaller fish like Tetras and Guppies. Be careful not to overstock.
The LED light that overhangs from a single-arm from the back, is bright enough to showcase your fish. The lid comes with a convenient feed hole that you can use to drop flakes or small pellets for your fish friends without making a mess.
This 3-gallon aquarium comes with a 3i filter – filtering mechanically, chemically and biologically – keeping your aquarium water clean with minimal effort. With a few extra additions like a heater, this tank would be the perfect setup for a betta.
Overall, we recommend this aquarium if you want something stylish but don’t have much space to work with.
The small square design is perfect for dorm rooms or office desks.
The acrylic material makes it easy to clean (use an acrylic-approved sponge).
The 3i filter- mechanical, chemical, and biological helps ensure that the water will look crystal clear.
Our research revealed mixed reviews on whether or not the filter was adequate enough.
Filter and heater aren’t hidden away as nicely as some Fluval designs.
A compact fish tank with a sleek design and packed with features.
Dimension: 17.2 x 10.6 x 6.3 Inch
Size: 5 Gallon
The Fluval Spec has a great, compact, design that has been excellently thought out by the manufactures. It comes with a 3 stage filter which has a slot for the sponge, carbon insert, and biomax. What this means is this filter performs all three types of filtration mechanical, chemical and biological.
The tank also comes with a pump and motor and all of which fits neatly into a small hidden compartment on the side without ruining the sleek appearance of this tank.
There is not much room for a heater within this small hidden compartment, but we have found the perfect heater to fit in this small space is the Hydor 50w. Alternatively, you could put any submersible heater into the main section of the aquarium tank for fish such as Neon Tetras, Guppies, and Betta fish. The tank is made from high-quality glass and finished off with a great-looking aluminum frame (and a matching aluminum arm for the aquarium light).
Because all aspects of the Fluval Spec V have been designed to work together within a compact space you are limited to just Fluval parts. For example, the LED light cannot be changed for another model if you wanted to grow advanced live plants that required higher/brighter wattage.
Stylish and compact design – perfect for countertops.
A quiet and hidden air filter/pump means you’ll hardly know it’s there.
Adjustable flow pump so you can control the power of the current depending on the preference of your fish.
Updated modern fishbowl design with great looks and premium features.
Dimension: 16 x 16 x 17 inches
Size: 8 gallons
We think you’ll agree the orb shape looks amazing! The biOrb certainly makes an attractive but functional decor piece in most homes.
This aquarium boasts a five-stage filtration system: biological, mechanical, chemical, water stabilization, and oxygenation. When it does come time to change out filters, it’s designed to be super-simple and doesn’t take much time. Making this stylish aquarium perfect for someone who’s always busy.
The pump is located on the outside of the tank so you can maximize as much room in the aquarium as possible. The built-in light is integrated within the lid and bright enough to light up the contents of the aquarium but won’t cause a glare when viewed from different angles.
One thing you should be aware of is that tiny fish can get sucked into the filter. If you catch it on time, you can usually release them without causing extensive stress or damage. For this reason, we’d probably only recommend this aquarium for small/medium fish.
Along with the tank, you also get the lid that contains the LED light, air pump, air stone, filter cartridges, ceramic media, water conditioner, and a small starter pack of beneficial bacteria.
Acrylic orb design is really cool and stylish.
Crystal clear water with the 5 stage filtration.
Includes starter kit of almost everything you need.
The acrylic design may not suit some fish enthusiasts.
Smaller ‘floor’ area of the aquarium will mean you can’t house many live plants.
At 10 gallons, we’ve found that the Marina Aquarium Kit is ideal for an all-you-need kit – especially for those beginners to fishkeeping.
The kit comes with almost everything you need to get started, including LED light, filter, fish food, Aqua Plus water conditioner, Cycle Biological Supplement, a net, and an aquarium care guide that includes advice on how to set up and maintain your aquarium.
The hood has a built-in LED light that sufficiently illuminates the entire tank without glare, so you don’t have to strain your eyes to observe your fish. The filter is a clip-on type that hangs on the back of the tank so as to not take up extra room and is hardly noticeable. Its size makes it perfect for a number of fish stocking options.
This provides almost everything you will need to get started. The only thing that could really make this kit better is if a heater came included, so make sure you pick one up beforehand.
Perfect for getting started in fishkeeping without spending your entire paycheck.
Comes with some accessories to get you up and running with minimal investment.
The current for this aquarium can be too strong for some fish.
An ideal starter kit for anyone who needs a visual reminder for when to change the filters.
Dimension: 20.2 x 10.5 x 13.3 inch
Size: 10 gallons
If we had to pick a do-it-yourself aquarium kit, Aqueon Starter Kit would probably be the one. Normally when you pick up a kit, you get the pump, a thermometer, water conditioner, and a small sample pack of fish food. These are enough to get you off on the right foot, but the Aquaeon kit goes beyond those basics. Instead, you’ll get all of that, PLUS a fishnet AND a preset aquarium heater.
A rather unique feature of this tank is that there is a red LED light that will flash to let you know when it’s time to change out the filter cartridges. This means that this aquarium would be great for you if you’re new to the world of fishkeeping, (or it’s your kids’ first aquarium).
The filter and pump hang on the outside of the aquarium, so there’s more room for your fish and less of a distraction. Plus when it is turned on the whole setup is quiet, great!
The hood, featuring LED lighting, fits securely over the top of the aquarium to help reduce water evaporation and also prevent fish from jumping out. While condensation does happen, it doesn’t appear to affect the lights in the least bit. So if you’re looking for the perfect setup for live plants without any extra fussing, this one should be at the top of your list. Plants like Java Ferns seem to thrive just fine in this setup.
All this at a very competitive price!
The filter boasts a 5 stage advanced water filtration.
An LED indicator light alerts you when it’s time to change the filter.
It’s a complete starter kit!
The LED lights could potentially be better protected.
It will pay to do your research on the number of fish you’d like to have in your aquarium. This will give you an indication of the size of tank you will need (which we will discuss next. A general rule of thumb is the one-inch per gallon rule.
This takes the length of all your fish (adult sizes) and for every inch, in length, your tank size should have one gallon of space/water. So five fish that will each grow to two inches in length require a 10-gallon tank. You should note that this calculation is only a rough estimate, and it is always a good idea to ask when you’re purchasing fish for the first time and study a stocking guide.
Larger fish that are messier like goldfish will need more room. The same goes for territorial fish such as betta fish.
Your fish tank’s size is one of the most important aspects of your fish tank as it determines how many fish you can safely and comfortably keep in it. It may be easier for a beginner to look for a smaller aquarium for their first one like the compact Fluval Spec V. A small, nano fish tank of around 5 gallons or even up to a larger 20-gallon fish tank is probably an excellent size choice for people new to the aquarium hobby.
This will give beginners a good experience before looking towards larger more complex community tanks.
There are special stands that are built specifically for aquariums available for you to purchase with good reason. Once you’ve filled your aquarium with water and got it up and running, it can be extremely heavy.
A standard full ten-gallon aquarium will weigh over 110 pounds! Find out how heavy the aquarium size you were thinking of owning is here.
The cost of starting up and maintaining an aquarium is typically more expensive than beginner aquarium enthusiasts assume it is.
A big reason for this is because you may see a tank on special for a few dollars and think this is all you’ll need. In reality, it can easily cost you between $150 to $200 and up just to purchase all of your necessary equipment and your fish.
You’ll also have to think about chemicals and routine maintenance costs.
Benefits Of Having An Aquarium In The Home
Once you look beyond the care of the fish, you’ll actually find that having even just one aquarium in your house exposes you to a range of benefits. When it comes to having an aquarium there are several benefits plus they bring a calming, natural feel to any room you have them in.
Even your smaller ten-gallon aquariums work to bring a relaxed feel to the room, and you can customize them as little or as much as you want. Two common health benefits of an aquarium in the home are:
Reduced anxiety and stress
Lowered blood pressure
Watching the fish swim and interact with their environment has a soothing and meditative effect. In fact, studies show that aquariums are so effective at reducing tension, many dentist/medical offices, and nursing homes, keep an aquarium in their waiting or common areas. “An aquarium need not be large.
There are now mini aquariums that sit on the desktop and have the same effect as the large ones. Also, this [aquariums] need not be expensive and, when you think about it, is a good investment in emotional well-being,” Says Allan N. Schwartz, Ph.D. at mentalhelp.net.
The Best Fish Tank From Our Reviews
You’ve learned that picking the right aquarium has less to do with your budget and more to do with special considerations like the type of fish you’ll be stocking, how many you’ll be stocking, and the surface area of an aquarium.
So, which was the best fish tank from our round-up?
There is so many factors in choosing one overall winner. We had to choose two. One is the best value fish tank, with the price added in as a factor this is our overall winner. The next choice we remove price as a factor.
Everything included in this kit will get you off to the right start for a minimal investment. You can throw in a small tank heater, substrate, and decorations for not a whole lot more, and you’d have the perfect setup.
You can read more about it in our Medium fish tank section.
Best Fish Tank – Quality and Style
If you do not mind spending a little more in order to get a fish tank that will give a wow factor and become a focal point of your room. We would recommend the Marineland Contour. Compact and very stylish with LED lights that can turn it into a color show.
All in all, after some research beforehand and acquiring the right aquarium setup for your species of fish, you’ll be rewarded with an easy and enjoyable hobby that takes up very little of your time and can also help take your mind off of everyday stress.
Last Updated: October 17, 2021
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