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 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 all types of aquarium available. We will start with small nano tanks (great for beginners) but also look at many other sizes and designs going up to 55 gallon.
If you are looking for tanks suitable for betta fish check out our best betta fish tank review round up.
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...
Fish Tank /Aquarium
Marineland Contour Glass Aquarium
Fluval View 4 Gallon Aquarium
Tetra Cube 3-Gallon Aquarium
Fluval Spec V Aquarium
BiOrb by Oase Classic 8 Gallon Aquarium
Fluval Flex LED Freshwater Kit
Marina LED Aquarium Kit
Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank Starter Kits with LED Lighting
SeaClear 26 gal Flat Back Hexagon Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set
SeaClear 50 gal Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set
What To Consider Before Buying A Fish Tank
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 on 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. 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 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 weight 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 desk top 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
Now that we've covered some of the must-know basics, in the section below, we've reviewed some aquariums that are perfect for beginners, novices, and even expert aquarists.
Best Fish Tank Reviews
Nano Aquarium Reviews: Less than 5 gallons
Marineland Contour Glass Aquarium
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.
Fluval View 4 Gallon Aquarium
The perfect bachelor's pad for smaller fish at an entry-level price.
Dimension: 15 1/4"H x 9"D x 17 1/4" W
Size: 4 gallon
The Fluval comes in a compact oval shape that would make it perfect for a child's nightstand or a desk corner.
Manufactured from acrylic means that the tank is more resistant to breaks and leaks, while also weighing significantly less than its glass counterparts.
The LED light system that comes with the system is located in the plastic canopy and has three light settings to choose from: on/off, bright daytime, or blue night time. For a sufficient nightlight, the nighttime setting is perfect. You'll get enough lighting to watch your fish swim around, without keeping you or your kids awake.
The small size won't house any fish larger than a a few inches, maybe a few guppies.
The pump and filter are integrated into the aquarium itself, but the background does a great job at hiding it from view. The only thing we don't like is the leaf background can't be customized and it can't be removed without damaging the unit.
Tetra Cube 3-Gallon Aquarium
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, 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.
Small Fish Tanks: 5-10 gallons
Fluval Spec V Aquarium
A compact fish tank with sleek design and packed with features.
Dimension: 17.2 x 10.6 x 6.3 Inch
Size: 5 Gallon
The Fluval Spec V has a great, compact, design that was 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.
The long rectangular shape of the tank gives maximum horizontal swimming area for a 5 gallon tank. This makes it a fantastic 5 gallon 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 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.
This is our unboxing video. Check out our full Fluval Spec V Review.
BiOrb Classic 8 Gallon Aquarium
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! It 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.
Fluval Flex 9 Gallon Fish Tank
One of the best tabletop aquariums with a top-notch filtration system, and a remote control!
Dimension: 16" W x 13" D x 13" H
Size: 9 gallons
The Flex Aquarium is everything you would want in an aquarium.
Everything is self-contained in a compact body that is attractive enough to be used as decor in anyone's home.
The LED lights are integrated into the lid itself and created the perfect spotlight for our aquascape and fish, but it also comes with a remote control. With the remote control handy, you can choose between various color schemes (Red, Green, Blue, White) and special effects like lightning bolts.
There is a small opening in the lid that allows you to quickly and easily feed your fish without making a mess or having to mess with the main lid.
The Fluval Flex looks really sleek! It's almost frameless and the front has a cool curved front for better viewing. And yet, it wasn't just the aesthetics of this aquarium that wowed us.
The multi-stage filter system that comes included with this setup is top notch and even above some of the aquarium kits we've seen that are MORE expensive than this one!
A bowed front only enhances the view and even has a magnifying glass effect without being distracting.
The only thing we think you should be aware of with this particular tank is, the filter and pump are located on the back of the tank and the gaps for the filter are large enough for tiny fish to get through.
This seemingly minor detail seemed irrelevant until we started noticed a few small shrimp hiding in that compartment. Fish and shrimp may retreat into these slats and they don't seem to be harmed but it can be alarming if you're not aware where they are going.
Medium Sized Fish Tank Reviews: 10-20 Gallons
Marina LED Aquarium Kit
Great value aquarium starter kit
Dimension: 20" L x 10" W x 12.5" H
Size: 10 gallons
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.
Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank Starter Kits with LED Lighting (10 or 20 Gallon)
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, this 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 red LED light 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!
Medium/Large FIsh Tank Reviews: 20-50 Gallons
SeaClear 26 Gallon Flat Back Hexagon Aquarium
An attractive middle ground between a medium and large aquarium.
Dimension: 36 x 12 x 16 inches
Size: 26 gallons
This medium hexagon-shaped aquarium will showcase your fish while adding visual appeal to any home's decor
Despite being 26 gallons and being quite larger this particular tank is not difficult to lift when you're first setting it up as it is made out of acrylic. Acrylic is a material that sometimes a turn off to some aquarists however it is clearer than glass, 17 times stronger, and only half the weight!
The LED lights rest on a reflector located on the top of the aquarium which limits the openings to the aquarium making cleaning and rearranging the decor a tricky ordeal-- definitely something you might want to keep in mind.
The air pump and filter are located separately outside the tank but are hidden from plain sight so you can enjoy watching your fish without unsightliness of the filters or pump.
One slight pain is that the lid of this aquarium doesn't fully come off. You need to do your aquascaping and cleaning through two (large) holes. They are large but it's just a little extra fuss each time.
Large Fish Tank Reviews: 50+ gallons
Seaclear 50 Gallon Acrylic Aquarium
A large 'seamless' acrylic aquarium for both salt or freshwater setups.
Dimension: 36 x 15 x 20 inches
Size: 50 gallons
Manufactured from acrylic, not only does the SeaClear 50 Gal provide a clearer view of your fish, but it weighs less than regular glass aquariums.
Acrylic is great when it comes to visually enhancing the fish, but the tradeoff means it also has a tendency to scratch easily. Please keep in mind that if you want to protect your investment and save yourself some frustration, that you'll want to use only acrylic safe scrubbers.
The top of the tank boasts two large openings. However you are limited to these opening for any rearranging of decor or tank maintenance. There isn't a fully opening top.
The filter and heater are carefully hidden behind the back of the tank, limiting distractions and adding to the beauty of this tank.
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 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 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.
Best Value Fish Tank
If we had to recommend one tank out of this entire guide, with all things considered, it would be the Aqueon fish tank starter kit- 10 or 20 gallons.
Everything included in this kit will get you off to the right start for a minimal investment. You can throw in a 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 Fluval Flex.
In our review above we reviewed the 9 gallon version but it also comes in a 15 gallon if you wanted a larger aquarium.
Compact and very stylish with a unique remote control which can adjust the LED lights 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 by an easy and enjoyable hobby that takes up very little of your time and can also help take your mind off of everyday stress.
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