- The Best Fish Tank
- 1. Marina LED Aquarium Kit
- 2. Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit
- 3. Tetra ColorFusion Aquarium
- 4. GloFish Aquarium Kit
- 5. Hagen HG Fluval Flex Aquarium
- 6. Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit
- 7. SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set
- 8. Tetra ColorFusion Starter Aquarium Kit
- 9. Coralife LED Biocube Aquarium LED
- 10. Aqueon Aquarium Starter Kit
Did you know that fish are the third most popular pet in the US, after dogs and cats? While non fish owners may this surprising, those in the know understand first-hand just how rewarding keeping fish can be. And they don’t need to be an expensive pet to introduce to your home, or difficult to care for.
From smaller freshwater fish to the larger tropical beauties, there are fish tanks for all types of fish and fish environments. So, if you are looking to join the 11.5 million households in the US who are currently fishkeepers, then let us help you take the plunge. We’ve dived into some of the best fish tanks for both beginners and the more experienced, so you can enjoy the life aquatic in your own home.
The Best Fish Tank
Glass, 10-gallon aquarium
Ideal as a starter kit
Clip-on adjustable filter
LED light system in canopy
Our Best Choice is an ideal option if you’re just setting out as an aquarist, as this 10 gallon tank is easy to set up and maintain. Made from glass, this fish tank has a simple, attractive design, and the rest of the kit gives you the essential basics to get started. You get a clip-on, adjustable filter with easy change filters as well as a natural looking LED lighting system built into the canopy to keep your fish healthily illuminated. Add in starter fish food, as well as a supplement to use when you need to cycle the water, you also get a water conditioner to make your tap water safe One of the best fish tanks for aquarium newbies.
Glass aquarium with sliding canopy
Built-in hidden filtration system
Day and moonlight lighting
While the Marineland is on the smaller side – it has a 5 gallon volume – it’s a pretty tank that could accommodate a single small fish such as a Betta or could be used as a temporary tank for clean outs or fish quarantine. And this is a glass tank that has been built for easy viewing, with rounded corners and a clear canopy. As a tall fish tank, the floor space is not huge, but you can get in a few plants and a decoration or two. We really like the lighting on this aquarium kit, which gives both day and moonlight to keep your fish in their natural cycle and the whole fish tank is easy to access, thanks to the sliding canopy.
Glass aquarium with 20 gallon capacity
ColorFusion LED to change the water color
Includes filter and heater and plants
Free anemone tank decoration
The Tetra is one of the best home aquarium choices if you like your fish tanks to be a work of art! This 20 gallon kit is well-sized for multiple small fish so a good place to start. But what sets this glass tank apart is that you can change the color background, thanks to its ColorFusion LED system. This changing LED creates a beautiful atmosphere inside your fish tank, and you can choose to leave it on the multi-color cycle to make the colors in your tropical fish pop or pause on one color to create a calming effect. As well as the LED system, you also get a heater, a quiet filtration system and two underwater plant packs, so you can set up a soothing and healthy underwater world.
Small glass tank for glofish
1.5 gallon water capacity
Blue LED to bring out fluorescence
Easy to set up and care for
Our Best Value is this mini top pick from GloFish which has been designed to bring the fluorescence in glofish beautifully to life. It has a small 1.5 gallon capacity but the glass tank design is sturdy and should comfortably hold a single glofish and would look stunning on a desk or in a child’s bedroom. Glofish were bred to help detect environmental pollutants and, thanks to the blue LED light in the canopy, totally pop with vibrancy. But this glass aquarium kit is not just about looks, it comes complete with an internal filter and pump and is easy to set up, clean and maintain.
15-gallon freshwater fish tank
Curved front for enhanced view
LED lights and plant lamp
Includes BioMax for water quality
Our premium pick is one of the sleekest looking fish aquariums you can buy, and you get an excellent build quality. Coming in at a 15 gallon capacity, this is also one of the best freshwater fish tanks in our review. Made from glass, the front is a stunning curve and the black back panel makes an excellent backdrop to all that fish activity. The inner tank is also well illuminated, thanks to the fully adjustable LEDs, plus you get a LED lamp to support plant growth. The canopy lights shimmer and can change color, all from the handy remote control. Add in a powerful three stage filtration system, directional water flow and bio media to support optimum water quality, and you have a top home fish tank investment.
Large 55 gallon capacity
Glass tank with hinged Tetra hood
200W heater, WPF 60 filter
LED lighting for natural daylight
If you are looking for a super-sized fish tank, then the Tetra 55 gallon glass aquarium kit should fit the bill! This large glass tank has plenty of space for larger or multiple fish and is an ideal choice for tropical fish. The kit comes with everything you need to set up a tropical fish home from home, including a 200W heater, filter and digital thermometer to ensure the water temperature remains constant. Access is easy too, thanks to the hinged plastic hood. We also like the LED lighting set up, which adds a natural daylight to keep those tropical fish happy. As it’s a large tank, this glass aquarium is a heavyweight, but you can also buy the optional stand to keep everything stable.
Made from scratch-resistant acrylic
Invisible seams for a clearer view
Can be used as a fresh or saltwater fish
Includes reflector and light system
Sometimes the edges of a fish aquarium can distort the view which is where the SeaClear comes into its own. Made from durable acrylic, the SeaClear has invisible seams to ensure a continuity of view, wherever you are in the room. This is a nicely shaped tank with provides a 20 gallon capacity so has enough space for several fish. It can also work as a saltwater aquarium. The acrylic build is impact resistant, so a safe fish tank choice for a busy family, where there are young children and pets. While it’s billed as a set, you will need to buy a heater and filtration system, but you do get a reflector to enhance the inner tank space, as well as a 15-inch light feature for extra illumination.
3 gallon acrylic fish tank
Half-moon shape gives 180-degree view
Bubble curtain and LED light system
Includes Tetra Whisper Internal Power Filter
For something totally different to the regular shaped tanks, this half-moon-shaped aquarium from Tetra also has a bubbling curtain to make a beautiful feature in your home. While it is a small tank – coming in at three gallons – there’s space for a small fish or two and the 180-degree viewing means you get to see all of the aquarium action. With a two-stage filtration system, this tank takes care of its fishy occupants, and the air pump drives both the filter and the eye-catching bubbles. Add in an LED light system in a choice of rainbow colors and an easy access clear canopy and this pretty fish tank will take center stage in your home.
Modern glass and black plastic design
Built-in filtration system
Day and night LED lights
Added colors and 24-hour timer
While the BioCube is at the top end of our best fish aquariums review, you can see the quality of the design. Made from glass, with a cool black frame and canopy, this fish tank will really add to the décor of your home. So, what do you get for the BioCube’s premium price-tag? Well, there’s the compact filtration system, with dual intakes, adjustable nozzle and a submersible pump. The low-profile canopy also hides a brilliance of LED lighting, with white for daytime and a sparkling moon glow for night. You can also shake it up with the color enhancing LEDs, and all are set on a 24-hour timer so you can create the day and night look you and your fish want.
20-gallon glass aquarium
Low profile hood with LED lighting
QuietFlow 10 LED PRO power filter
Preset heater ideal for tropical fish
The Aqueon is a decent-sized starter aquarium set, with a 20 gallon capacity which will grow with you as you develop your aquatic knowledge. With its conventional rectangle glass tank, you also get a low-profile hood with built-in LEDs. There’s also a pre-set heater to keep the water at a constant temperature that’s ideal for most tropical fish. We like the QuietFlow filter with indicator, so you know when the cartridge needs changing and there’s sufficient space for several fish as well as plants and decoration. And to complete the aquarium kit, you also get water conditioner, fish food, net and thermometer to get you and your new fish up and running.
Best Fish Tank Buying Guide & FAQ
What to Look for When Buying an Aquarium for Your Fish
Depending on the fish you intend to keep and the space you have, you need to consider the following when looking to buy a new aquarium:
Tank Size: Your fish need enough space to thrive as too many fish in a small space will quickly lead to a build-up of toxins. And some fish don’t like to be in close proximity to others. Smaller gallon sized fish tanks can also suffer from fluctuation in temperature and water chemistry. Aim for a 10-gallon tank or larger, especially if you are a first-time fishkeeper and if in any doubt, speak to the experts in your local aquarist shop.
Material: Aquariums are made from either glass or acrylic and both have their pros and cons. Glass fish tanks tend to be the cheapest and are durable, remains clear and are less likely to scratch. However, they are heavy and are not the most impact resistant. Acrylic, meanwhile, can be more expensive but is lighter than glass, so a good choice for larger fish tanks or if you need to move your aquarium around. They also have better impact resistance and can come in a variety of fish tank shapes but can scratch and have a tendency to slightly yellow over time.
Weight: The weight of a tank is an essential consideration as it will weigh much more when full of water. This means you need to consider its portability if you need to move it to clean or re-fill as well as whether it is the right weight for the stand or shelf you intend to place it on.
Filtration: Even if you are looking for a cold freshwater tank, you will need to ensure the water is filtered and healthy for your fish so look for the right filter for your tank. And depending on the fish you intend to keep, ensure the filter and pump are gentle enough or can be adjusted to create the right environment and water movement for your fish.
Heater: Unless you can ensure your room temperature remains constant all year round, then you will need a tank heater, even for cold water fish. Choose the heater appropriate for your type of fish and ensure it can be adjusted to get the right water environment. And don’t forget a thermometer if there is not one built-in with your heater.
Cost: Know your maximum budget before you buy a new fish aquarium as when you take into account all the accessories and equipment you will need; it can add up to a significant investment.
Why You Should Have a Fish Aquarium at Home
As all aquarium keepers will tell you, a fish aquarium can bring hours of pleasure. Here are our top reasons for having a fish aquarium in your home:
They look good: A well-kept and well-stocked aquarium is a stunning addition to your home and will create an eye-catching centerpiece to any room. Whether you opt for small fish tanks or a large, free-standing aquarium, they will be enjoyed for years to come.
They don’t take up much space: Depending on the size of tank you choose, an aquarium can fit neatly into most homes. They also cost less to maintain, compared to many other popular pets.
Stress reduction: Simply taking the time to sit and watch your aquarium is good for stress management as well as your health and wellbeing. Which is why you often see fish tanks in dentist and doctor waiting rooms as well as high-stress environments such as hospitals and offices.
Different Types of Fish Tanks
There are two main types of tanks – cold water and warm water (tropical). These can then be categorized as follows, depending on your chosen fish type:
Freshwater: Either cold or tropical, freshwater fish tanks are one of the best set ups for beginners as they are easier to set up and give you a create choice of live plants to opt for.
Marine water (salt): This is where you can add some exotic looking fish to your tank and create a tropical or reef environment that's ideal for fish such as clownfish. Marine water tanks can also be cold, and house cold water fish such as blennies. Marine tanks can be trickier to manage as you also need to maintain the water salinity and other delicate chemistry in the water.
Brackish: A brackish water aquarium requires a carefully balanced mix of marine salt and fresh water to create the right environment for brackish fish, such as the fantail guppy.
How to Set Up a Fish Aquarium
While you should always follow any set-up instructions that come with your aquarium and associated equipment, here’s a basic guide to setting up a fish tank:
- Place the aquarium in its new location, ensuring it is secure and near to any plug sockets you may need
- Rinse out the tank thoroughly to remove any dust or dirt. Do not use any chemicals or cleaning products, just fresh, clean water
- Now rinse your substrate and pour across the bottom of the tank. There’s no need to spread it out evenly yet as it will only be disturbed when you add the water
- Fit your filter and heater to where they need to be inside your tank, but don’t switch them on
- Fill the tank with water, ensuring it has been appropriately dechlorinated and treated first with water conditioner, then spread the gravel out evenly.
- Rinse your decorations thoroughly and add to the tank. Now you can turn the filter, heater and light timer on
- Before adding your fish, add any aquatic plants and then move to the ‘cycle’ stage
- You will need to let the tank – without fish – go through a full cycle, which is where you enable a healthy biological filter to establish. Follow your tank manufacturer’s instructions, but as a guide to the process, add a large pinch of fish food to the water to get the filtration system working and prevent the build-up of ammonia and nitrate. If these toxins are allowed to build up, your fish could suffer as a result of ‘New Tank Syndrome’.
- Do a partial water change every couple of days for around a month or until the nitrate levels are trace.
- You are now ready to add your new fish to their tank!
How to Clean a Fish Tank
How often you need to clean your aquarium will depend on the size of the tank, the number of fish it houses and the type of filtration system you have. Checking the tank each day for a build-up of waste so is a good habit to get into and can make a full clean easier.
For most average-sized tanks, a weekly water change is ideal, as it ensures your fish are kept in optimal conditions. You need to remove about a quarter of the tank’s water and replace it with appropriately treated water to bring it back to full volume. At the same time, it’s a good idea to give any accessories inside aquarium a scrape or sponge to remove any dirt or algae and clean the bottom gravel with an aquarium hoover.
Once a month, test the tank's ammonia, nitrate and pH levels and clean the filter cartridges. A full deep clean should be scheduled every six months, and will also involve removing, checking and cleaning filters, pumps, lights, heaters and accessories to ensure everything is clean, safe and in good working order.
Our Top Pick
Our Best choice - the Marina LED Aquarium Kit - is a top pick if you're starting out as a fishkeeper as it's easy to set up and maintain, with enough room for several fish as well as live plants and decorations. The adjustable filter clips on and you can create the right amount of light, thanks to the LED light system in the tank's canopy. Simply designed, this fish tank kit is also smart enough for your home, giving you hours of fish watching pleasure.
Fish Tank FAQ
Q: What size fish tank should I buy?
Fish tanks range from less than one gallon to 200 gallon plus. So, the size of your aquarium tanks not only depends on the type and number of fish you intend to keep, but also the space you have available. As a general rule of thumb, a five-gallon tank is the minimum recommended for a single fish as smaller tanks and bowls can be susceptible to fluctuating PH levels and a build-up of waste materials which can be harmful for its inhabitants. The most popular home aquariums are between 10 and 20 gallons, as they comfortably hold at least a couple of fish, plus plants, accessories and the necessary fish care devices. A 20 to 40-gallon tank can comfortably hold half a dozen fish, while for multi-fish and multi-species aquarium set ups, a tank size of over 40 gallons is advised.
Q: Where should I place my aquarium?
When choosing the perfect location for your fish tank, you need to consider both the type of fish you have and the size and weight of the tank itself. The shape of the aquarium and the size of your room are also essential considerations as you want to place it where it can be easily viewed and accessed without getting in the way. And if you have heaters or filters, the tank needs to be in easy reach of any electrical sockets you may need. However, be cautious about placing your tank near to a window or heat source, such as a radiator, especially if you need to keep a consistent water temperature inside your fish aquarium. And too much direct sun can encourage algae to grow inside the tank, which will eventually murk up your aquarium water.
Q: How many fish can I have in a tank?
The number of fish you can have in a tank at any one time will depend on both the size of your fish tank and also the type of fish you have. Some fish, such as betta, can be aggressive with others so need to be kept alone. But for multi-fish tanks, the general guidance is one inch of fish per gallon of water.
However, this doesn’t consider the type of fish you want to keep, the filtration system you have and the accessories and plants you intend to place in your aquarium. And it doesn’t take into account juvenile fish and their growth to adult. So, the best way to work out how many fish you can have in a fish tank is to know the type of fish you want and work from the largest, then base your total fish number on two gallons of water per one inch of fish, to reduce any margin for error.
Q: What else to put in a fish tank?
As well as your fish, there are a host of other equipment and accessories you may need to add, including:
- Filtration system: This is needed to filter the water regularly throughout the day and keep it healthy. Filters come in a range of designs, but whichever one you choose, it needs to be size-appropriate for your fish tank.
- Heater: Even if your fish are not tropical, most will require the fish tank temperature to be around 68 degrees F, while warm-water fish need it to be between 74 to 77 degrees. So, unless your room temperature remains constant, you'll need an aquarium heater.
Thermometer : This is an important addition to your aquarium kit as it means you can continually monitor the water temperature.
- Substrate : This is the layer you need to line the bottom of the fish tank and includes gravel and sand.
Plants : As well as looking attractive in an aquarium, live plants also help to keep the fish tank’s water clean by removing ammonia from the water.
- Decorations : While the number you have should be limited, those fun accessories such as caves, treasure chests and boulders also have a practical function as they can also provide a hiding or resting place for your fish.