Getting the best small fish tank, as opposed to a larger one, can have multiple benefits. For one, you have more options for your interior decorations. Unlike a large capacity aquarium where you need a designated space, you can place a small tank pretty much anywhere. Additionally, because they come in all kinds of shapes and with multiple LED lights, you have even more latitude on what to do with it. However, choosing a product may be more problematic than looking for the most aesthetically pleasing variety. There’s also the issue of size, internal filtration, as well as many other factors. Luckily, you have this guide. Here, we’ll show you what to look out for when selecting a tank. We’ll also recommend 15 of the best tanks on the market right now.
Guide to Choosing the Best Tank for Small Fish
Here are five things to consider when buying your fish tank
You already know that you need a small fish tank. But how small? Some people consider a small fish tank to be an aquarium of capacity between 30 gallons and half a gallon. If you need something for your nightstand, 30 gallons might be too big. On the other hand, half a gallon may be too small to spot from the couch. It’s best to decide where you’ll keep the tank and go from there.
Most small tanks come with LED lights. These project all kinds of colors, and they can really bring the aquarium to life. If you’re considering using your fish tank as decoration, you should look for one with LED lights.
Aquarium decorations like plastic plants and substrates are the difference between a boring aquarium and a beautiful one. If you can help it, find a tank that comes with decorations. If you can’t find one, consider investing in some. A plant and some gravel will do.
Internal filter and water pump
If you’ve ever owned a large aquarium, you know that a water pump and filter is essential. They can keep the water clean and free of excess bacteria. They also make the job of maintaining the tank much easier. Luckily, tanks with internal filters and pumps aren’t as expensive as you might think.
Ease of Installation
As a rule of thumb, any small tank that requires two people to install is too complicated. You should be able to put your pet fish into the water as soon as the package arrives.
Top 15 Best Small Fish Tank
The good news is that we considered all these factors when recommending the products on this list. Any of them can easily become the best aquarium purchase you ever made.
Tetra Bubbling LED Aquarium Kit
One of the joys of having a small aquarium is being able to put it wherever you want – on the nightstand, on a table, or beside the TV. The Tetra Bubbling LED Aquarium takes this benefit one step further by being luminescent. The product comes with a disc that automatically displays different colors of light.
This one-gallon aquarium also comes with an air pump and a built-in filter that functions as well as any large capacity tetra aquarium filter. The air pump is responsible for driving both the disc and the filter. Tetra Bubbling LED Aquarium has a small opening that can be used to feed the fish, and it’s suitable for children of all ages.
Koller Products AquaView 2-Gallon Fish Tank
Here we have a small fish tank with an entirely different design. Instead of being rectangular or cube-in-shape, it is cylindrical. This offers a unique and undistorted 360-degree view that you just can’t get with other tank designs. It also has a unique 7-light LED setup that can illuminate the tank however you like.
Now let’s talk about the specifications. Its internal filter can clean up to 25 gallons of water every hour, and it is very efficient in removing excess bacteria and other organic impurities. Even though it is transparent, the Koller Products AquaView is made of impact-resistant plastic, and that gives you all the visibility and none of the risks.
Tetra LED Half Moon Aquarium Kit
This half-moon Aquarium Kit by Tetra has several unique features. The most striking of these is already in the name – the half-moon shape of the tank. They call it a half-moon, but it looks more like a transparent carnival mirror. It also gives the illusion that it’s larger and more spacious than its 1.1-gallon capacity allows.
This fish tank also has a movable LED light, and you can position it at the top or bottom of the tank. The light uses AA batteries, so you don’t have to worry about any power consumption. It has a hole in the canopy that makes feeding the fish easy.
Aqueon LED MiniBow Aquarium Starter Kits
You can expect the full range of Aqueon’s signature aquarium perks in this small tank. These include efficient and effective quiet flow filtration, unique tank design, and a replaceable filter cartridge. The tank has a modest capacity of 2.5 gallons, and you can get a larger 5 gallons and a smaller 1 gallon.
One unlisted benefit of this tank is that it fits the internal decoration of any room perfectly. It has a minimal design with low profile LED lights for color and beauty.
MarineLand 5 Gallon Portrait Glass LED Aquarium
Instead of multi-choice rainbow LEDs, MarineLand has gone with two very simple colors for this aquarium: bright white and blue. The bright white creates a shimmering that represents the daytime while the blue light simulates the night.
In addition to its overall minimal design, this 5-gallon tank has a hinged sliding canopy that can be used to feed the fish. It also has a filtration system that uses a 3 step process to clean the water. Only, the filtration system is out of sight, improving the aquarium’s aesthetics.
Tetra 1.8 Gallon Waterfall Globe Aquarium Kit
If you prefer a classic fishbowl structure, this aquarium is for you. It has all the benefits of the old design plus many new features. For example, the filtration system delivers clean water via a waterfall. So basically, you have a waterfall in your 1.8-gallon fishbowl!
Additionally, the globe has a low voltage LED light that can turn the fishbowl into something from the future. It is small enough to be placed on a desk, but large enough to change the aura of the entire room. The only problem you might have with this fishbowl is its open top. But then again, isn’t that what everyone looks for in a fishbowl?
Tetra Crescent Acrylic Aquarium Kit
Contrary to the open design of the fishbowl, this Crescent Acrylic Aquarium has a closed, seamless design. The content of the tank – fish and decorations – is basically a contained ecosystem. It has a curved front surface to give you a different perspective on the content of the tank.
With 5 gallons, this product is large enough to accommodate up to three community tropical fish. It also has a quiet internal filter that continuously works to clean the water. Further, the Tetra Crescent Acrylic Aquarium Kit has energy-conserving LED lights hidden in the cover to give the fish tank a unique, almost dreamy effect.
Aqueon Princess Castle Aquarium Kit
Here’s a princess-themed small aquarium that’s perfect for castle-loving kids. It can double as a decoration piece for their bedrooms or other areas in the house. The tank is made of clear acrylic, making it scratch and impact resistant.
The tank includes a castle-shaped feeding hole at the top and decorations like plants and gravel. Whenever you make the purchase, Aqueon ships the tank in a special container to protect against damage in transit.
MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit
The MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit looks like many other aquariums, except for a few differences. Most notably is the LED light that hangs above the tank, instead of being integrated with the lid. The light has two settings: Bright white for daytime and blue for night time. Also, the aquarium has a cube shape with only three sides visible. The back panel is completely opaque.
Other than these, it’s just like other aquariums, complete with easy access sliding glass canopy for feeding the fishes. This product has a capacity of 3-gallons, although you can also get a larger 5-gallon aquarium.
Aqueon 10- Gallon Black Aquarium
Aqueon went a different direction by creating a slightly larger aquarium than many others on this list. It has a high-quality glass construction with strong silicone edges. The aquarium also provides a convenient way to plug in any additional appliances that you might purchase.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to buy the lid of this 10-gallon aquarium separately. Also, the tank doesn’t come with any extras like an internal filter or aquarium decorations. But if you prefer a simple aquarium, this may be just what you need.
Koller Products Aquaview 3.5 Gallon Fish Tank
When fully set up, this aquarium looks like a coral reef’s view, with all its decorations and LED lights. It comes with a full spectrum of 7 lights and colors ranging from white to red. You can even set the lights to shine at a particular time of day.
Another great thing about this aquarium is its powerful internal filter with a flow rate of 25 gallons per hour. Given that the aquarium is only 3.5 gallons, we’d say that’s incredibly powerful.
Penn Plax Aquaponic Betta Fish Tank
The Penn Plax Aquaponic tank is actually a plastic plant holder that doubles as an aquarium. It provides a ceramic substrate material for plant, and the plant can provide a healthy ecosystem for the fish. The plants can even help mimic the natural habitat of the fishes.
Penn Plax Aquaponic tank is best for fishes like betta, tetra, and goldfish. It is easy to clean as the planter can be removed quite easily. Since the tank comes with no internal filter, you may have to change the water more often.
GloFish Aquarium Kit W/Hood, LED Lights and Whisper Filter
You can get this fish tank in two different sizes – 1.5-gallons and 3-gallons. Each size comes with a starter kit that includes the aquarium itself, led lights, and an air pump with accompanying tubing. For a few extra dollars, you can also get aquarium decorations that include various colors of plant life and decorative gravel.
The whole aquarium is easy to set up, and you may not need anything extra, except for maybe a small heater. But that too can be easily added to the aquarium with almost no trouble.
Hygger 4 Gallon Glass Fish Tank
The Hygger Glass Fishtank offers arguably the most value among the products on this list. The kit comes with several things, including a 4-gallon tank, a led-light hood with four different settings, a water pump, aquarium decorations, and replacement filter cartridges.
It’s basically an all-in-one package, and even though it’s slightly more expensive than other products on this list, it’s worth it. The entire kit is easy to assemble, down to the lid that gives you easy access to the fishes within.
FREESWA 1.4 Gallon Betta Aquarium Fish Tank
The FREESEA Aquarium allows you to choose between three great and equally priced variations. You have the half-moon in black, the square in black, and the square in white. All three varieties have the same features, including LED lights for decoration, a 1.4-gallon capacity tank, and a hidden filtration system.
The aquarium is also rechargeable, which means less power consumption. Another exciting thing about the tank is the free plastic plant decorations.
Here are some closing remarks on how to take good care of the best small fish tank. Firstly, you may have heard that you should never replace all the water in your aquarium. But a tip like that is easy to forget when you’re dealing with a few gallons of water. At most, you should only replace 25% of the water at any given time. Also, be sure to get a water heater. Most fish have optimum temperatures where they thrive. If you want to keep your pets alive, a heater is essential. Lastly, you should prune your aquatic plants if you end up going for live ones. If you don’t, they may take up space and make the tank very uncomfortable for your fish.