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Are you considering getting a new pet? Perhaps you are thinking of keeping a fish, and it is your first time buying an aquarium tank. Well, this guide will help you choose the best aquarium for yourself. It is surely exciting to pick your first fish tank, but as a beginner, you need to keep a few things in mind before you start.
In this article on best fish tanks for beginners, we have combined a list of important factors to consider before finalizing a tank. For example, the tank size, which kind of tank to buy, etc. The last section consists of reviews of a selected few fish tanks available online which may help you in short-listing a tank. Let’s get started.
Important Factors To Consider Before Buying The Best Fish Tank for Beginners
No matter if you are just a beginner or upgrading to a new tank, there are a few things to keep in mind. The factors are listed as follows;
1. The Size Of The Fish Tank
The first that goes through any beginner’s mind is; what is the best fish tank size to go for? You need to know that aquariums vary in size and range from 1 gallon to hundreds of gallons. This is one of the most important factors, and you need to think carefully before settling on any size. If you are just beginning with your new hobby, you may assume that a small tank will be easier to manage than a large one. But this is not always the case.
We may pick a size as small as 5 gallons, but a 20-gallon tank or larger is also recommended. We recommend you to go for a larger tank because of water chemistry and maintenance. Firstly, a fish tank is a compact ecosystem, plus you need to maintain a stable environment for your fish. A large tank will have a high water volume, and thus, will be resistant to change than a small one. It is easy to maintain stable conditions in a medium or large sized aquarium.
2. The Type And Size Of Fish You Want To Keep
Another crucial factor when it comes to selecting the best starter aquarium is to consider the kind of fish you want to keep. It will, in turn, determine the required size of the tank. It also is important to consider how many fish you want to keep because if you are thinking of buying a handful, you will definitely need a bigger size.
If you are thinking of keeping guppies, a small tank will do. A larger fish will need more space. If you are thinking of buying a large tank, and plan on gradually having more fish, don’t assume that just because you have a large tank you can keep as many as you want. Activity level, waste production, etc. have to be kept in mind before adding more fish. Some species of fish need more space than others, so you need to have basic information about the kind of fish you are planning to keep.
3. Where Will You Keep The Fish Tank?
A fish tank does add the beauty of aquatic nature into your home, but you need to find a place where it is visible as well as accessible. It shouldn’t be in the way of anything or shouldn’t be kept in contact with direct sunlight as it can trigger algae growth, and should be placed at a distance from doors and big windows. It should not be kept next to a door or an air vent because air-conditioning and drafts can have an effect on the tank’s temperature.
We recommend you to take a look around your home, and then decide the best possible place. You may need to create some space to keep if you can’t find enough room. Once you have selected a location, take some measurements and see what tank size you can fit.
The location where you want to place it will also determine the tank’s shape, which is also a deal for many. If you have a lot of space, you can consider buying a best starter fish tank which is rectangular in shape. If you have a shortage of space, a round fish tank will look good.
4. The Material Of The Aquarium
After considering the tank size, the next step is to think about its construction. Some of the best fish tanks are made from either of the two materials; glass or acrylic. Both materials offer their own benefits; it depends on what you prefer. An aquarium made of glass is hefty, tough to scratch, and doesn’t cost much. It is a good option for long-term investment as it maintains clarity over time.
Acrylic tanks are costly, but lightweight and resistant to cracking or breaking. If you would like to keep changing the location of your tank, you may want to buy a tank which weighs light and so is easy to move. In the end, both are great options, just consider how much you are willing to spend and check online.
5. Consider The Weight
After you’ve thought about both the construction materials; think about the weight of the tank when full of water. As we’ve already highlighted that glass tanks weigh more than acrylic, this factor may help you reach a decision, because a tank filled with water is going to be very heavy. So if you have already decided to go for a heavy tank, you may want to reconsider.
Considering the weight will also help to determine the size and location. If you plan on buying a large tank which will weigh a lot and think that your regular stand won’t work, you may want to check out purpose built aquarium stands to support your tank.
What Is Inside The Kit?
If you do not want to invest much time and want to get things done quickly, consider purchasing a best aquarium starter kit. These kits offer a range of different sizes and consist of light fixture and a filter. Some kits come with accessories like thermometer, water heater, conditioned, fish food tins, fishnet, etc. so instead of piecing things together, you can buy an all-in-one kit.
Now that we have covered the important factors, it is time to move on to product reviews. We have tried to include various kinds of fish tanks on our list, priced differently, of different shapes and styles, to suit everyone’s needs. You need not stick to any of these models, as we recommend you to search for more options if you want.
Top 12 Best Fish Tanks For Beginners
1. Tetra 20 Gallon Complete Aquarium Kit w/Filter Heater LED & Plants
The first one on our list of best fish tanks for beginners is by Tetra, a US-based brand which manufactures glass aquariums that are built to last. This tank is equipped with an LED hood which imparts a natural daylight effect as well as a whisper 20 filter. It is made of scratch-resistant glass and provides strong, dependable water flow.
It is laid with beautiful artificial plants which add a distinct natural touch while giving your fish a few places to hide. The daylight effect and plants add to the aesthetic beauty of the aquarium, and it will definitely look good on any location in your house.
It is available as an all-in-one kit. This best starter aquarium kit includes one 20 gallon glass aquarium, one mini UL heater, one whisper 20 filter, an artificial boxwood plant mat, four artificial plants, and one LED hood.
This kit definitely includes all necessary equipment to begin with. The heater helps in stabilizing the water temperature. This product is covered by lifestyle warranty. The only issue is with its filter because it doesn’t provide high-flow. If you are okay with low-flow, this is probably one of the best fish tanks on the market today.
2. Marina LED Aquarium Kit
The second fish tank on our list is by Marina, another US brand which manufactures fish tanks and other related equipment. This one is a 20 gallon aquarium, ideal size to keep large fish, as well as to maintain the water flow.
It is also available in sizes 5 and 10. This is also available in an all-in-one kit. The kit contains everything you need to get your aquarium started.
The aquarium is made of glass and features a clip-on filter with added quick-change filter cartridges. It also features an LED lighting module which is fixed directly into the hood.
Other accessories include a thermometer to check the water temperature, water conditioner, fish food, and biological supplement.
All these extra equipment makes this a good product for a beginner to invest in. It saves you from the hassle of separately buying all the items from a store. Energy efficient LED lighting increases its charm. The only problem is that it does not include a water heater, thus, it will become difficult to maintain a stable temperature. As it is only available in 3 sizes, so for those of you who are looking for a size larger than 20 gallons may need to consider another product.
3. SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set
It is 17 times stronger and weighs very less so you can easily keep changing its location if you like. It is impact resistant and less susceptible to cracking or breaking, hence making it safer around kids and other pets.
You can use salt or freshwater as it is safe for both. The tank is loaded with beautiful artificial plants and other decorations. It is available in a lot of sizes ranging from 20 gallons to 50 gallons.
Those looking for large tanks, this one’s worth considering, though it is priced a bit higher as it costs about $250. If you are low on budget, then this may not be the best option.
It comes with a 24-inch light fixture, a reflector, a colored backdrop, and is available in multiple sizes. All these features make it worth its rate. Please note that it does not include heater or filter, which may pose a lot of problems with regards to maintenance.
4. Aqueon Deluxe LED Bow Front Aquarium Kit
Each of its kits have been altered and upgraded to now consist of the brand’s low-profile Deluxe LED full hood, and features everything you require to start your new fish tank.
It comes in a distinct bow front design, laid with artificial plant designs which make it look more pleasing.
It is available in multiple sizes; 16, 26, and 36 gallons. It is made of scratch resistant glass and has a curved front panel, a power filter, and a submersible heater.
Additional accessories include net, fish food samples, water conditioner sample, etc. It is a package which includes everything you need. The hood only accommodates LED light and none other.
5. Fluval Edge Aquarium with LED Light
It is a uniquely designed fish tank which hides all tank equipment and wiring, making it an attractive option. It is a 6 gallon sealed glass aquarium, compact enough to fit in a small tight location. It features easy to use Edge filter with Cycleguard. It also includes Nutrafin Cycle as well as Nutrafin Aquaplus water treatments. This is a 6 sided glass aquarium for allowing 360 degree view.
The whole kit includes an LED light fixture, Fluval power filter, and necessary filter media. The filtration and wiring is hidden in a black column. It is equipped with powerfully bright white 7600k high luminosity LED light with 3 position switch. The light is deep blue in color. Its unique cube shape provides a great visual experience, and makes it look amazing.
The only issue is with the lid which can make cleaning a bit tough. If you are looking for a complete kit, this one is not the best option because it does not include every accessory which you may need.
6. Aqueon Ascent LED Frameless Aquarium Kit
It is a pragmatic, as well as a visually pleasing design, as it hides tank equipment and wiring. This frameless aquarium kit includes a lot of features like Fluval power filter, other filter media, and low-profile LED light fixture.
It is a 6 sided aquarium made of scratch resistant glass. This tank not only looks great, but it is also easy to set-up and maintain regularly. Its power filter circulates water quietly, so it won’t disturb you at all. It doesn’t include a heater, so it may become difficult to maintain a stable water temperature.
Other than that, it is a great option as it is affordable. It costs less than $100. Those who are low on budget can consider buying this one.
7. Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit, 5-Gallon w/Hidden Filter
This is another best starter aquarium kit by a renowned brand called Marineland. It features a great rock-like structure in the centre, which not only increases the beauty of the fish tank, but also serves as a great hiding place for fish.
It is equipped with an advanced 3 stage hidden back panel filtration with an added adjustable flow filter pump.
It features two kinds of lights; one blue and one white LED light. The white LED imparts a shimmering effect in the water. The blue LED generates a comforting moonlight glow.
It also features a hinged light, as well as a sliding glass canopy, which makes accessing and cleaning the tank easier. The only con is that it doesn’t feature a thermometer and a heater.
8. Aqueon Betta Falls Kit
It features a waterfall filter which provides continuous flow of filtered water. It features 3 different box-like sections which can fit up to 3 small fish or crustaceans.
It has frosted panels which divide the three sections and prevent different fish from seeing each other. The fill indicator windows it features indicate internal water level at a glance. It utilizes the brand’s Quiet flow filtration.
The whole kit comes with added accessories which include; fish food samples and water conditioner samples. The only issue is that because of its shape, cleaning it can be a little tricky.
9. GloFish Aquarium Kit Fish Tank with LED Lighting and Filtration Included
It has a curved front which makes it more attractive, increasing the visual experience. It features Micro filter and medium bio-bag.
It is equipped with 15 blue colored LEDs which are placed in the attractive hammerhead and enhance the hues of the tank’s fluorescent cover. It is made of acrylic, and thus weighs extremely light as compared to other glass fish tanks.
It is a crescent shaped clear plastic tank with plastic canopy blue LED overhead light. It features medium sized filter cartridge. It doesn’t feature water heater or thermometer.
10. Umbra FishHotel Mini Aquarium, Great for Goldfish, Bettas, and Other Small Fish, 1.8 Gallon
This one is another stackable aquarium with distinctly modern design. It gives a condo apartment-like appearance and features different compartments so you can stack multiple fish. It features ABS plastic façade and asymmetrical windows which surround a glass bowl. The plastic façade is removable to promote easy cleaning.
It costs very cheap (less than $30) but you need to know that it is very small in size. It sure can stack up multiple fish, but the space is not enough for fish to swim, so you may decide accordingly.
You can only keep small fish inside this tank, probably a small tropical fish like Betta or goldfish. It features removable outer shell which can be detached and painted to match your home décor.
11. Biorb Classic 15 Aquarium with LED Light – 4 Gallon, Silver
The second last model on our list of best fish tanks for beginners is also an extremely affordable model which is made of acrylic. It is 10 times stronger than fish tanks made of glass, 50% light in weight and 93% clearer.
It is round in shape and features pink artificial decorations and plants which make it look utterly enticing.
It features 5 stage filtration; biological, mechanical, chemical, water stabilization, and oxygenation.
It works on very low voltage as it can operate from a 12V transformer. It features low-voltage standard LED light which lasts long and a filter cartridge.
12. Koller Products 3.5-Gallon Aquarium Kit with Power Filter and LED Lighting, (AP35000BLK)
The last product on our list of best fish tanks for beginners is an energy efficient aquarium which is equipped with LED lighting of 7 different color choices. The color options are blue, green, red, aqua, purple, white, and amber. You won’t get this much choice of lights in other fish tanks to brightly illuminate your fish. You can change lights according to day and night, to alter the mood.
It features strong internal power filter which cleans the tank water at a flow rate of 25 gallons per hour. The Tetra Whisper XS filter cartridge efficiently eradicates organic pollutants like colors, toxic gases, and odors. It is made of impact resistant plastic and provides a lot of clarity. It is a one-piece construction which means superior strength and durability.
This glass tank is not glued together using silicone, and thus, it is resistant to cracking. So you need not worry about possible leaks. It is extremely easy to set up and maintain regularly. This funky fish tank will look great wherever you keep it; be it your home or office.
Go Get Your Best Starter Fish Tank Now!
We hope this brief guide has helped you attain some basic information about fish tanks and what important factors you must consider before purchasing one. The fish tanks that we have reviewed are the few best ones we have short-listed for you, but you ought not to stay limited to these. We recommend you to browse for more if you are still not satisfied and suit your needs.
Create a budget, and then consider how much space you can create for keeping the aquarium and where you can possibly place it. Then measure that space and accordingly buy an aquarium. If you want to buy large ones, you need to have more space. If you plan on gradually increasing the fish in your tank, we recommend you to buy a tank which has a capacity of more than 20 gallons. All the best!