If you are looking forward to becoming a fish owner or if you have or will be getting a turtle or another animal that can live in a glass aquarium, you might be in the market for a fish tank. Fish tanks come in a variety of sizes and shapes: There are small starter kits for those who have a betta fish or a few goldfish, large aquariums that can hold 100 or more gallons of water, and everything in between.
We’ve looked at dozens of fish tanks of various sizes to help you find the best in the size that you need. We looked at the quality of the tanks, any extras that came with them, and what reviewers had to say about them. We narrowed it down to the top fish aquariums in each size category. If you are shopping for a variety of supplies for your new fish, you’ll also want to take a look at our lists of the best aquarium lights and the best aquarium pumps.
Our favorite 10-gallon fish tank is the Marina LED Aquarium Kit. This is a great kit for someone new to keeping fish because it comes with just about everything you need. It includes a clip-on filter, a starter pack of food, water conditioner, an LED light, a fish net, and more.
The 5 Top-Rated Fish Tanks and Aquariums
|Best 10-Gallon Fish Tank||Marina LED Aquarium Kit||4.1|
|Best 20-Gallon Fish Tank||Aqueon LED Aquarium Kit||3.7|
|Best 30-Gallon Fish Tank||SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set||4.0|
|Best 55-Gallon Fish Tank||Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit||4.4|
|Best 100-Gallon Fish Tank||SC Aquariums 150 Gallon Starfire Glass Aquarium||5.0|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best 10-Gallon Fish Tank: Marina LED Aquarium Kit
The Marina LED Aquarium Kit made our top spot in the 10-gallon fish tank category. This is the perfect solution for someone who wants to start keeping fish but isn’t quite sure where to start or doesn’t want to have to purchase a large number of supplies. It comes with just about everything you need to get started, including food, lighting, a filter, water conditioner, a fish net, a fish supplement, and even a fish care guide.
The filter is described by users as quiet. It uses three cartridges, but you only change one at a time. The LED light is nice because you won’t have to frequently change regular bulbs. The tank fits nicely in a small space and even comes in a smaller 5-gallon size if the 10-gallon is too big for your intended purpose.
Note that this set doesn’t come with a heater, so if you want to keep tropical fish, you will need to purchase one.
Marina LED Aquarium Kit Key Features:
- Measures 20 x 10 x 12.5 inches
- Includes a starter supply of fish food
- Includes water conditioner
- Includes fish supplement
- Includes LED light
- Includes filter
- Includes care guide
Best 20-Gallon Fish Tank: Aqueon LED Aquarium Kit
The best 20-gallon fish tank that we found is the Aqueon LED Aquarium Kit. This is a glass aquarium that comes with a variety of equipment that you need for your fish. It has a low-profile hood with LED lighting, a quiet filter with an LED indicator to let you know when it’s time to change the cartridge, and a heater and thermometer that makes this a good choice for tropical fish.
It also includes a fish net, fish food, and water conditioner. These will get you started if you are new to keeping fish. The it also includes a guide to help you navigate setting up your new fish habitat for the first time. The aquarium itself is glass and measures 20-1/4″ x 10-1/2″ x 12-9/16″.
Aqueon LED Aquarium Kit Key Features:
- Low-profile hood with LED lighting
- Quiet filter with indicator
- Stick-on thermometer
- Fish net
- Food and water conditioner
Best 30-Gallon Fish Tank: SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set
The SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set is our top pick for 30-gallon fish tanks. This combo set includes the aquarium itself, a reflector, and a 24″ light fixture. It’s safe for both salt- and freshwater fish and it comes with an extensive warranty.
An acrylic aquarium is lighter than glass. It’s also clearer and much more impact-resistant. Customers say that it does not warp at all when water is poured into it. Also, note that the light fixture does not include a bulb; you will need to purchase one separately. If you are heating your aquarium, you might find that the temperature stays more consistent in an acrylic tank than in a glass tank. Also, it has a modern appearance that will complement any decor.
SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set Key Features:
- Measures 36 x 12 x 16
- Weighs 20 lbs
- Includes a reflector and a 24″ light fixture
- Not prone to chipping
- Modern, clean appearance
Best 55-Gallon Fish Tank: Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit
Making our top spot for 55-gallon fish tanks is the Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit. This large aquarium can house various species of fish, including tropical fish, some of whom are finicky about their temperature. A bigger tank can keep the temperature more constant, so this would be a good choice for someone planning to keep different tropical fish who require a specific temperature.
The Tetra aquarium comes with a hinged hood, water conditioner, filter, thermometer, LED lighting, a heater, and the supplies you’ll need to get started with your fish. It also contains plants to help beautify your tank for your enjoyment. When the tank is empty, it weighs nearly 80 lbs; filled, it can be over 500 lbs, so you will want to consider what type of stand or surface you’re putting it on.
Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit Key Features:
- Keeps temperature constant
- LED lighting system
- Includes heater and thermometer
- Includes plants
- Weighs 80 lbs empty
Best 150-Gallon Fish Tank: SC Aquariums 150 Gallon Starfire Glass Aquarium
If you are looking for a well-made, 150-gallon fish tank, you won’t find any better than the
SC Aquariums 150 Gallon Starfire Glass Aquarium. This 150-gallon glass tank will give your fish ample room to swim, as it measures in at a generous 60 x 24 x 24 inches. It features 12mm Eurobracing and comes with a built-in center overflow as well as a plumbing kit.
While this aquarium doesn’t have too many customer reviews, the ones it does have are glowing. Customers mention the excellent customer service provided by the company, as well as how impressed they are by the quality of the tank. One customer highlighted how well-built the water overflow is, given that it’s so silent that they “…Can’t hear any water flowing at all.” All in all, this is a top choice out for anyone after a larger-sized fish tank.
SC Aquariums 150 Gallon Starfire Glass Aquarium Key Features:
- Measures 60 x 24 x 24 inches
- Quiet overflow
- 150-gallon capacity
- 12mm eurobracing
- Built-in center overflow
- Plumbing kit included
Who Should Buy a Fish Tank
Anyone who is planning to begin keeping fish for the first time will, of course, need a fish tank. This isn’t the only time that someone would shop for an aquarium, though. There are other types of animals that can be kept in a fish tank. For example, many people with small mammals, like hamsters or mice, like to keep them in a glass aquarium to prevent them from kicking their litter out of a cage. Reptiles like lizards and snakes can also be kept in a fish tank. The setup will be different, so you will probably want to focus on purchasing just the glass tank and not all of the items that you need for fish, like a fish net or water conditioner.
Another time to purchase a new fish tank is when your fish outgrow their tank. This might be because you have more fish than you started with or because you decide to add larger members to your fish family. Or you might simply decide that you’re ready to upgrade because you want to challenge yourself. In general, it is more challenging to have a larger tank for a variety of reasons.
Important Features to Consider
A fish tank should have a few important features. Here’s what you should think about when deciding which aquarium to purchase.
- Accessories included. If you are buying a fish tank to keep your small mammal in, you will probably not want to spend the money to purchase an aquarium kit that contains the items you need for fish. If you are a novice fish owner, however, purchasing an aquarium that contains all of the things you should have on hand (like water conditioner, fish food, a filter, and a net) is a great idea.
- Size. You will want to be sure that you get a fish tank that is the right size for your fish family. Keep in mind that larger aquariums are usually more challenging, but a too-small aquarium is not going to be healthy for your fish. Check the dimensions to be sure that your tank will fit in the space where you plan to keep it.
- Materials. Most aquariums are going to be made of glass, but some are made of acrylic, which is less likely to break than glass. It’s also lighter (and usually more expensive) than glass. In addition to the glass or acrylic tank, you’ll want to find out whether the other materials (such as an aluminum rim) are corrosion-resistant. This is particularly important with a saltwater tank.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many fish can you have in a tank?
The old rule of thumb for how many fish can fit in a tank is that you should have one inch of fish length per gallon of water. There are a few problems with this rule, though: First, one inch of a fatter fish does not equal one inch of a slender fish. Another issue is that a 20-gallon tank does not actually hold 20 gallons of water. A better rule of thumb is to put one-half inch of fish length into one gallon of water (or five inches of fish to each 10 gallons of water). You can bend this rule a bit if you have very thin fish.
Are fish tanks easy to maintain?
A small freshwater tank is easy to maintain, but a larger saltwater tank with tropical fish is more difficult to maintain. You have to keep any tank clean, and we have some tips for that on our How to Clean a Fish Tank instruction guide.
You will also need to keep your tank at the proper temperature, test the water, change the water, and maintain or replace your equipment as needed. This means you’ll have to change filters and check to be sure everything is running properly. If your water is not balanced, you’ll need to add chemicals as needed. Once you get yourself into a good routine, your beginner’s fish tank should be easy to maintain, but it might seem a bit overwhelming at first. Read a good fish aquarium guide so you know what to expect.
How long do aquariums last?
Your aquarium will last as long as you give it good care and are careful with it. Some people can use their aquariums for decades. Note that glass aquariums will usually last longer than acrylic aquariums, but either type will last a long time if you care for it well.
What do fish need in a tank?
The specific needs of your fish will depend on what kind they are and whether you have a saltwater or freshwater tank. All fish need clean water (you might need to use a water conditioner), a filtration system, and food. Many fish keepers like to add lighting, gravel, and plants or other ornaments. You should have a fish net on hand in case you need to remove a fish or some debris from the tank. If you have tropical fish, you’ll need a heater and a thermometer.
A betta fish is a type of fish that is easy to care for. You can read our article about what betta fish need and how to care for them.