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Best fish tank: There's nothing fishy about these top-rated tanks

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best fish tank
(Image credit: Getty)

The best fish tanks will provide a safe and healthy haven for your small-finned pals and bring much joy to owners. In fact, there are many benefits to having fishy friends as pets, ranging from reducing loneliness, anxiety and lowering blood pressure. So you’ll want to invest in one of the best fish tanks to ensure you can enjoy watching your colorful pals. 

But with so many types available, it can be challenging to decide on a suitable one. Luckily, the fish tank market has come a long way since the time when people would buy a goldfish in a bag and pop it in the tiniest of bowls!  

Before you buy though, there are a few things to consider. First, what type of fish will you be keeping? How many are you looking to have? Depending on the size, you’d want to make sure they have sufficient room to move around freely (and not bump into each other!). In addition, what toys or accessories do you intend to put in the tank? You may want to take a look at the best fish tank accessories for ideas on how to make their tank feel homely and fun.

It’s also important to consider the type of material you want the tank to be made from, and how easy is it to clean. Acrylic is lighter than glass, but it's not as scratch-resistant. While glass is more durable, you're going to be limited to certain shapes and sizes which may restrict your fishy friend’s movements. If you have a school of tropical fish, it’s advisable to invest in a tank with a capacity greater than 20 gallons, but generally go for one gallon of water per inch of fish. Of course, the best fish tank will ensure you get a good view of your aquatic pet pals which will be highly therapeutic for both! 

We’ve rounded up a great selection of the best fish tanks to make sure your swimmers get a super home.

PetsRadar's pick of the best fish tanks

  • Best overall fish tank: Aqueon Aquarium Starter Kit
  • Best budget fish tank: Tetra ColorFusion Starter Aquarium Kit
  • Best portrait fish tank: Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit
  • Best fish bowl: CYS EXCEL Glass Bubble Bowl
  • Best tropical fish tank: Tetra 20 Gallon Complete Aquarium Kit
  • Best basic fish tank: Landen 36P 5.4 Gallon Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank
  • Best fluorescent fish tank: GloFish Aquarium Kit Fish Tank 
  • Best large fish tank: Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit

best fish tank best overall fish tank

(Image credit: Aqueon)

Aqueon Aquarium Starter Kit

Best overall fish tank

Size: 27.25 x 15.75 x 21 inches | Weight: 32.4 pounds | Material: Glass | Color: Clear | Accessories: Yes

20-gallon tank
Pre-set heater
Quiet filter
No tank decor

If you are new to the world of fish tanks and want to get started quickly and without too much fuss a starter kit is a great option. As you might expect the Aqueon Aquarium Starter Kit is more than just a tank; it also comes with a load of accessories, which means you will be up and running in no time. 

The tank itself has a 20 gallon capacity which is ideal for keeping multiple fish. As a general guideline you need approximately one gallon for each adult fish. So this tank would be suitable for up to 20 fish. Or, it could be a luxury tank with plenty of room if you only have a few fish. It measures 27.25 x 15.75 x 21 inches, so make sure you have enough space to put the tank where you want it. 

To keep the fish tank lit there is a low profile LED full hood. This is perfect for getting a great view of your tank and fish, especially at night. To keep the water clean – and your fish healthy – there is a QuietFlow 10 LED PRO power filter with a medium cartridge. A medium cartridge will probably last around a month to three months. Other included essentials are premium fish food, water conditioner and a fish net to help remove your finned friends when giving their tank a clean. 

If you are looking to specifically keep tropical fish there is a 100W preset heater and a stick-on thermometer to keep the water at the ideal temperature. Note there is no gravel/sand or tank decor included with the Aqueon. So, you will need to purchase these items yourself. 

best fish tank

(Image credit: Tetra)

Tetra ColorFusion Starter Aquarium Kit

Best budget fish tank

Size: 6.88 x 12.5 x 12.9 inches | Weight: One pound | Material: Acrylic | Color: ClearX | Accessories: Yes

Small footprint
Panoramic view
LED light for bubbles
No water heater

If you are delving into the world of fish for the first time and don't want a big outlay to start with then this budget fish tank is for you. It's a starter kit that contains all the basics that you will need but without breaking the bank. It doesn’t have a big tank, it only has a 3 gallon capacity. This makes it ideal if you only have a few fish you want to nurture and admire. The tank measures 6.88 x 12.5 x 12.9 inches, so you won’t need a lot of room to keep it on display.

The tank is not your conventional rectangle design with straight sides. The front of the tank is a half moon shape which allows for 180 degree panoramic viewing. Great for seeing your fish from all angles without a straight edge interrupting your view. 

To make the view even more inviting there is a 6 LED light that pumps out bubbles. This creates a multicoloured bubble curtain wherever you place the light in the tank. To keep your few fish happy and healthy an air pump-driven Tetra Whisper Internal Power Filter will keep the tank clean. This uses a two-part filtration system that catches waste and removes debris and odors. This is great for the fish and great for your home. 

The top of the fish tank boasts a clear canopy with a hole for dropping in any flaky fish food. Alternatively, if you want to feed your fish liquid food the Tetra ColorFusion Starter Aquarium Kit comes with a convenient feeding tube. 

best fish tank

(Image credit: Marina)

Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit

Best portrait fish tank

Size: 11.81 x 11.62 x 17.05 inches | Weight: 12 pounds | Material: Glass | Color: Black | Accessories: Yes

Hidden filter
Sleek and stylish
Space saving design
No plants or decor
No water decor

Do you want a sleek and elegant upright tank to house your fish? But don’t have enough space for a large tank. Say hello to this portrait tank from Marineland. It has a small footprint, measuring just under one foot in length and width. But it is the 17-inches in height that pumps up the capacity to five gallons, which is more than enough for a small community of tropical fish. 

The tank sits on its own sturdy plastic base, held in place by its own weight. This raises the tank a few inches above any surface it is placed on and adds to the ambience of the overall design of the tank. 

Add in the curved corners and black background and you have a tank that is attractive and great for viewing your smart looking fish from multiple angles. Sitting above the tank is a blue and white LED lighting system which brings your tank to life with natural daylight and moonlight settings. 

The bright white LEDs create a shimmering sunlight effect while the blue LEDs produce a moonlit glow, an ideal night time setting. Directly under the hinged LED lighting - and across the top of the tank – is a sliding glass canopy for easy access to the tank. 

The kit doesn’t include any decoration to bring the tank to life and give your fish a more natural environment. See this as an opportunity to invest in some tall plants, some natural strata and a water heater to create a bespoke habitat to keep you and your fish happy. 

best fish tank

(Image credit: Getty)

CYS EXCEL Glass Bubble Bowl

Best fish bowl

Size: 12 x 12 x 10 inches | Weight: 3.99 pounds | Material: Glass | Color: Clear | Accessories: No

Very affordable
Hard to clean
No accessories

Fish bowls are often seen as the traditional home for a small fish. They are very affordable and look great, but when purchasing one, make sure to get the right option for your fish. The bigger the better, because the more space your fish has the better it is for their health and happiness. It is worth noting that fish bowls are not really suitable as a permanent home for tropical fish. But they will work well as a temporary home when cleaning out an aquarium tank.  

The CYS EXCEL Glass Bubble Bowl is available in four different sizes from a small 5.5 -inch option through to the largest 12-inch option. The smallest option is only ideal for a single fish while the largest can hold around three gallons of water. This makes it ideal for two or three fish. 

The fish bowl is made from quality hand-blown crystal clear glass, not machine manufactured, which gives it a more unique bowl design. The glass is around a quarter of an inch thick adding to the weight of the bowl which weighs around 20 pounds when full of water. 

A fish bowl makes a great stylish centerpiece in your home when well decorated and lit and this offering is no different. The curves of the bowl bend and reflect the light giving it its own sense of style. However, this bowl comes with no accessories whatsoever, you simply get the bowl. This is ideal for creating a bespoke environment for your fish, but don’t forget to factor in the extra cost when buying a bowl. 

One downside is, fish bowls are not as easy to clean as a rectangular fish tank. The opening on the top of the CYS EXCEL Glass Bubble Bowl measures 6.75 inches. This is big enough to get your hand in, but not so easy to manoeuvre your hand once inside. 

best fish tank

(Image credit: Tetra)

Tetra 20 Gallon Complete Aquarium Kit

Best tropical fish tank

Size: 27.88 x 16.13 x 20.38 inches | Weight: 34 pounds | Material: Glass | Color: Clear | Accessories: Yes

Large tank
All necessary kit
Scratch-resistant glass
Poor tank decorations

If you are looking to start your own tropical fish aquarium, you will need all the right equipment to make it happen. This may seem like a herculean task, but you can throw yourself straight in at the deep end with a Tetra 20 Gallon Complete Aquarium Kit. The kit comes complete with everything you need, except for the fish. You get to choose those. 

The key component of any aquarium is the fish tank. The tank in this kit has a 20 gallon capacity – ideal for around 20 fish – and has a footprint of 27.88 x 16.13 x 20.38 inches. There are larger options available from Tetra including a 55 gallon aquarium kit if you want to go large. The tank is made from quarter inch thick scratch-resistant glass ensuring that viewing of your finned friends will stay crystal clear. 

Also included in the kit is a Tetra Whisper 20 filter to keep the tank clean and a Tetra Mini UL heater to keep the water temperature at the right level. Both of these models do the job, but you may want to think about upgrading in the future. The  heater has an electronic thermostat that automatically adjusts to keep the water in the tank at a steady 78 degrees. Check this works for your fish. 

Tank decorations create the habitat inside a tank and this Tetra kit comes with a few basics. There is one artificial Boxwood Plant Mat and four artificial plants. This is enough to get you started but you will need to invest in more accessories to create a great looking aquarium. And, there is no gravel or sand to recreate a seabed. To complete the aquarium an LED hood provides a natural daytime effect. This is conveniently on hinges to open for easy access and cleaning. But there is also a small flap to quickly drop in fish food. 

best fish tank

(Image credit: Landen)

Landen 36P 5.4 Gallon Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank

Best basic fish tank

Size: from 14.2 x 10.2 x 8.7 inches | Weight: From 10 pounds | Material: Glass | Color: Clear | Accessories: No

Multiple sizes
Large capacity
No accessories
No tank decorations

If you are literally looking for just a fish tank then this option from Landen could just be what you are after. No water filters, no tank decoration, no water heaters, just the tank (and a black nano foam levelling mat). This makes this tank the ideal solution for someone who’s looking to take their fish keeping hobby a little more seriously. You get to choose everything that goes with the tank. The perfect opportunity to create your own custom aquarium. 

The Landen is made from premium quality thick crystal clear low iron glass, which has a greater than 91 percent transparency. This means you get to gaze at your finned friends with plenty of clarity and really enjoy their beauty. They are hand-made by craftsmen and come with a high standard of workmanship, especially on the edges. 

The Landen is available in six different sizes. The smallest in the range measures 14.2 × 8.7 × 10.2 inches and weighs in at ten pounds. This has a capacity of around five gallons, so ideal for around five fish or less. The next option in the range measures 23.6 x 14.2 x 11.8 inches and weighs in at 26 pounds. But, the largest tank measures an impressive 39.37 x 17.72 x 17.72 inches and weighs in at a hefty 92.8 pounds. And this is without water – the tank holds around 50 gallons – so you will need to make sure you have a strong and sturdy platform to place your tank on. 

GloFish Aquarium Kit Fish Tank with LED Lighting and Filtration Included

(Image credit: Amazon)

GloFish Aquarium Kit Fish Tank

Best fluorescent fish tank

Size: 11.25 x 16.56 x 6.71 inches | Weight: 6.71 pounds | Material: Acryllic | Color: Black | Accessories: Yes

Striking look
Lighting and filtration included
Easy to set up and maintain
Hood quite flimsy

Make any room pop with this sleek and stylish GloFish Aquarium that’s sure to be the talking point of your home. An affordable starter kit that includes all the essentials, the crescent-shaped 5-gallon tank comes with a Tetra Whisper Bio-Bag Filter Cartridge, a convenient feeding hole and energy-efficient blue LED lighting.

The perfect home for Danios and Tetras, the hidden blue LED lights are set into the hood, illuminating your fish from above to give them a fluorescent look. The dense dual-sided mesh does a great job of catching the debris and waste that’s pushed through the filter cartridge and the black hood reduces evaporation and the fish from jumping.

This tank has a great look to it and provides an excellent view of your fish and we love how easy it is to set up and maintain. It’s also available in 10 and 20-gallon options as well, great if you’ve got a large fish family that you’re needing to house. The only drawback is the material, with the hood not being quite as durable as we’d like. Other than that, this is a fun and exciting tank with a unique look. 

Best fish tanks: Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit

(Image credit: Amazon)

Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit

Best large fish tank

Size: 51.9 x 24.4 x 16.4 inches | Weight: 79lb | Material: Not stated | Color: Black | Accessories: 2 x plant multipacks

Large environment
LED lighting 
Hood lights not replaceable 

If you have a school of tropical fish or are just looking for a larger space for your fishy friends to swim around in, this 55-gallon tank from Tetra is exactly what you need. 

Measuring 51.90" L x 24.40" W x 16.40" H, there's plenty of room for your fish to spread out comfortably and it comes with a 200W heater which does a brilliant job of maintaining the perfect water temperature. There's also a stick on digital thermometer so you'll be able to spot immediately if there are any issues.

The included LED lighting gives a lovely natural daylight effect to the aquarium and allows you to watch your finned friends in all their glory, although it's worth noting that the lighting in the hood can't be replaced, so you'll need to send away for a new one which is a bit of a pest!

Weighing approximately 79lbs on it's own, the tank can reach a weight of 520lbs when full, so you'll want to ensure you have a good solid stand to rest this on. It comes with two plant multipacks and a boxwood plant, so you'll have some nice accessories to get you started. 

At over $300, it's not the cheapest 55-gallon tank we've seen, but it's stylish and well made which makes it a worthy entry in this list.  

How to choose the best fish tank

When on the lookout for a new fish tank the first thing to consider is how many fish does it need to house. Do you have a single small fish? Do you have a happy little community of four or five fish? Or are you going all out with 20+ fish for your new aquarium. As a general guideline you need a capacity of one gallon for each adult fish you are housing. So, if you have a single fish then a one gallon tank should do. If you are looking to house 20 fish then a 20 gallon tank should be the order of the day. 

The mantra when housing fish is ‘the bigger the better’. At the very least you need to be getting nothing less than the minimum capacity. But if you have the space and can afford it, consider a bigger tank. The Landen 36P 5.4 Gallon Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank is a good choice if you want to start with a blank tank and build from there. 

But if you want a no-fuss and easy to implement solution then a starter kit like the Aqueon Aquarium Starter Kit is a great starting point. This comes with a water filter, water heater, thermometer, food and lighting. The only thing that is missing is tank decoration. Other kits like the Tetra ColorFusion Starter Aquarium Kit and the Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit are a bit more basic. They have the essentials – such as a water filter – to get you started, But, they also give you the opportunity to choose the accessories and tank decoration you want to create a happy and healthy habitat for your fish.