Fish tanks are enchanting and fulfilling ecosystems to maintain, providing a visually appealing addition to any space. However, this hobby can become costly, making it imperative to comprehend the requirements of the fish species you intend to keep before investing in equipment.
Different types of fish demand various tank sizes, filters, and lighting. For instance, some fish are native to freshwater environments, while others inhabit saltwater habitats. Some fish species thrive in cold water, while others prefer warm temperatures.
As a newcomer to the world of fishkeeping, it may be challenging to select the ideal products for creating a healthy aquarium environment. To address this, we interviewed four individuals with experience in aquascaping and fish care to learn about the fundamental qualities of aquariums, filters, and lights. Armed with their guidance, we scoured leading online retailers to select the finest fish tanks and accessories.
Aqueon Aquarium Starter Kit
For individuals who are new to the world of fish tanks and are seeking a quick and uncomplicated way to begin, a starter kit is an excellent option. The Aqueon Aquarium Starter Kit surpasses expectations as it not only includes a tank but also various accessories, allowing you to set up the aquarium swiftly.
The tank itself has a capacity of 20 gallons, which is ideal for keeping multiple fish. As a general rule, it is recommended to have approximately one gallon of water for each adult fish. This tank can accommodate up to 20 fish, making it a luxurious home for a few fish. Its dimensions are 27.25 x 15.75 x 21 inches, so ensure you have ample space to position the tank where you want it.
A low-profile LED full hood keeps the fish tank lit, providing an optimal view of the tank and its inhabitants, particularly at night. The QuietFlow 10 LED PRO power filter with a medium cartridge keeps the water clean, ensuring the health of your fish. The medium cartridge typically lasts between one to three months. Additionally, the kit includes premium fish food, water conditioner, and a fish net to assist in removing your finned friends while cleaning their tank.
If you are planning to keep tropical fish, the kit provides a 100W preset heater and a stick-on thermometer to maintain the water at an optimal temperature. However, please note that the Aqueon Starter Kit does not include gravel, sand, or tank decor, which will need to be purchased separately.
Marina 20G LED Aquarium Kit
After thorough testing, we have determined that the Marina 20G LED Aquarium Kit is the top choice for most people seeking to begin an aquarium. Among the kits we tested, the Marina kit boasts the most powerful filter and the brightest built-in light, and its elegant lid enhances its appearance, surpassing many more expensive tanks. The Marina kit includes a hanging power filter, an LED hood with a light switch, sample packets of fish food, starter bacteria, water conditioner, and a net.
Unlike other kits we considered, the Marina kit does not include a heater, which is essential for most tropical setups. However, we were dissatisfied with the heaters provided in all tank kits. Although the absence of a heater may be a drawback, we believe that the Marina kit’s superior components outweigh this concern. We would rather opt for a kit with an exceptional filter and no heater than a kit with a decent filter and a heater that only has one temperature option. Therefore, we believe that the Marina kit is a superior purchase due to its high-quality components.
Tetra ColorFusion Starter Aquarium
- Low maintenance
- LED lighting adds a fun element to the tank
- Can only accommodate a small number of fish
- Dimensions: 6.9 x 12.5 x 12.9 inches
- Weight: 1 pound
- Capacity: 3 gallons
For beginners looking to care for their first fish, the Tetra starter aquarium is a must-have. Its half-moon design allows for viewing the fish from almost any angle, and its small size makes it perfect for compact spaces. The air-pump-driven filter included in the kit ensures clean water, providing a healthy environment for your fish to thrive.
Additionally, the clear canopy hole at the top of the tank makes feeding a breeze without needing to remove the lid. The included LED lights allow for easy customization of the tank’s interior colors.
Lifegard Crystal Aquarium w/ Side Filter – Premium Choice
Capacity: 14 gallons
Dimensions: 23.62”W x 11.81”D x 11.81”H
The Lifegard Crystal Aquarium w/ Side Filter is a beautiful premium fish tank that has a sleek and minimalist design. It uses low-iron glass, and the edges are attached with invisible glue. This results in an extremely clear view of the tank. It also allows you to see the vibrant colors of your fish and any fun accessories that you put inside.
The tank has an inconspicuous side filter that doesn’t stick out awkwardly, so you can easily place the aquarium anywhere in the house. However, it’s pretty heavy, so make sure that the surface can adequately support the tank after it’s filled with water, substrates, and accessories.
- Uses low-iron glass and invisible glue
- Inconspicuous side filter
- Sleek minimalist design
- Relatively heavy
SeaClear 20-50 Gallon Acrylic Aquarium Kit
Although this aquarium kit may not have as many components as other kits available, it does offer some notable advantages. Firstly, the acrylic aquarium is much stronger and more resistant to impacts than glass tanks. Additionally, this kit is available in various sizes, from 20 gallons to 50 gallons, providing options to fit different preferences and space constraints. It also comes with a 24-inch light fixture and reflector, which can enhance the aquarium’s appearance. However, it’s worth noting that this kit does not include a heater or filter.
What to Consider When Buying a Fish Tank?
Keeping fish as pets requires effort to ensure their comfort and well-being. A crucial part of this is selecting a suitable fish tank that provides a safe and vibrant environment for the fish. When purchasing a fish tank, there are several factors to consider.
Cost and Fish Type The cost of a fish tank can vary widely, and the maintenance costs can also differ based on the type of fish tank and the fish species. It is important to consider the type of fish you want to keep before selecting a tank. Some fish species are more expensive to maintain than others. Even if you opt for a cheaper option, ensure that it has essential features to keep the fish safe.
Fish Tank Size The size of the fish tank is crucial in determining the number of fish it can accommodate. Generally, larger fish tanks are better, as they provide more space for the fish to swim and grow. Ensure that the tank is sturdy and fits into the designated space in the room. Larger tanks can be challenging to place, so consider the available space carefully.
Filtration Equipment Filters are essential for keeping the fish tank clean and maintaining water quality. Some tanks come with built-in filters, while others require separate purchases. It is important to learn about the different types of filters and select one that suits your tank’s needs. Choosing a tank with a built-in filtration system can be a more cost-effective option.
- Why can’t freshwater fish live in saltwater?
- Freshwater fish need water that has a salinity of less than 0.05 percent. If the concentration of salt in their water is too high, their bodies will lose water in an attempt to process out the saltwater and they will end up dehydrated, eventually leading to their death.
- How do you set up a freshwater fish tank?
- Setting up a freshwater fish tank is a multi-step process, which includes installing a filter, choosing a substrate, filling the tank, conditioning the water, and more. Beyond that, certain freshwater fish may have specific needs, such as at what temperature their water should be kept. For more information on caring for specific freshwater fish breeds, visit their breed profile.
- How often should you feed freshwater fish?
- When it comes to feeding fish, most will do best when fed once a day. Fish take between 16 and 24 hours to fully digest their food, so this cadence is best for keeping your fish healthy and not overfed.