Best Small Fish Tank – 5 Aquariums Tested & Reviewed, FAQs & More

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Having a small fish tank in your home can be a relaxing experience but you’ll agree with us when we say that buying a small fish tank can be quite the opposite. 

That’s why we decided to test the popular ones out there to narrow down the best ones from the crowd. 

In our post today, we’ll discuss what small fish tanks you can get for your home and how you can judge which fish tank is most suitable for your needs and resources.

Top Pick

This aquarium is perfect for housing a Betta or any other fish of similar size. It features a feeding hole and a clear plastic canopy for ease of use.

Runner Up

This product focuses on accentuating and enhancing the colors of your fish. It comes with an LED bubbler, air stones and a filter.

Also Great

If you’re looking for a uniquely-shaped aquarium, this is it. It comes with everything you need to get started and it weighs barely anything at all.

After testing these small fish tanks with different fish and conditions for an extended period of time, we’ve decided that these three are the best of the best. 

Now, let’s get into the reviews for the 5 best small fish tanks.

Best Small Fish Tank - Top 5 Reviews

1. Overall Best Small Fish Tank - Tetra LED Half Moon Betta Aquarium Review

As the name suggests, this product has a half-moon shape and is an acrylic aquarium. It comes at a very reasonable price and despite that, it’s made from very high-quality materials which will last you a long time. 

This aquarium can be the perfect home for a single Betta fish of yours or any other fish that you may have of a similar size. The built-in LED light is very effective and illuminates the colors of your fish brilliantly. This bright light coupled with the crystal clear acrylic walls of this aquarium make for a very pleasurable viewing experience.

Features of Tetra LED Half Moon Betta Aquarium – Best Small Fish Tank

  1. Capacity: 1.1 gallons
  2. Weight: 1.43 pounds
  3. Built-in LED light
  4. Clear plastic canopy
  5. Convenient feeding hole
  • Resistant to cracks
  • Easy to feed fish
  • Lightweight
  • Small in size
  • Very affordable
  • Easy to clean
  • No built-in filtration system

If you want a high-quality product at a very affordable price, this is exactly what you’re looking for. It’s the perfect vessel to house a beautiful Betta or any other fish that doesn’t like living in a community.

2. Best Small Fish Tank with Effective Lighting - GloFish Half Moon Aquarium Kit Fish Tank Review

Small fish tanks are often home to brightly-colored fish such as Bettas or Guppies. If you have these kinds of fish in your aquarium, you’re going to need an effective lighting system in order to display their beautiful colors in all their glory. That’s where the GloFish Half Moon Aquarium Fish Tank comes in. 

It features beautiful built-in LED lighting that illuminates your fish in a way where their colors are enhanced and pleasing to look at.

It also comes with a built-in air pump which helps aerate the aquarium and keep it well-oxygenated so your fish can breathe easily.

Features of GloFish Half Moon Aquarium Kit Fish Tank

  1. 3 gallons in size
  2. Clear top lid with a feeding hole
  3. Built-in air pump
  4. Weight: 3.5 pounds
  5. Comes with 6 blue LED airstones
  • Lightweight considering its size
  • Filtration system is effective and quiet
  • LED lights are bright but not overbearing
  • Easy to set up
  • Durable
  • Not suitable as a saltwater tank

If you want to accentuate your fish’s colors and give them an aesthetic edge, this is the product you’re looking for. It has bright LED lights with an air pump which makes for a very aesthetically pleasing aquarium.

3. Best Small Fish Tank with LED Bubbler - Tetra 29040 Hexagon Aquarium Kit Review

This tank features an LED bubbler that makes for a beautiful aesthetic in terms of showcasing your fish. It’s size is perfect to house a single fish such as a Betta. It’s very lightweight and you can keep it on a table or desktop where it will become the central focus of your room or whatever space its occupying. 

It features a clear lid with a convenient feeding hole which makes it very easy for you to periodically feed your fish. The tank also comes apart very easily making it super easy to clean and handle.

Features of Tetra 29040 Hexagon Aquarium Kit

  1. 1 gallon in size
  2. Weight: 2.28 pounds
  3. Dimensions: 6.5 by 6.5 by 8 inches
  4. Comes with built-in internal filter
  5. Comes with 3 LED air stones
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Filter is effective and not too strong as to disturb the fish
  • LED Bubbler looks beautiful
  • LED lights are carelessly attached to the tank and may come off easily

If you’re looking for an easy to set up solution to house a single pet fish friend, this is the perfect product for you. Its durable material will last you a long time while providing great aesthetics for your room.

4. Best USB-Powered Small Fish Tank - FREESEA Betta Aquarium Fish Tank Review

This cute little aquarium is available in four different combinations of shapes and colors namely: half-moon white, half-moon black, square white and square black. 

It comes with a built-in filtration system that is hidden in its own separate compartment which reduces any visual clutter that could be distracting from your fish. 

It is USB-powered and it has been designed to use power efficiently in order to operate its filter and lighting system. 

Its small size makes it great to have on top of your table as it occupies very little space. Its small footprint means it’s something you can have even in a very small room and it will instantly enhance the atmosphere and ambience of that room.

Features of FREESEA Betta Aquarium Fish Tank

  1. USB-powered
  2. 1.4 gallons in size
  3. Weight: 1.9 pounds
  4. Built-in LED lighting and filtration system
  5. Comes with two artificial decorative plants
  • Low energy consumption
  • Sturdy
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to set up
  • Easy to clean
  • Expensive for its size

If you want a small but cozy home for your fish companion, this product is ideal for you. It features an attractive design with low power consumption capabilities.

5. Best Durable Small Fish Tank - Koller Products Panaview Aquarium Kit Review

This aquarium product gives you a panoramic view of your fish. It has clear walls on every side except the top so you can view your fish from almost every angle. 

It’s the biggest aquarium that’s featured on this list of ours and thus, it can hold a higher number of fish or you can choose to have just one fish to give it ample swimming space and keep it happy.

Features of Koller Products Panaview Aquarium Kit

  1. Energy-efficient LEDs with 7 different colors
  2. Strong internal filter
  3. 5 gallons in size
  4. Weight: 4.8 pounds
  5. Designed to be easy to maintain
  • Affordable for its size and features
  • Lightweight for its size
  • Brightly lit LEDs with multiple color options
  • Low energy consumption
  • Cat-proof
  • Long-lasting
  • Top lid is not transparent and may limit the top view 

If you’re looking for a long-lasting tank that will be a home to your fish for years to come, this is the product for you. It provides ample space for your fish to swim around in and it comes at a reasonable price.

best small fish tank

 

Buyers’ Guide

 

What are some things to consider when buying a small fish tank? 

Making sure your fish have a comfortable life and having their colors as vibrantly displayed as possible takes a lot of work. You can cut down on all the effort you’ll need to put in afterwards by simply thinking and observing the type of tank you’re getting when you first buy it. If you get a good quality fish tank that is suited to your needs, you won’t have to worry too much about maintaining your fish and their environment. Some of the things to look out for when buying a small fish tank are listed below: 

  • Fish Type and Aquarium Size 

Since we’re talking about small aquariums in this post, the fish tanks you’ll be looking at probably won’t cross the 10 gallon range. Of course, you’ll need to think about the size of the fish tank you want to get but how do you determine which size is appropriate for you? In order to determine this, you need to think about what type of fish you’re getting and research what their adult sizes are. You want to avoid overcrowding problems in your tank in the future so get a tank that is able to accommodate all the fish you’re getting even when the time comes when they are fully grown. 

  • Fish Tank Construction 

Fish tank construction simply refers to how durable it is and what materials it is made of. You want to observe and judge whether the tank you’re getting is made of high-quality materials or not. Obviously, you want to get a tank whose materials won’t wither over time or break away. Having a tank that lasts for a long time is a blessing that you want to invest in as constantly changing fish tanks can be costly, time-consuming and frustrating. Make sure to get a tank that has properly-sealed walls and the walls themselves are made from high-quality material that is scratch-resistant and not prone to cracking.

Is a small fish tank easier to clean than a larger fish tank?

This is a little complicated to answer, the quick answer is yes and no. 

Obviously, with a small fish tank, you have less area to cover. There’s less water you have to replace and a lower area of walls which you have to clean. So, in that regard, having a smaller fish tank is easier to clean than a larger one. 

However, a smaller fish tank means that the waste that fish produce will be more noticeable in the smaller amount of water. Water will become more concentrated with fish waste more quickly and fish will have trouble breathing. Thus, you’ll have to perform water changes, filter maintenance and fish tank maintenance a lot more frequently as compared to a larger fish tank.

What are the different types of small fish tanks? 

There are a number of ways to categorize small fish tanks but they are mainly divided by the type of fish you decide to keep inside them. The different types of small fish tanks are: 

  • Cold Freshwater Fish Tanks 

These tanks have fish that don’t require water temperature to be maintained. In fact, in some cases, chillers have to be bought by owners in order to bring the water temperature down so it is comfortable for the fish living in them. 

  • Tropical Freshwater Fish Tanks 

These tanks are the same as the previous one except they contain fish that need water to be maintained at a certain level in order to thrive. This temperature level is usually somewhere around 78 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll need to invest in a heater if you’re looking to set up this kind of small fish tank. 

  • Marine Fish Tank

These are saltwater tanks which hold saltwater fish along with corals and invertebrates. These tanks feature striking colors and you can think about setting one up if you feel adventurous. 

What kinds of fish can I keep in a small fish tank?

Small fish tanks don’t have a lot of room so we recommend you don’t go overboard in regards to the number of fish you have in your tank as overcrowding can lead to shortened life spans, stress and stunted growth in fish. 

Generally, you can have any kind of fish that grows up to 1-2 inches and that lives peacefully with other species and is not hostile. 

How do I clean my small fish tank?

Performing small weekly water changes is a great way to avoid problems such as algae build-up and bad odor. Performing a wipe-down of the aquarium walls with a towel is also a great practice as this will keep the walls clear and prevent algae deposits. We also recommend investing in a gravel vacuum which you can use to suck dirt and debris out from between your aquarium gravel.  

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Should I leave my fish in my small fish tank when I clean it?

It depends on the scale of cleaning you’re doing. If it is a small water change or a routine wall cleaning, you don’t need to shift your fish to a different place.

However, if you feel that a larger water change is required or perhaps you need to displace the aquarium gravel to perform a thorough cleaning, then we recommend switching your fish to a separate temporary tank. Make sure your fish stay in that tank for as little time as possible and also make sure that the conditions of that temporary tank are as close to your main tank as possible. Introducing your fish to a new environment can be stressful for them but not as stressful as them being in a tank in which you’re performing large water changes and/or cleaning techniques. 

How many fish can I keep in my small fish tank?

The general rule of thumb in the fish-keeping world is to have 1 inch of fish for every 1 gallon of water in your fish tank. Note that the size of the fish here refers to the maximum adult size that the fish will grow up to be, not the size they are when you buy them at your pet store. 

For a small fish tank that’s 1-2 gallons big, we recommend you only get a single fish. Preferably one that likes living alone and would get into fights if it were put into a tank with other fish such as a Betta. 

How do I ensure the external equipment in my small fish tank doesn’t harm my fish? 

A lot of people tell fish-keepers that if they’re unsure which size or operating capacity of the equipment is suitable for their tank, they should always go for the bigger/larger/faster one just to be on the safe side. While this may seem like the right approach, having a heater, filter or air pump that is too big for your fish tank can be fatal for the fish inside it. 

For example, a filter that is too strong for a small fish tank may cause small fish to swim erratically or worse, the filter might pull the small fish into itself where they could get mangled. This would cause severe injuries to your fish or even death. 

A heater too big for a small fish tank might lead to overheating and kill your fish. 

Thus, when buying equipment for your small fish tank, make sure that either the equipment is appropriately sized for your tank or it is highly adjustable so you can program according to your tank’s needs and your fish don’t get harmed. 

How do I acclimate my fish before adding them to my small fish tank? 

Once you bring a new fish from the pet store to your home in a plastic bag filled with water, do not just empty that bag into your small fish tank. The sudden change in water will shock your fish and can be very harmful for it. 

In order to properly acclimate your fish, start by taking half a cup of your tank’s water and adding it to the plastic bag with your fish. Wait 15 minutes and then repeat this process until the bag is full. This will help introduce the tank water slowly to your fish and will assist in familiarizing the fish with the pH, temperature and oxygen level of your tank water. 

After this process, you can gently dip the bag inside your tank water, open it up and let your fish swim out into its new home.

Are fish in smaller fish tanks more prone to ammonia stress? How can I identify if my fish are suffering from it?

Fish in smaller fish tanks can be more prone to ammonia stress as smaller fish tanks are more prone to ammonia and nitrite buildup. This is because owners often underestimate how often small tanks need to be cleaned and the water inside them changed. 

Symptoms of ammonia stress are relatively easy to detect if you keep an eye out and regularly observe your fish. Some of these symptoms are: 

  • Lethargy 
  • Refusal to eat food 
  • Surface-level fish swimming at the bottom of the tank
  • Inflamed eyes 
  • Inflamed gills 

Final Verdict

People who want an aquarium for decorative purposes in offices or lobbies and also people who are looking to make fish-keeping a hobby look towards small fish tanks. So, it’s not difficult to see why so many people are cashing in on this and coming up with their own versions of small fish tanks to sell to the public. With so many options out there, it’s important to look carefully and buy one that is best suited for you. 

In the end, we have to go with the Tetra LED Half Moon Betta Aquarium. Its clever design makes it a lovely addition to your home and its easy-to-use features make it great for children and adults alike. 

And with that, we’ve arrived at the end of our post for the best small aquariums. 

Let us know in the comments what aquarium you have in your home.

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