Best Fish Tanks For Beginners - 5 Top Picks Reviewed | Aquascape Addiction

Best Fish Tanks For Beginners - 5 Top Picks Reviewed

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Our list of the best fish tanks for beginners, we narrowed it down to these 5 options after a lot of research and have carefully reviewed each one to help you decide on which to buy.

Best Fish Tanks For Beginners - 5 Top Picks Reviewed

Finding the best fish tanks for beginners is not that easy and that’s because taking care of fish isn’t that easy in general. That’s why getting a good fish tank is important because if you are new to taking care of fish, you will want something small with a good filter, some lights, and easy access too. You might think that all fish tanks are the same, but that is not really the case.

I have a ton of fish at home and most of my tanks are quite large, however I do have a few small ones, specifically the ones listed below, all of which I like. All of the choices listed here are absolutely ideal for beginners and have great features that make each of them top choices. This is our top pick.

Marineland Aquarium Kit 5 Gallon 9.8/10
GloFish Aquarium Kit 5 Gallon 9.6/10
Tetra Cube Aquarium Kit 3 Gallon 9.5/10
Marina Aquarium Starter Kit 2.65 Gallon 9.5/10

5 Of The Best Fish Tanks For Beginners Available

If you are a beginner and new to aquariums, you are going to want a corresponding fish tank that matches your needs and the needs of your fish without causing you much trouble.

Here are our top 5 picks that we feel are some of the best starter aquarium kits; we have also covered a separate post on: Betta Tanks if you are looking for a new home specifically for your Betta Fish.

1. Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit

This is a great fish tank for beginners because it’s pretty small, has different light settings, a filter, and a glass canopy.


The Marineland Portrait Aquarium Kit features a specialized and very advanced back panel filtration system. It is a 3 stage filtration system that filters the water as good as any large filter, plus it’s hidden behind a panel so it’s aesthetically pleasing too.

People like light to look at the fish and the fish like light so they can see. Luckily this beginner aquarium features several different light settings. It has white and blue LED’s with various settings for daytime light and moonlight features too. It also has a black back panel which makes your fish and the plants inside stand out a whole lot more.

This aquarium is very easy to access thanks to the sliding glass panel canopy and the hinged light. This tank measures 17 by 12 by 12 inches, which makes it perfect for beginners and people with little space.


If you are a beginner, this fish tank is a good place to start. It has everything you need to get started including a filter, lights, an easy to access top, and a neat glass canopy too.

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2. Marina 360-Degree Aquarium Starter Kit

This is a 2.65 gallon aquarium that is small, compact, ideal for beginners, and very easy to maintain.


This beginner fish tank has several great features which make it a prime choice for any novice. For instance, the Marina Aquarium Starter Kit has built in custom LED lighting with day time and night time settings. It’s great for providing your fish with some light during the day and for simulating the night too.

The glass in this tank is tempered, making it suitable for both cold and tropical temperatures. This means that as long as the fish aren’t too big, you can create any eco system that you want. The size of this tank is also ideal for beginners because it is round, 10 inches in diameter and 12 inches high, making it perfect for small spaces.

Another good part about this tank is that the top is completely removable, making it very easy to access and clean as well. The Marina Starter Kit Tank also has a built in water pimp that takes in water at the bottom and filters it back through the top.


This is a good fish tank for beginners because it saves space, is easy to access, has great lights, and a reliable pump. For the price you really can’t go wrong with this beginner aquarium.

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3.Tetra 29095 Cube Aquarium Kit

This is another really good fish tank option for people who have never had fish or an aquarium before. It has the lights, filters, and everything else that a basic fish tank needs.


This is a great fish tank for beginners because it has a small and compact size which makes it ideal for desks and other small spaces. It’s small so it’s easy to maintain and clean. It’s perfect for betta fish, gold fish, and other small tropical fish. The glass is transparent on all sides so you can see your fish from any angle. It also comes with a neat pedestal for it to stand on.

The Tetra Cube Aquarium Kit has a convenient lid that can be removed for easy access and cleaning. Plus the lid also has a nifty feeding hole in it so you can drop in some food whenever your fish are hungry. Of course fish also need some light, plus you like looking at them too, which is why this tank comes with an LED light attached to the top.

Perhaps the best part about the Tetra Aquarium Kit is that it comes with a Tetra 3i filter that is very effective at removing contaminants and cleaning the water. It comes with a small cartridge bio-bag, plus the filter uses whisper technology which means that it is extra quiet.


This is a fantastic option for beginners because it comes with everything that a new fish enthusiast needs. It has a powerful filter that is quiet, an LED light, and the top is easy to access, not to mention that it’s a space saver too.

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4. GloFish 29045 Aquarium Kit with Blue LED light

This is a very stylish choice of aquarium for any beginner. It looks really nice and will add a great accent to any room in your home.


This is a great tank for beginners, but it’s not actually that small. It’s a 5 gallon tank that is 17 inches wide and 12 inches tall so it isn’t the smallest of beginner aquariums, but it will definitely do the trick. It’s great if you want fish that are slightly bigger. Plus it also has a curved front which magnifies what you see, thus making everything in the tank look bigger.

We really like the fact that this tank is made out of acrylic. Against all popular knowledge, acrylic is actually better than glass for something like a fish tank. This thing is strong and durable! It also has a clear plastic canopy that can easily be removed for cleaning or fish feeding; it’s quite convenient.

Of course every good fish tank needs a light which is why the GloFish Aquarium kit has a whole array of LED lights. It has a 15 bulb blue LED light fixture that provides illumination for you and your fish day and night. This tank also has an ultra-quiet internal water filter that keeps the water clean and clear all throughout the day.


If you’ve never had an aquarium before, this is definitely a solid choice. It has a great filter, cool lights, a neat shape, it’s durable, easy to clean, and easy to access too. It’s not all that expensive and best of all it looks awesome.

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5. Tetra 1.8 Gallon Waterfall Globe Aquarium Kit

This is a great option for anyone who just wants a small fish tank with a couple fish. It’s small, compact, and easy to negotiate (we have covered a detailed review of this tank separately here).


One of the best features of the Tetra Waterfall Globe Aquarium is that it has a pump driven power filter that keeps the water clean and free of contaminants. The filter also takes the water from the bottom and sends it back into the tank through the cool waterfall at the top. Also the filter is cartridge based so it can be easily cleaned and replaced whenever need be.

We really like the fact that this fish tank can fit on a desk with ease, plus it’s round so everything on the inside looks a lot bigger. It’s a nice aquarium for beginners, it’s made of glass, and it’s hand blown too.


If you want to test out your fish rearing skills and want a small tester, this is a good option. It’s basic, small, easy to clean, and will fit a fish or two with ease. It’s a great choice because you can fit it pretty much anywhere. When it comes to tanks for beginners this might just be the number one choice.

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Best Size Fish Tank For Beginners

There are many different factors which work towards determining what the best size of aquarium is for a beginner. On a side not, most people who are just starting out, especially if it is for a child, will go with a 1 or 2 gallon tank and then maybe move up from there.

Let’s talk about those factors in some detail now.

Your Budget

One thing that most people, except for the super-rich, need to pay attention to, is your budget. How much money can you afford to spend on a fish tank? The price will only get more expensive as the size of your tank increases. Also remember that you are not just going to be buying the tank, but the fish, plants, substrate, heaters, water filters, and other accessories too like even a protein skimmer (we have covered what they do here). So, if your budget is limited, a smaller fish tank is the ideal choice.

Your Experience

The experience you have with keeping fish is also an important consideration to keep in mind. Simply put, the less experience you have with keeping fish and aquatic animals, the smaller your tank should be. It is widely accepted that a large tank needs work and knowledge to keep things running smoothly.

Chances are, the bigger your tank, the more fish and plants you will have in there. So, if you want a good beginner tank, a 1 or 5 gallon option will do just fine. Just remember to not overstep your comfort and experience level because that is when things go wrong.

What Do You Plan To Achieve?

This is indeed an important question to ask yourself before buying any fish tank. Of course, if you want many fish or just a few larger fish, you will obviously need a bigger tank. A few small tetra fish will do just fine in a 1 gallon tank, while larger goldfish or catfish species are going to need a 20 or 30 gallon tank. Simply put, some fish require bigger tanks or smaller tanks.

If you know what aquascaping is, it is pretty much just underwater gardening, sometimes with fish and sometimes without. The point is that aquascaping can be done in large or small tanks, but it all depends on the aquascape you are going for. The bottom line is that you obviously need to consider what you want to put in the tank before you put it. Do your research before buying the tank and the inhabitants.

How Much Time Do You Have On Your Hands?

The final question to ask yourself is how much time do you have to spare. Larger tanks require more water changes, more intense cleanup jobs, more feeding, and more overall care, no matter what that care may be. Just compare this to having 1 child versus 5 children.

The large the tank and the more inhabitants there are, the more time you will need for your fish tank. A small 1 gallon tank with a single betta fish requires just a few minutes of work per day, whereas a larger 40 gallon community tank may require anywhere from 6 to 10 hours of work per week.


Fish are great creatures to have at your home and if you haven’t had any before, we would recommend getting one of the above options as your starting point. The choices of aquariums that are listed above are in our opinion the 5 best fish tanks for beginners. They have everything that you will need to get started and to keep your fish happy and healthy.