Best Small Fish Tank For Beginners

Nano aquariums are tiny fish tanks that are able to be kept in your home, even in the event that you do not have a lot of space. However, it is important to pick the best small fish tank for beginners from the beginning and that’s what I’m about to assist you to do.

7 Best Nano Aquariums

Last update on 2024-05-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Top 7 Best Small Fish Tank For Beginners: Reviews

The following are the best small fish tanks for beginners:

Fluval Flex Aquarium Kit (Best Overall): Our Top Pick!

Fluval Flex 9 Aquarium Kit - Fish Tank for Fish & Plants - Comes with LED Lights, Filtration System & More - 36" x 18" x 18" - 34 L, 9 Gal. - White
  • Stylish Fluval Aquarium: Contemporary design with curved front and...
  • Customizable LED Aquarium Lights: Fully adjustable 7500K White + RGB...
  • Powerful Fluval Fish Tank Filtration: 3-stage filtration with...
  • Perfect Pet Supplies: Small fish tank enclosure with multi-directional...
  • Innovation for Fish Keepers: Fluval innovates to foster a sustainable...

Last update on 2024-05-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Fluval Flex is the best small tank that is available since it has all built-in features, like lighting and filtration. It is among the largest “small” tanks, providing a capacity of 9-gallon.

When it comes to keeping fish, the more water you have is always more beneficial. Fluval Flex has a curved front, however, because it’s glass, cleaning is simple as long as you move your algae scraper upwards and downwards instead of moving it from side to side.

The lights can be completely customized and come with special effects like cloud cover and storms, making it a suitable choice for tropical freshwater or saltwater species.

The greatest feature of Fluval Flex is its integrated filtering. It is equipped with a large sponge that is tucked into the rear of the tank, with pockets for zeolite as well as carbon, which you are able to make use of if you like or even remove.

They will last for many years and never have a replacement. They’re easy to access and there’s plenty of room to install a heater in the back of the filter which gives your fish to have more space to move around.

Overall it is clear that overall, the Fluval Flex is the best option for a small aquarium. It’s a great fit for various species and will provide an ideal environment for healthy and happy fish for a long time. If you’re looking to get a bit bigger you can get a 15-gallon Fluval Flex kit too.

Dimensions 13 14″ 13″ x 13 inches capacity of 9-gallon Material Glass and plastic sides. Accessories include integrated filters, and lights (sponge, carbon, zeolite) The inhabitants are: Betta, a small school, and shrimp


  • Fully integrated lighting and filters
  • Customizable lighting
  • Durable filter media
  • Larger capacity
  • A separate heater area is located separated from the tank’s main source


  • Expensive
  • Curved sides can be somewhat more difficult to wash
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Fluval Spec Aquarium Kit (Best Nano)

Fluval SPEC Aquarium Kit, Aquarium with LED Lighting and 3-Stage Filtration System, 5-Gallon
  • SPEC Series Aquariums: The newly redesigned SPEC series now features...
  • Tank Construction: SPEC adds style and design to your aquarium set....
  • Filtration Capability: SPEC boasts a powerful 3-stage system with...
  • Lighting System: The powerful LED lighting system has 37 LED bulbs...
  • Capacity: 5-gallon tank capacity with a water pump output of 55-80 US...

Last update on 2024-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re not blessed with a lot of space but would like a perfect habitat for your betta, or any other fish that is small then the Fluval Spec 5-gallon tank is an ideal option.

It has a long, rectangular shape, which can allow the flow of your filter to spread over a greater distance instead of crashing into the sides of your tank and creating a rough flow.

It also has an integrated filter, made of an extremely durable sponge, zeolite, and carbon. All of which can be changed depending on the need.

The latest design comes with a better light that is specifically designed for live plants.

Because this is a tiny plant, it might not be able solely on the waste of your fish and you’ll require aquarium plant fertilizers that are safe for fish.

Dimensions are 21x8x 12 inches Gallon capacity: 2.5 or 5 | Material Case made of plastic with glass sides Accessories: Integrated filters, lights (sponge, carbon, zeolite) The inhabitants are: Betta, small school and shrimp


  • Filter media that is fully integrated
  • Can pivot filter flow return to a source be directed?
  • Small footprint
  • Lights included


  • Filter intake may be quite heavy for fish that are delicate
  • Expensive
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Marineland Aquarium Kit – Contour 3G

MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit with Rail Light
  • SLEEK DESIGN: Rounded corners and clear glass canopy allow viewing...
  • DAYLIGHT/MOONLIGHT SETTINGS: Bright white LEDs create a shimmering...
  • HIDDEN FILTRATION: Advanced, three-stage filtration is out of sight to...
  • EASY ACCESS: Hinged LED rail light and sliding glass canopy.
  • DIMENSIONS: The Marineland Contour 3 Aquarium measures 9.63 inches...

Last update on 2024-05-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It is a tiny nano tank that comes with everything you require to get a tiny nano aquarium up and running. It’s an aquarium made of glass, but it’s quite light. Glass that is this kind of thing always appears pretty nice.

This tank is three gallons and measures the size of 9.5 by 10 inches in size, so it is very compact and perfect for small areas.

Additionally, it has bright white LEDs that can be used to replicate sunlight, and blue LEDs that produce moonlight-like glow.

These lights are placed over the tank’s top on an open-air canopy made of glass with an easy-to-access hinge to the tank’s interior.

The unit also has an encasement for filtration hidden at the rear, which is involved with all three kinds of aquarium filtration which include biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration.

It’s not an enormous tank but it does come with everything you require for an entire set-up.


  • All in one
  • Filters include an air filter
  • Lights up when it is on.
  • Perfect for small areas.
  • Durable tank


  • Not the most effective filter.

If you’re just looking for an affordable and small nano aquarium that includes everything you require to start it is your best option.

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Aquatop Pisces Curved Bowfront Aquarium

Aquatop Pisces Curved Bowfront Aquarium, 3 Gallons, 53GPH – Nano Semi-Circle Glass Aquarium Kit, for Salt & Freshwater Fish Tanks, Touch Sensitive LED Light, All in One Tank with Filter
  • BOWFRONT FISH AQUARIUM: This Aquatop Pisces 3-Gallon Fish Tank has a...
  • INNOVATIVE TANK SYSTEM: Each aquarium tank includes an innovative and...
  • GREAT FOR FRESH & SALTWATER: These space-saving desktop aquariums work...
  • SUPERIOR FILTRATION: In addition to the Mechanical and Chemical...
  • BRIGHT LED LIGHT: The Pisces Series includes a bright, touch sensitive...

Last update on 2024-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

We have an extremely small aquarium that comes at only three Gallons. Its dimensions are 8.3 By 10 inches by 10.2 inches.

It is definitely a nano aquarium and is sure to fit into even the tiniest of spaces. It’s also available as the size of a 5-gallon should you want.

One thing you may like is the sleek and contemporary style that features an equilateral or bow front, which allows you to enjoy a panoramic view.

It also has the benefit that it makes the inside of the fish tank appear larger.

This nano aquarium is equipped with the highest levels of filtration capability since it has biological, mechanical, and chemical filters.

It’s not the greatest filter available however, it’s adequate for this tiny tank.

Additionally, you get the lid of your tank, which comes with mounting clips that allow for easy access to the interior as well as an ultra-bright LED light that acts as both a moonlight and daylight source.

It is also worth noting the fact that this unit can be used both for saltwater and freshwater applications.


  • Everything you require is included
  • Lights and filters included
  • A good size for the majority of purposes
  • Panoramic views
  • Affordable price


  • The quality of light could be improved

If you’re looking to get a nano aquarium that is more than it is it is an excellent option to consider.

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LAQUAL Rimless Glass Aquarium Starter Kit

LAQUAL Rimless Glass Aquarium Starter Kit (3 Gal), Ultra Clear Low Iron Glass Fish Tank Set, Small Beta Fish Tank & Filter with Surface Skimmer & 3-Mode LED Light
  • 【Ultra-clear Fish Tank, The Most Realistic Scene】LAQUAL rimless...
  • 【3 Mode Light, Beautiful & Waterproof】 The aquarium lights offer 3...
  • 【Adjustable Filter with Surface Skimmer】 Water purity is essential...
  • 【Package Includes】 LAQUAL aquarium starter kit includes 1 * 3 gal...
  • 【90 Days Money Back, 1 Year Free Replacement】LAQUAL is committed...

Last update on 2024-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It is a third 3-gallon nano aquarium, measuring 16.5 and 12.5 in 7.4 inches. The tank isn’t particularly deep, however, it’s taller and longer than the other ones. This makes it perfect for areas that aren’t particularly deep, like shelves for books.

This tank is made of low iron and it’s very transparent and has a very high light transmission. Also, it has a lower refractive index than normal glass, which means it lets lots of light in.

The thickness is 5 millimeters, too, and is sturdy enough to take a few bumps.

The unit includes a small and basic hang-on aquarium back filter, which should be able to work in all three main kinds of aquarium filtering.

It’s not the most effective device however, it’s a good choice for a small tank such as this. It also has an underwater skimmer.

The best part is that it comes with a lamp with three different options.

Be aware that this light has been made to be completely waterproof. It is also one of the most affordable nano aquarium kits available there.


  • It comes with a light and filter.
  • The ideal shape for spaces with a small footprint
  • Great size for novices
  • Excellent price
  • Looks fantastic


  • It may just not be enough deep for certain people.

If you are looking for a stunning with a rectangular nano aquarium, one that could be perfect for fish such as the betta and a betta, this is among your top choices.

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PENN-PLAX Water-World Prism Nano Aquarium Kit

PENN-PLAX Water-World Prism Nano Aquarium Kit – Includes Integrated Filter, 2 Filter Media Cartridges, Telescoping LED Light, and Tinted Cover – 2 Gallons – Black
  • CONVENIENT FOR SMALL SPACES: The Prism Nano Aquarium Kit is perfect...
  • INTEGRATED FILTER – 40 GPH: Each Prism Nano Aquarium Kit features an...
  • ADDITIONAL FEATURES: Each aquarium kit comes equipped with a black, 18...
  • CONTAINS ALMOST EVERYTHING YOU NEED: This aquarium kit includes the...
  • MEASUREMENTS: Overall of Tank = 7” (W) x 9” (D) x 10” (H) /...

Last update on 2024-05-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is a less compact nano aquarium than the other we’ve seen to date This one comes in at just 2 gallons which is 7x9x10 inches. This is the ideal solution to fill a small area.

Amazingly, the unit includes an aquarium filter that can pump out a staggering 40 gallons of water per hour. It’s an astonishingly powerful and effective filter for a small aquarium, and should surely be able to keep the tank in good condition.

It is housed in an enclosure made of black plastic at the back of the unit to make it look more appealing.

Also, you get an LED light with 18 bulbs that can be adjusted to give your tank some lighting.

Remember that your tank is constructed from plastic, which might not appear as attractive as glass, however, it’s certainly more robust.

The tank comes with a cover made of plastic that has an opening for feeding from it.


  • Space-friendly and very space-friendly
  • Super-low cost
  • Filter and light Included
  • Very effective filter
  • Durable plastic tank


  • Plastic isn’t quite as attractive as glass.

If you’re searching for an extremely robust nano aquarium made of plastic, this is the perfect model to buy.

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iPriro Glass Betta Aquarium Starter Kit

iPriro Glass Betta Aquarium Starter Kits Fish Tank with LED Light and Temp Display 1.5 Gallon, Top Filtration, Gravel Cleaners, Cleaner Tool 4 in 1
  • 🐳Aquarium Starter Kit with Water Changer & Cleaner Tool All in one:...
  • 🐳Sleek Design with 8 Colors LED Lighting: 1.5 gallon fish tank,...
  • 🐳3-in-1 Submersible Pump: 3-in-1 power head filter performs three...
  • 🐳The Digital Temperature Display: Integrated with temperature probe...
  • 🐳Top Hidden Filtration Designs & Quick-Change Filter Cartridges...

Last update on 2024-05-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It is evident from the name this kit for starters is specifically designed for betta fish. However, I would not recommend it. Betta fish deserve much bigger tanks.

But, this tank might be perfect for a variety of snails and plants or shrimp.

It’s constructed from glass, and we love the style of the design. It is also the tiniest nano aquarium in the world with a size of only 1.5 gallons. Its overall dimensions are 8.7 By 5.7 and 9.4 inches.

The nano tank is equipped with an LED light in 8 colors that will perfectly light up your aquarium’s plants and fish. It’s built into a seamless hood which is fixed onto the upper part of the aquarium with an easy hinge. This makes it easy to gain access to the tank.

The tank is also equipped with a three-in-one submersible filter that removes water, offers water circulation, and aerates the water, too.

It’s probably not one of the finest filters available however it’s sufficient for this tiny tank.

It comes with quick-change cartridges for filtering which are quite handy. Another thing that stands out in this tank is that you have an integrated temperature probe that displays temperature in digital format and lets you know how warm the water in your tank is.


  • Fantastic size
  • Beautiful design
  • Filter and lights are included
  • Digital thermometer
  • Hinged lid


  • Might be too small for certain individuals.
  • Betta fish deserve a bigger tank!

Super compact 1.5-gallon aquarium If you are looking for a small, compact aquarium then this is the ideal choice for you.

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Nano Aquariums Buyers Guide: What To Look Out For

Let me give you a few details on the most important things to consider when selecting the best small fish tank for beginners.


In the case of an aquarium, making sure there is enough water available and plenty of space available is determined by your bioload.

The bioload of your tank is the total number of living organisms in your tank, including invertebrates, fish, and even the smallest of bacteria.

Certain fish do not convert food into body mass efficiently like goldfish and also produce a lot of waste. This adds to the bio-load.

They also need a lot of space, compared to a smaller school of neon Tetras. The small size of tanks is complicated if you try to pack too many species in the space.

Size and Shape

The majority of people think of a nano aquarium as smaller than 5 gallons but this is subjective in the world. However, in order to be classified to be categorized as a nano aquarium it must be quite compact. Remember, the main point is that these aquariums must have the ability to fit in smaller areas.

Also, there is the form to think about and there are various shapes to consider, including semicircular, rectangular, rectangular, and many others. This is more of an individual preference than anything else, however, it is still something to consider.

The Material

For all aquariums, regardless of size, you’ll have to choose a material on the side of your tank according to your preferences.

Glass is more fragile, and heavier, yet it is also it is easier to clean and stays crystal clear for a longer time.

Acrylic can be more robust and light, however, it is susceptible to being scratched, and it will turn cloudy over time.

Because the aquariums we’re talking about are small and small, it is suggested to use glass because they are able to hold smaller amounts of the volume of water (lighter) in addition to being easier to transport padded (less broken).

While conducting the research for this article, I couldn’t find any acrylic aquariums that are suitable for fish of a small size.

Additional Equipment and Accessories

A quality nano aquarium should include everything you require to start. At the minimum, the aquarium must have an air filter as well as a light.

If you are considering an aquarium, it is recommended to take into consideration the following accessories:

  • Lid for tank
  • Aquarium light
  • Filter
  • Substrate (gravel, rocks, sand, etc.)
  • Gravel vacuum
  • Decor objects (must be safe for fish)
  • For better fish, choose items that do not get caught in fins
  • Live plants
  • Dechlorinator/water conditioner that treats water from the tap to remove Chloramine and chlorine
  • Scrub brush for decor
  • Scraper for algae that can be used with glass or acrylic tanks (be careful never to mix them because they’re different)
  • Thermometer (for specific species)
  • Thermometer
  • Kit for testing the quality of water


What is the best size fish tank for a beginner?

If you are starting a new aquarium, the ideal size is not less than 20 Gallons (80 Liters) ideal to be bigger. A 30-gallon or 29-gallon (~120-liter) aquarium, or greater is ideal for a first-time hobbyist.

What is the best size tank for small fish?

21-40 gallons: Aquariums with capacities of between 21 and 40 gallons are ideal for keeping about a half dozen-to-12 tiny fish happy and healthy. The volume of their tanks ensures that water quality isn’t too unstable, which is why they’re a little more tolerant of less frequent maintenance.

Is a 10-gallon fish tank good for beginners?

A 10-gallon tank for fish is among the most commonly used “starter” aquarium sizes because it’s tiny enough for an apartment, a child’s bedroom, or perhaps the counter in your kitchen.

What type of fish tank is easiest to maintain?

The aquarium planter in the water garden design is the easiest to maintain. The plants that are in the garden take care of taking fish waste from the aquarium’s water effectively, and then clean it up for you.

Are small fish tanks harder to maintain?

Smaller aquariums are more challenging to keep than larger ones and are not suitable for novices. The conditions are better in bigger aquariums and in the event that things begin to become problematic there is more time to fix the issue. Aquariums ranging from 20 or 55 gallons in size are great for those who are just beginning their journey into aquarists.

Can any fish live in a 1 gallon tank?

Small fish smaller than 1.5 inches, such as the tetras can live in tanks that hold one gallon, though only for very brief durations.

Final Verdict

When you’re looking for the best small fish tank for beginners, we recommend the Fluval Flex 9-gallon Aquarium Kit, which is well-thought-out and designed to make an excellent fish house in a tiny space.

If you don’t have space for even an 8-gallon tank one of our top nano tanks would be that of Fluval Spec 5-gallon aquarium. It is small in size but can still be used for bettas, shrimp, and more, so it is planned carefully.

Like any smaller tank be sure to consider the type of fish you are looking for and the number you’ll need to keep. If you are able to go larger and have a larger tank, do it!

Dibyajyoti Bordoloi is the creator and author of, a third-generation experienced fish keeper and owner of a successful pet breeding farm. He is also a member of the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation And Conservation (Assam), the Marine Aquarium Societies of North East India, and the Kaziranga Nature Conservancy of Assam.