7 Best Fish Tanks | March 2017

We spent 29 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Not your granddad's old round fish bowls, these fish tanks come in stylish designs and colors that will keep your fish happy, safe and living large in their own fancy crib. Some of these aquariums look so good you may just want to use them as art in your home. Skip to the best fish tank on Amazon.
7 Best Fish Tanks | March 2017

Overall Rank: 7
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 5
Best Inexpensive
The Back-to-the-Roots Garden is a complete ecosystem in a box; the fish waste feeds the plants, and the plants clean the water. Plus, the entire process takes place without any added fertilizer, so all you do is feed the fish.
The Tetra Waterfall Globe comes from a leader in the fish hobby business, and this particular model is great for a dorm room, or small office space. The light is controlled by a simple on/off switch and fish enjoy the round shape.
The KollerCraft Aquaview 360 has a cool cylindrical shape, making it a great centerpiece, and features a discrete under gravel filtration system. Plus the acrylic construction makes it resistant to impact so safe for a kid's room.
Bring the outside in with the Fluval Chi II which turns any room in your house into a tranquil pond with calming flowing water. It also features a powerful filtration system that constantly delivers clean healthy water for your fish.
  • good current for a beta fish
  • accommodates snails, shrimp and frogs
  • spacious lid accepts a heater cable
Brand Fluval
Model 10505
Weight 14.2 pounds
The GloFish 29045 is an awesome tank for the beginning aquarist or small children learning to care for a pet. It has a curved front that makes observation easy, and a clear canopy with a convenient feeding hole.
  • made for glow in the dark fish
  • kit comes with everything you need
  • cartridge filters are simple to replace
Brand GloFish
Model 29045
Weight 6.5 pounds
The Umbra FishHotel provides a unique way to create art inside your home while having the satisfaction of caring for one or more fish. It even offers enough space to add a biological filter, should you choose to do so.
  • tanks stack to create a condo look
  • outside can be painted to match decor
  • budget price for an elegant design
Brand Umbra
Model 460410-660
Weight 3.8 pounds
The Fluval Edge is a visual masterpiece with its seamless 6-sided tank that gives your fish light wherever it's placed. It holds six gallons of water so several fish can live inside, and the sealed lid lets you fill it up to the top.
  • 12 gallon model available too
  • stunning bright led lights
  • wiring is hidden by the column
Brand Fluval
Model 15385A1
Weight 28.8 pounds

Finding Nemo, Dory, And Many More

When it comes to taking care of small animals living in their own miniature ecosystem, a home-based aquarium can be a relaxing, inviting, and valuable addition to your home. Also known as an aquarium, a fish tank is an enclosed vivarium with at least one transparent side through which lights, plants, water, and aquatic animals are visible for display, observation, or study.

The four types of aquarium available include freshwater tropical, coldwater, marine, and brackish. Freshwater tanks are the most common and the easiest to maintain, as they require no special chemical additives beyond basic water conditioners. They range in temperature from seventy-two to eighty-four degrees Fahrenheit and are ideal for accommodating many varieties of tropical fish. Coldwater aquariums maintain temperatures below seventy degrees Fahrenheit and are ideal for accommodating goldfish. Coldwater tanks are also relatively simple to maintain with the proper equipment.

Marine aquariums require a bit more maintenance than either cold and freshwater tanks, given that marine tanks need saltwater for the fish to survive. The salt is typically purchased separately before adding water into the tank itself. There are also specific types of fish that thrive in saltwater environments, so it's important to understand the distinction. Both marine fish and tanks are more expensive, as they require coral, while the fish have greater sensitivity to overall water conditions. Some marine fish also have specific dietary needs, so this is important to take into account. Brackish aquariums feature a mix of salt and fresh water, so the types of fish that can live within such an environment are limited to very few species, such as the Puffer fish. Water conditions inside a brackish tank are also difficult to keep balanced.

While fish tanks come in many different shapes and sizes, the most common construction materials include either glass or acrylic. Glass tanks are typically less expensive than acrylic, more difficult to scratch, and feature a higher refraction index, which means that light passes through the glass tank more naturally when viewing it from many different angles. However, glass tanks are also quite heavy and they can break easily if dropped. By contrast, acrylic tanks are more expensive, easy to scratch, yet lightweight and more difficult to break. However, the best view of an acrylic tank is from an angle, whereas the view can appear distorted when looking at it head on.

Other equipment that fish tanks require include heaters for ensuring the water temperature doesn't fall below required standards, thermometers to keep an eye on the consistency of that temperature, and filters to keep the water as free from waste products as possible. There are three common types of filtration systems that include biological, mechanical, and chemical. Biological filtration essentially decomposes any toxic ammonia that fish produce as a waste product. For that reason, all fish tanks are required to have biological filtration. Mechanical filtration is used to trap things like plant leaves or uneaten food, allowing it to be removed from the tank before it decomposes into ammonia. Chemical filtration can remove ammonia, heavy metals, or other dissolved organics on a limited basis, making it useful for administering and removing medicines to fish. Filters also require cleaning and maintenance.

Managing A Delicate Balance

Regardless of the type of tank chosen, one must realize that an aquarium is a living, breathing, contained, and miniaturized ecosystem with many variables to consider. These variables need to be properly balanced in order to work together and allow one's fish to flourish. That said, if you're new to fish-keeping, start slowly. Invest in a small glass freshwater or coldwater tank, so you don't have to worry quite as much about treating the water.

Just because you're new to the concept of maintaining an aquarium doesn't mean you don't have options. Many goldfish and colorful tropical fish can thrive in freshwater environments, which is great if you want to purchase a fish tank for a child to expose him or her to underwater life and how to properly care for living things. A child's exposure to fish-keeping can be a valuable precursor to owning a larger pet, such as a dog or cat.

Next, consider the size, shape, and materials of the tank you want. Do be aware that glass is fragile and heavy, so you must be certain you'll have room to transport a glass tank and ample space to place it. Some fish tanks are octagonal in shape, which can be ideal for placement in corners.

Finally, if you're unsure about the types of fish, lighting, heating, or filtration needed for the tank you choose, don't be afraid to ask questions at the pet shop you visit. The experts can help lead you in the right direction and give you all the supplies you'll need.

A Brief History Of Fish Tanks

Archaeological evidence of fish-keeping dates back to the times of the ancient Sumerians and Egyptians who considered fish to be sacred creatures as early as 2,500 BCE. The Chinese also kept goldfish and bred them selectively during the time of the Sung Dynasty between 960 and 1279 CE. These fish were kept for purely decorative purposes, as people were forbidden to eat them.

The process of maintaining the water for a fish tank was not well understood until the time of English chemist Robert Warington, who is credited with studying the fish tank's requirement to have its water cycled in order to keep fish alive for extended periods of time. By studying a 13-gallon container full of goldfish, eelgrass, and snails, Warington succeeded in creating one of the first stable tank ecosystems. He developed the aquarium system by explaining that the addition of plants to water within a container would give off an ample supply of oxygen to support aquatic life.

Warington's work was published in London's Chemical Society journal in 1850. By 1853, the popularity of keeping aquariums as a hobby became well-entrenched in the United Kingdom, thanks in part to the ornately-designed cast-iron tanks featured at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and Philip Henry Gosse who created and stocked the first public aquarium at the London Zoo, which became known as the Fish House in 1853.

During the Victorian Era, a common design for the home aquarium was a glass front with wooden sides made watertight with a pitch coating. The bottoms of many of these tanks were constructed from slate and heated from underneath. By the nineteenth century, the tank evolved to include glass with metal framing as well as designs for hanging and wall mounting. By 1908, the first mechanical aquarium air pump was invented and powered by running water instead of electricity. As home electricity supplies became more common after World War One, tank heating, filtering, and artificial lighting became easier.

To this day, aquariums and fish-keeping is still considered to be one of the most popular hobbies with tanks being made from any combination of objects that include coffee tables, sinks, gumball machines, and even the shells of computers.

Wiki Statistics and Editorial Log
Paid Placements

Revision History

Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page. For our full ranking methodology, please read 'about this wiki', linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.

Last updated: 03/25/2017 | Authorship Information