Product Reviews, Fish Tanks

Best 20 Gallon Fish Tank Starter Kit

A full guide on getting the best aquarium for your aquatic pet. Filter, light, heater, and decoration included.

Best Budget
Best 20 Gallon Fish Tank Tetra Aquarium 20 Gallon Fish Tank Kit
Tetra Aquarium 20 Gallon Fish Tank Kit
Best Acrylic
Best 20 Gallon Fish Tank Seaclear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set]
SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set
Best Long
Best 20 Gallon Fish Tank Aqueon Aquarium 20 Gallon Long
Aqueon Aquarium 20 Gallon Long
Best 20 Gallon Fish Tank

When looking for a fish tank, it is common practice that people go looking for the cheap fish tanks that just happens to fit their TV Stand. Now many things are wrong with that, starting from the misinformation. Knowing the best for your fish is something that requires research and intermediate knowledge of their habits, things that harm them and things that help them grow healthy and safe. 

We’ve taken it upon ourselves to provide you with the right information and research for the best 20 gallon fish tank to make your choices easy so you won’t feel pressured into any of them. We provide you with the options that we as professionals think will suit many people and their circumstances while also maintaining a certain standard on quality and of course value for money.

Now, one of the things people start looking for when deciding to grow fish is a tank. And as mentioned earlier, they do tend to go for a cheap option and they make do with the furniture they have laying around at home. That might seem like a smart and economic choice, but instead, not only will it end up costing you way more, but will also harm your fish, and make everything harder, making you rethink if you’re even fit to take care of them. 

Everyone can grow healthy and happy fish; regardless of their living conditions, financial status or time management. They can, as long as they do the right things. As long as they focus on the fish’s well being rather than a temporary euphoria.

A 20 gallon fish tank is certainly an amazing option if you don’t know where to start or where to go from here. It’s like the golden middle of all tank sizes from maintenance to price and equipment, and it will be really easy to learn about and take care of. Before purchasing a 20 gallon fish tank, think about where will you place it? A 20 gallon fish tank weighs around 225 lbs and your furniture can’t hold it.

You must have a dedicated 20 gallon fish tank stand to support your new aquarium.

We’ve done the research ourselves and came up with the ultimate guide to purchasing the best 20 gallon fish tank out there and we’re sure that by the end of this article, you will not only be able to take care of your fish in the most efficient way but you will also be informed enough on the subject to help a friend out or explain everything to your kids, roommate, spouse or even your babysitter in case you decide to leave your home for a few days. 

  1. Best Acrylic: SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set
  2. Best Budget: Tetra Aquarium 20 Gallon Fish Tank Kit
  3. Best Long: Aqueon Aquarium 20 Gallon Long
  4. Best All-in-one Kit: Marina LED Aquarium Kit
  5. Best with Decor & Heater: GloFish Aquarium Kit Fish Tank
Best 20 Gallon Fish Tank Shrimp

Things to Consider Before Buying a 20 Gallon Fish Tank

As we said above, there are several things to keep in mind when getting a tank for your fish. There are things to know, things to look out for and things you definitely don’t want to do. Let’s start with…

Material

So 2 main components make up a tank. They mostly differ on minor things such as aesthetics or how prone they are to scratches, but whichever you choose should be due to personal preference, for either of them is the best choice if you know how to take care of them. We will analyse each.

Plastic/Acrylic

There’s a ton of people out there that have a slight prejudice toward plastic tanks. This has been quite the debate for a while between fish-caretakers. However, even in the community of knowledgeable people disinformation is present as well. The main argument of the people against acrylic or plastic tanks is that it harms your fish. 

My cichlids are currently wagging their tail on a very nice plastic tank and judging silently. No such problem has ever occurred in my experience and neither of my colleagues. It’s common for people that have a little bit of a hard time managing things with kids or pets to purchase a plastic or acrylic tank since they do not shatter and don’t create a potential danger for any passerby, who might even be children or other pets. 

The other argument is that plastic and acrylic look cheap and they scratch faster. Again, my cichlids are currently looking right at this argument from their shiny sparkly clean plastic fish tank that looks no penny cheaper than the glass one beside it. 

There’s not much to complain about this one either for it’s generally lighter than glass tanks and easier to move around especially if it’s over than 10 gallon capacity. Aside from personal choice, there isn’t much of a difference between a plastic/acrylic tank either, so you won’t have to worry about differentiating these.

Glass

The thing with glass is that it’s usually slightly more put together and it’s the common image in your head of a fish tank when you talk about it. This one is maybe a better choice for people with a permanent home or that lives alone or with their spouse. It’s easy to handle, not as easy to lift though. The tanks at this material usually have a classic cube aquarium look with something fancy-looking in it that just makes you wanna have it. 

There’s way too little good looking tanks out there but we made sure to include aesthetic choices as well if you’re all about that. Besides all this glass is highly reliable and doesn’t scratch easily and it doesn’t have the prejudice we saw with the plastic ones. 

This option in the 20 gallon fish tank mark will be a great housewarming gift as well for it tends to look slightly fancier to people than acrylic or plastic. Just make sure you’re dropping it off to responsible people. If you’re the responsible person and you stumbled upon this one, congratulations! Your friends consider you responsible!

Best 20 Gallon Fish Tank Look from inside

Shape

Besides material, the shape is another fully personal choice that just depends on how you want everything to look and feel and fit with your home and your home’s design. There are three main shapes for a tank: round, cube and curved front.

Round

As the name suggests, round fish tanks are round in the shape of a bowl. You might have heard them referred to as a fishbowl. You’ve undoubtedly seen them in dorms or cartoons, and they’re generally small fish tanks. They’re made for easy transportation and mainly for fish that also have an aesthetic role for they’re usually placed near the centre of the room or somewhere that is easily viewable and approachable.

Cube

The most frequent type of aquarium, a cube aquarium is a usual image in head when thinking about a standard fish tank. They’re easy to put into any sort of space due to the form factor, easy to clean and maintain, easy to find the right stand for especially for those bigger models and have a refined look to them that can easily blend into the décor of most settings rather it be at home, office or wherever you’d enjoy seeing your fish.

Curved Front

A curved front tank is like the one painting in a gallery that doesn’t quite fit in but it looks great anyway. It’s an excellent choice for those looking for something unique without going too much over the edge. It’s indeed daring and out there, however it won’t overwhelm the decor you already have, it might make things stand out a little bit more and it’ll undoubtedly draw some attention to itself. 

If you’re looking to showcase the fish either to contrast your decor or suit it, this option will do either, bravely and softly, without breaking a sweat.

Best 20 Gallon Fish Tank Look from inside

Environment

When you get fish, there’s a certain place they came from and certain natural habits that we have to recreate for the fish to stay alive and healthy. There are two types of this mini-ecosystem you create: Saltwater set-up and freshwater set-up. Their main difference is the maintenance and how much space they allow for experiments to happen or species to live in.

Saltwater Aquarium

While saltwater tanks need a bit more effort to provide adequate care for your fish, they also allow for a more diversified environment and make it easier to go through a wider variety of species of water creatures. 

People with experience and a bit of a larger understanding of how things work might find this kind of ecosystem more liberating, meaning they’ll have more space to experiment and create new environments. This will provide them with an unbelievable diversity and space to do something other than what’s been done already.

As for finances, the money spent on it will not even begin to compensate for what you’re going to end up with, rather it is a visual or an epic feeling from looking at your fish happy and healthy.

Freshwater Aquarium

Freshwater tanks require less maintenance, are easier to transport, and are typically less expensive than the other choice. They’re ideal for beginners since there’s little opportunity for error, and they also come in handy when you don’t have the time at hand to manage everything at once. 

A new hobby might be overwhelming at first and that’s why a freshwater fish tank is the first option most people consider when buying a tank. Due to the convenience, it’s also what most people just keep around regardless if they make a new purchase or not because that’s how comfortable they are to handle. 

The decision between habitats is generally decided based on the fish you have or going to have as well as your knowledge. It’s important to always consider the worst that could happen and if you end up with a slightly more time-consuming ecosystem; ask yourself if you’ve enough time and effort to do that.

Style and Design

People sometimes tend to go after tanks that would look the best rather than high-quality ones. Although most tanks indeed have a very standard look and it’s usually hard to find something unique and especially good looking, but that doesn’t mean you should jump at the first modern fish tank you see. 

However, don’t think that you should also opt for a bad looking one either because it can certainly ruin your setup. Nevertheless, there’s a small selection of tanks that have the aesthetics part down with good functionality and even come at a reasonable price. Certain brands are known for their aesthetic choices and some tanks that dominate the market for looks. 

We managed to find several tanks with these characteristics and just below you’ll find them reviewed for your convenience. All and all, a cool fish tank is only part of what you need and you should find a balance between all qualities of a tank.

Best 20 Gallon Fish Tank with Stand

What Sets a Good Fish Tank Apart?

Technically, there’s not anything that just screams this is a good tank. It’s rather a collection of qualities and features that are combined with good manufacturing and good design. The main giveaway of a tank’s quality is the price. There are no cheap tanks that are well built. It’s logically impossible too because good components cost money and no manufacturer would make a product that’s made with good products and sell it for less than they used to build it.

Besides the price, something else that’s quite important is sturdiness. If you realise that the product is flimsy or shakey, it’s almost guaranteed that it’s going to disappoint in performance and might even break, crack or leak when you put the water in. Either way, a good tank will show its quality right from the unboxing and then prove itself in the months and years to come.

Our Top Picks

The 20 gallons fish tanks that made it into the Top Picks list include everything you need to start your first aquarium. They’re manufactured by reputable companies and meet requirements for value, ease of use, safety, and effectiveness. Ahead, discover the best 20 gallon fish tank to start keeping your fish and aquatic plant.

Best Acrylic
Best 20 Gallon Fish Tank Seaclear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set
Photo: Amazon.com

This 20 gallon fish tank set comes in two versions: a deluxe kit and a basic combo bundle. The deluxe version is so named because it comes with certain additional ornamental items that, if purchased along with the tank, will save you time and work later on. 

Aside from that, both models come with a hood with a light fixture (bulbs not included), a 20 gallon fish tank filter, pebbles, and a guide. Both are constructed of acrylic. The deluxe version has a hexagon shape which the company referred to as a tranquil design. Appropriate for either freshwater or saltwater, and owing to the inclusion of items, it’s a wonderful alternative for individuals who are just beginning the fish-care hobby.

Product Specs

  • Lighting: LEDs with no bulbs
  • Filtration: 20 gallon fish tank filter
  • Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 24 inches
  • Freshwater or Saltwater: Both

Best Budget
Best 20 Gallon Fish Tank Tetra Aquarium 20 Gallon Fish Tank Kit
Photo: Amazon.com

Tetra’s 20 gallon fish tank is produced in the United States and has scratch-resistant glass. This tank features an LED canopy that creates a natural sunlight look that is ideal for your fish and plants to thrive in. The “Whisper Filter,” gets its name because it is extremely silent regardless of delivering a strong, consistent water flow. 

Artificial plants are also incorporated in this tank for providing a hiding spot for your fish as well as a more natural feel for your setup. This kit also includes a Tetra Mini heater. Either way, this product is great for all sorts of fish and is really easy to set up and maintain later on.

Product Specs

  • Lighting: LED hood
  • Filtration: Whisper filter
  • Dimensions: 24.2″ L x 12.4″ W x 16.7″ H inches
  • Freshwater or Saltwater: Mainly Freshwater

Best Long
3141
Photo: Amazon.com

In contrast to some other products, this tank does not come with additional products in the box, however, don’t let that take you back. It is a wonderful tank for a variety of species. This tank is made of high-quality glass and it’s durable and stiff and definitely can handle whatever you throw at it. 

The edges are covered with silicone edges that come in either black or a clear version, which not only add to the tank’s elegant appearance but also protect it from accidents that might happen to it. Regardless of the fact that only the tank is included in the box, it was so well made and thoughtfully crafted that we couldn’t include it on this list. Sure enough, this is a great option for all sorts of people, especially for houses with other pets or children around.

Product Specs

  • Lighting: N/A
  • Filtration: N/A
  • Dimensions: 30.25″ x 12.5″ x 12.75 inches
  • Freshwater or Saltwater: Both

Best All-in-one Kit
Best 20 Gallon Fish Tank Marina Led Aquarium Kit
Photo: Amazon.com

This Marina 20 gallon aquarium tank comes with everything you need to get your aquatic home started, and it also includes a ton of things to get you started. If the above version wasn’t for you and you’d like something that has all you need in a box, this one is for you. 

It comes with a clip-on filter with quick-change filter cartridges so your water can always be clean. It includes an LED lighting module with a natural daylight effect that’s made to last long to boost your fish’s natural circadian rhythm and also help low-light plants inside the tank grow. 

Also in the tank, you have a soft mesh fish net, a water conditioner to utilize even your tap water by making it safe for fish, and even some fish food so you won’t have to rush to a store right away. This tank is ideal for people that either doesn’t have the time to shop for items individually or people that still need to do research before making these purchases.

Product Specs

  • Lighting: LED module
  • Filtration: Clip On filter
  • Dimensions: 24” L x 12.5” W x 16.5” H inches
  • Freshwater or Saltwater: Both

Best with Decor & Heater
Best 20 Gallon Fish Tank Glofish Aquarium Kit Fish Tank
Photo: Amazon.com

This GloFish 20 gallon tank comes with a blue LED light that dramatically alters your setup, making it ideal for people who enjoy a dash of colour and some vibrance on their tank. You may personalize this neon tank to your style and make it really glow (pun intended) with a GloFish 13′′ LED light stick, one GloFish yellow anemone, and two plant multipacks. It’s ideal for a variety of species and is visibly well built and made to last.

Product Specs

  • Lighting: LED light stick and hood
  • Filtration: Tetra Whisper filter
  • Dimensions: 24.2′′ L x 12.5′′ W x 16.2′′ H inches
  • Freshwater or Saltwater: Both

Our Verdict

We can guarantee you that each of the alternatives described above has a particular quality and is designed for everyone, regardless of their years of expertise. They’re all different in terms of style, design, and usability, but they’re all the same in terms of quality, value, and everything else that defines a good tank.

The idea is to base your decision purely on how beneficial each of these tanks is in your specific case situation. You can and should choose based on what’s best for you and your fish, without sacrificing anything for a lower price. 

Remember, while we may think that something cheaper is best at the time, you’ll have to make several purchases to make up for the lack of product quality. Overall either of the products will be great at your home and will fit your setup amazingly.

How We Choose the Best 20 Gallon Fish Tank

To create this list, our team considered every conceivable option. All of the products were picked to check all of the boxes while also meeting the standards. Choosing the proper 20 gallon fish tank might be difficult if you don’t consider factors like having other pets or children in the house. 

All of these items are made to last and will provide a secure environment in any scenario. All of the firms, to their credit, are well-known for their fish-related products. In any case, we took certain to conduct a background check on the firms themselves. Finally, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best 20-gallon fish tanks on the market.

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I am Mario, a expert aquarist who is sharing his knowledge with everyone.

Keeping innocent fish and aquatic plants safe and healthy is my daily routine. With my experience and my passion for aquatic life, I will advise you through the long run of keeping an aquarium.

Disclosure: EpicAquarium.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.