Humankind has explored just 5% of the entirety of the oceans. And although it’s just this little, we’re captivated and mesmerized by all we found and are in constant search for more. The aquatic creature that’s best captured our attention, to the point of bringing them to cohabitate with us, are fish. Fish, these small, colorful, diverse species have won our hearts and affection.
We’ve taken them home and raised them with the utmost care and love. If you or your kids have been wanting a pet lately, a fish is a great way to start. And even if you’re not a beginner, a small fish tank is a great way to test yourself and your abilities to handle such a limited space. Maybe you can experiment with different plants and how they do in such an environment etc.
The best way to achieve this, as a beginner or a professional would be by choosing the best 5 gallon fish tank. Now, 5 gallon tanks are part of the subcategory of nano aquariums, meaning small tanks anywhere below 10 gallons. 5 gallon fish tanks are small, compact and easy to handle whether you move around a lot as a student, if you have limited space or budget or if you’re looking for a modern fish tank around your office.
There’s a variety of fish tanks you can find ranging from size to material to shape and kind and below you’ll find each of these explained. By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you’ll have come out with a wider knowledge of tanks and gotten closer to finding the best 5 gallon fish tank.
- Best Overall: Fluval Spec V
- Best with Waterfall: Fluval Chi
- Best Budget: Marineland Portrait
- Best Reef: Fluval Sea Evo V
- Best for Bettas: PanaView 5-Gallon Aquarium Kit
- Best with a Heater: Marina LED Aquarium Kit
- Best for one Goldfish: Tetra Curved-Front Tank
What to Consider When Buying a 5 Gallon Fish Tank
As mentioned earlier there are several ways to distinguish between fish tanks and they vary from the way they’re built to the way they serve you, your fish and your current situation. There’s different things to keep in mind when making your purchase.
Before we get into those, you should first know what you’re choosing from in the first place. Don’t hunt for really cheap fish tanks with the thought that you’ll be done easily. A good fish tank needs to be of a certain minimum qualification to not cause unwanted problems that you simply can’t find in a lower price range. I’m sure that you can find some cool fish tanks on your budget too so without further ado:
- Round fish tank: this one is pretty self-explanatory, they’re rounded like the ones you saw on Nemo and they only serve on aesthetics depending on if you like rounded tanks more. They’re usually called fish bowls.
- Cube fish tank: Common in households, you can find a cube aquarium almost everywhere you see fish. It has a bit of a more collected build and it also plays a subjective role in your decision.
Design and Material
- Modern fish tank: If your house or office is big on the minimalist, modern aesthetic this would be the choice for you. Although the majority of the tanks we recommend are modern and sleek and can fit anywhere, Fluval is the brand that is usually big on aesthetics and the latest trends. There’s nothing wrong with the other tanks, it’s just like we said in the beginning, these are just ways to distinguish between tanks, not rank them in any way.
- Plastic fish tank: Now, people are much prejudiced with this choice, but there’s rarely anything to complain about. Sure, you might get a scratch or two if you’re not careful, but who would even move their tank around with objects that can scratch it on them. If anything they’re a bit safer if you have kids or other pets around. A plastic or an acrylic aquarium has no big difference from a glass one besides maybe the prejudice some people have.
- Glass fish tank: This is the most popular choice, maybe because stereotypically glass gives off a more fancy vibe. It does weigh more than plastic though and might be impractical on tight spaces with children or pets. However, some people prefer it for its fineness and that’s totally fine considering everyone knows what their house needs the most. They’re generally a bit more expensive but irrelevant enough to not change your mind.
- Freshwater fish tank: Freshwater tanks are easier to maintain, there are fewer things to worry about and are usually cheaper. They’re great for beginners because they don’t leave much room for error and they’re also useful if you’re not big on variety and don’t have the amount of time necessary to take care of a lot of things at once.
- Saltwater fish tank: As for saltwater tanks, they do take more time and work for your fish to thrive, but they offer more varieties of vibrant and colourful ecosystems. It’s a great option for people that know what they’re doing and all the sources given for this tank and the fish in it are rewarded by what an amazing marine life it provides. The most challenging aspect for beginners is when setting up a saltwater tank for the first time.
Besides all the things mentioned above, there’s something else to keep in mind. When we purchase a tank, it’s important to mind the contents of the box. For an aquarium to deserve that name it ought to come with different accessories that make it functional and ready to use. Things such as the filter, the heater and the LEDs are almost a necessity to be included in the box with no additional purchase.
Now, the manufacturer isn’t exactly forced to include all these in the box, but it would be a wise choice for you to always go for tank kits rather than a singular tank with nothing included. If you find the kits expensive, trust us on this, buying them separately is more expensive. It also saves you the time and research to find accessories that suit your tank adequately.
When you purchase a kit though, everything included is sure to fit your tank with no problem because the manufacturer made them custom to the tank itself so there won’t be any issues like that. A 5 gallon fish tank with filter and heater is basically all you’ll ever need on any occasion if you’re searching for small fish tanks. Tank kits are usually a great choice and even if you don’t like one of the things that come with it, you can always upgrade your tank further.
Best 5 Gallon Fish Tanks
The Fluval Spec V is a fantastic tank with all of the necessary equipment for your fish to thrive. To create this product, aquarium hobbyists sought out an elegant design for their nano fish. You can use this as freshwater, saltwater and a reef aquarium too, depending on your preferences. It’s a high-quality tank, with high-quality equipment from a brand that definitely knows what they’re doing.
The build is really on par with the industry standard, and the design is sleek and can fit in any interior you put it on. This tank was our top choice for 5 gallon fish tanks because not only did it meet our expectations but also exceeded them. It’s great for professionals and beginners alike and there’s nothing it can’t handle.
- Material: Glass
- Lighting: 37 LED lights
- Filtration: 3-stage filtration
- Style: Simple and sleek
- Extras: Includes foam block, activated carbon and BioMax bio rings
- Perfect for a beta
- 7000 K color temperature light
- Durable etched glass with cover
- Compact design
- Low-voltage transformer
- The filter is difficult to replace
Read More: Fluval Spec V Review
Fluval Chi 5 gallon aquarium will meet all your demands in a neat, but complete package. Although it’s only a small tank, with the appropriate decorations, it can look amazing and serve as a long-term home for your fish. The smaller size makes it easier to clean, move, and perform routine maintenance tasks that would have taken a lot of time in a larger tank.
Even if they haven’t had a fluval fish tank, most fish owners have heard of this company and their eye for the aesthetic. One of several Fluval tanks we have on this list, this one is specially built for the ones with a heart for the spiritual and contemporary designs. The latter is based on feng-shui, an ancient Chinese practice that uses energy forces to harmonize the individual with the environment around him.
Regardless if you believe in spiritual practices or not, there’s a calming experience about this one due to the ambient noise it produces and the beautiful waterfall effect. A great tank, with amazing potential from a respectable company, there’s nothing more you could ask for.
- Material: Glass
- Lighting: 17 LED’s light
- Filtration: Waterfall filter
- Style: Contemporary
- Extras: Two baskets, Nutrafin Bio Supplement, Transformer
- Very good design
- Everything included in the box
- Strong and good quality
- Good for beginners
- Incredible mood setter
- Good lighting system
- Convenient size
- Limited fish quantity and plant species
- Needs attention to notice water changes
Read More: Fluval Chi Review
In general, Marineland Portrait is a good choice for most people. In terms of quality, it’s a sturdy, well-built product that will surprise you and exceed your expectations. Elegant design and curved corners make it seem extremely sophisticated and show off the built’s skill. You won’t need to buy anything else when setting up this kit.
In terms of economics, it’s a good decision that can’t go wrong. The entire aquarium is made of glass, including the lid, which is a rare choice for aquarium construction. Your fish will have plenty of room to swim, but there’s a secret chamber that allows you to use additional filtration equipment besides the one that’s included.
However you look at it, whether in terms of design, build or inclusivity, the Marineland Portrait is sure to help you for years to come.
- Material: Glass
- Lighting: Daylight/moonlight LED light
- Filtration: 3-stage filtration
- Style: Collected and simple
- Extras: Biofoam, pump
- Aesthetic and good looking
- All-rounder kit with anything you need
- Size is recommended for bettas
- The filter is silent and powerful
- Glass walls and canopy
- The filter is almost impossible to clean
Read More: Marineland Portrait Review
Fluval Sea EVO fish aquarium is packed with the same performance qualities as a tank many times its size, yet it’s still tiny enough to fit on any desk or countertop despite its diminutive size and compact design. Water quality is further enhanced by the use of an advanced 3-stage water filtering system.
Building a tiny reef tank doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or take up much space. Whatever your motivation, the possibilities are infinite. This contemporary fish tank comes with everything you need to put it up, so you don’t have to buy anything else.
Be aware that virtually everything may be upgraded if you have additional requirements for your setup. Another tank from Fluval, this one definitely doesn’t disappoint the high standard the brand has made for itself.
- Material: Glass
- Lighting: 11000K LED Light
- Filtration: 3-stage filtration
- Style: Modern, edgy, cuboid
- Extras: BioMax insert, foam filter block, circulation pump
- Perfect beginner saltwater tank
- Ideal light for corals
- Fair price
- Modern and stylish design
- Lots of room in chambers
- Stock return pump is weak
Read More: Fluval Evo 13.5 Review
The PAnaView is a great 5 galllon tank that comes in an all-inclusive kit. Energy-efficient LED lighting brightly lights your fish with 7 multi-color options you can pick depending on the time of day or night, as well as an inbuilt power filter (45 gallons per hour flow rate) that keep your aquarium water clean and crystal clear.
As a novice or if you have many tanks, this kit is perfect for you. The benefits of owning an aquarium go beyond aesthetics, as it has been proved to give therapeutic effects that improve your entire well-being.
- Lighting: Energy-efficient LED lighting
- Filtration: 3-stage filter
- Style: Round corners
- Extras: Replacement cartridges
- Great for a single betta
- Great price
- Super quiet filter
- Great for beginners.
- Light, filter and pump can be easily broken
One of Marina’s newest products, this LED aquarium kit is a cost-effective alternative for consumers who want a nano fish tank. It’s no secret that Marina makes some of the best aquarium tanks and accessories around. All of these accessories, since this is a fish tank kit, come tailor-made for your tank, meaning you won’t have to do any additional purchases or worry about how everything’s going to fit.
Besides the tank itself, along with the lid and such, other fish-keeping equipment is included so you can get the most out of your purchase. This tank is also low-maintenance meaning it won’t take up much time off your day and won’t confuse you if you’re just getting started.
- Material: Glass
- Lighting: LED mechanism
- Filtration: Marina Slim S10 type clip-on filter
- Style: Eye-catching and it fits well with any interior
- Extras: Maintenance tools
- Great starter tank
- Easy install
- Low maintenance design
- Good filter
- Nice design
- The hood has openings with no flap covering
As an enthusiast or a newbie, the Tetra Curved front tank provides everything you need, cutting-edge equipment to all you need kits and decor, to name a few. Tetra has been the go-to brand for fishkeepers for over 50 years for goods and solutions that make their lives easier and more beautiful.
A kitchen, bedroom, office or any living area will benefit from the Tetra Crescent 5. You’ll also get Tetra Whisper internal filter and medium Bio-Bag in the kit. Each aquarium has a seamless front, black base and cover and dazzling white LED lights with a low voltage power converter. Add water, decor, and fish and you’re good to go!
- Material: Acrylic
- Lighting: Energy-efficient LED light
- Filtration: Tetra Whisper Internal Power filter
- Style: Modern, eccentric
- Extras: Medium Bio-Bag
- Different design
- Strong adjustable filter
- LEDs that can grow low-light plants
- The lid has space for a heater cord, light cord, and filter
- Need better lid so fish won’t escape
Overall there’s not a single product mentioned above that won’t satisfy your needs. With all these options to choose from you won’t have any circumstances you won’t be able to solve. If you’re more into aesthetics, the Fluval Chi will be a great choice for you.
If you’re on a budget and need something that has everything without breaking the bank, Marina LED Aquarium Kit is the choice for you. The main thing to keep in mind is that all of these products were made to serve you and your fish needs. If you don’t think one won’t be a good fit for your situation, don’t feel pressured just because it looks pretty. Remember that the main concern is the fish and everything is in their function.
How We Choose the Best 5 Gallon Fish Tank
Our team has swum through all the possible currents to come up with these alternatives. Every product was chosen keeping in mind the boxes they must check, and also the standard they all must satisfy. We’ve taken into account small environments, if you have other pets or children around and things that might be a problem if you don’t choose the right tank.
All of these products are built toughly and well to ensure a safe space for all situations. All the manufacturers are respectable and have a good name for themselves based on all their other products made for fish. In the end, we came up with the ultimate list for the best 5 gallon fish tanks out there, and we’re sure it ensures everyone’s demands will be met.
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