Best Starter Aquarium For Beginners

There is a common misconception that caring for fish takes almost all of your free time and that they’re the most difficult pet to take care of. But the individuals that think this couldn’t be more wrong. Yes, fish require special care and attention, just like all other types of pets. But they require certain equipment and treatments that are far more different than the treatment that’s required from dogs, cats, and birds.

When taken care of properly, having a fish aquarium has the ability to add a beautiful and soothing effect to practically any room. Not only do they look beautiful when they’re put together, but fish tanks also give off a calming sound, since you most likely have a filter that lets water stream out of the opening.

things to think of as a beginner with fish

Given that, you should consider setting up a fish aquarium in your bedroom, office, living room, or other rooms in your house. But since you’re a beginner, it can be difficult to pick out the specific equipment that you need in order to care for your fish, let alone pick out the certain fish that you want.

Because of that, here is some helpful information about caring for fish that I’ve gathered from my personal experiences as a fishkeeper as well as five of the best starter aquariums on the market.

Tips for Beginners in Fishkeeping

Bigger is better for starter aquariums

Ironically, the bigger the aquarium is, the easier it is to manage and maintain. This is because the more water you have, the easier it is to maintain the overall balance of the chemicals in the aquatic environment for your fish. For instance, aquariums require water that has a correct balance of chemicals, including nitrates and oxygen.

Pick your fish before the equipment

You’re recommended to choose what type of fish you want before you choose any of the equipment for your fish. Certain fish species require specific environments and equipment in order to thrive, so you’ll save time and money by choosing your fish first and then picking out the compatible equipment afterwards.

See our guide on our best 10 gallon tank

Location is important for the best starter aquarium

It’s important to choose a location to place your fish aquarium that’s in a comfortable environment for your fish. More specifically, choose a location that’s free from any loud noises, away from direct sunlight, and distant from any air vents. This will help keep your fish comfortable, happy, and healthy.

Monitor the water frequently

You should also keep watch of the condition of the water in your fish’s aquarium, since the water in tanks can change drastically within a matter of minutes or hours. For instance, you should focus on the water temperature and make sure that it’s at a good temperature for your specific fish. If it goes too high or too low, your fish may become sick and die.

Not only that, but you may also find it beneficial to add water conditioner to your aquarium. Water conditioner is responsible for removing any chlorine or other harmful chemicals from the water.

Checklist for beginners

Since there are so many different components that you’ll have to purchase before you can set up the aquarium and place your fish in it, you may find it beneficial to make a checklist of everything that’s needed. For instance, you’ll need a tank, water filter, source of lighting, gravel, plants and decorations, water conditioner, fish food, net, and a water heater.

Only change half of the tank’s water at a time

In addition to each of these tips, you’re most recommended to change only half of the tank’s water at a time instead of simply emptying out the tank completely and re-filling it. This helps to ensure that the balance of the components of the water remain calm, and it eliminates the possibility of your fish getting sick or being uncomfortable.

Benefits of Owning a Fish Aquarium 

Reduces stress by having a starter aquarium

Fish aquariums have the ability to reduce stress since they give off a natural and calming vibe in your home. This is why they’re most beneficial for environments like offices and living rooms.

Improve quality of sleep of your fish

Aquariums have the ability to improve your sleep qualities, since they bring a positive energy into your bedroom. They help to remove negative thoughts and provide a soft, soothing sound that’s able to help you fall asleep faster at night.

Increase productivity

Not only do they improve the vibes of the room they’re in, but aquariums also have the ability to improve your productivity. More specifically, fish tanks reduce your blood pressure and lower your stress levels, so they allow you to focus on the task at hand. They also increase your level of creativity in your work space, so they’re highly beneficial for you in your home office, office space at work, or even your living room.

Positive appearance

Fish tanks contain various different colors in such a small amount of space, so they’re capable of adding a beautiful and natural look to any room.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Starter Aquarium

Size and cost

You should consider what type of fish you’ll have as well as how many. This will help you determine how large of a tank you need in order to provide enough room for all of them to successfully thrive in their new environment. You’ll also want to purchase a tank that offers the best features while also being available at an affordable price.

Accessories for starter aquariums

You should consider whether the fish tank you’re purchasing comes with the accessories and other equipment needed in order to care for the fish. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to purchase these things separately, further increasing the amount of money you’re spending overall.

Type of fish tank

Most fish tanks are either produced with a glass or acrylic material. Both of these materials offer benefits, but they offer different features. Glass is more sturdy, affordable, and difficult to scratch. On the other hand, tanks composed of an acrylic material are more expensive, lightweight, and they’re more durable.


It’s important to also consider how much your fish tank weighs, since this will ultimately determine where you’ll be able to store the fish tank. More specifically, you should keep in mind that the tank will be full of water, so larger tanks will typically be heavier than other smaller tanks.

Best Starter Aquarium Reviews

1. Fluval Edge Aquarium

This Fluval aquarium is highly recommended for you to check out because it contains six different sizes that the fish have the ability to look through, and it allows the tank to look larger. Not only that, but this aquarium comes with an easy to use Edge filter, which is able to effectively filter the water inside the tank.

In addition to these benefits, this aquarium is highly recommended for you because it presents a unique cube shape that’s different than most other tanks on the market. It also comes with LED lighting, filtration, and wiring already included, so you’re not required to purchase the tank equipment separately.


  • Comes with bright white 7600K LEDs with 3 deep blue LEDs and a 3-Position switch
  • Comes with all of the equipment needed for operation
  • Includes Nutrafin Cycle and Nutrafin Aquaplus water treatments


  • Only fits 6 gallons, so it may be more difficult to maintain than other starter aquariums

2. Aqueon Ascent LED Aquarium Kit

The Aqueon Aquarium Kit is recommended for you because it doesn’t come with a frame, so you’re able to view more of what’s inside the tank as an outsider. In addition to that, this aquarium kit is fully featured and contains everything needed in order to begin your fishkeeping journey today.

Furthermore, this aquarium presents a unique, modern design that’s able to look beautiful in practically any room. And it comes with polished edges, fits 20 gallons of water, and it has a floating base. Given that, it provides a positive and natural look to every room.


  • Affordable
  • Comes with everything included for operation
  • Features polished edges and a floating base


  • Previous customers complain that the lighting isn’t sufficient enough to lighten the whole tank

3. Marina LED Aquarium Kit

You should check out this aquarium from Mariana because it’s able to fit up to 20 gallons of water, so it’s easy to maintain. When you purchase this aquarium kit, you’ll also receive a Mariana Slim S20 clip-on filter as well as filter cartridges to replace when needed.

Given that, you’re not placed with the inconvenience of purchasing equipment separately in order to operate the fish tank. Not only that, but this aquarium kit is affordable and is available in other sizes as well, if you prefer either a 5-gallon or 10-gallon tank.


  • Comes with everything you need in order to effectively operate the fish tank
  • Affordable
  • Fits up to 20 gallons of water, so it’s easy to maintain


  • Quality of glass material isn’t very durable

4. Aqueon LED Aquarium Bow Kit

The Aqueon LED Aquarium Bow Kit is suggested for you to check out because it presents a bow front, which helps to make the fish tank look larger than it actually it. Not only that, but it utilizes space more uniquely in order to give the fish more space to swim.

Additionally, this product is classified as the best starter aquarium because it already comes with everything that you need in order to begin your fishkeeping process. More importantly, this aquarium is able to fit up to 26 gallons of water, so it’s capable of fitting a larger amount of fish, water, and decorations than other types of tanks on the market.


  • Fits up to 26 gallons of water
  • Presents a bow front, so it’s more unique than other tanks
  • Comes with everything that you need in order to start fishkeeping


  • One of the more expensive fish tanks on the market

5. Tetra 20 gallon Complete Aquarium Kit

You should check out this aquarium because it’s produced with a scratch-resistant glass that offers maximized durability. Not only that, but this aquarium comes with everything needed for operation, and it even has a filter that operates extremely quietly.

In addition to that, this fish tank fits up to 20 gallons of water, and it comes with additional accessories for your convenience, such as an LED hood, a heater, a plant mat, plants, and a filter.


  • Affordable
  • Comes with a quiet filter as well as additional accessories
  • Produced with scratch-resistant glass


  • May be heavier than other tanks on the market


Overall, each of the starter aquariums on this list have the ability to offer you a wide range of benefits, including giving you the ability to effectively care for a range of fish. Starter aquariums can be any size, shape, and can have practically any type of fish in them, so the customization is completely up to you.

But it can still be difficult to choose the best aquarium on this list for your specific needs and interests. Given that, you are most recommended to purchase product #3: Mariana LED Aquarium Kit. This kit contains a tank that’s able to fit up to 20 gallons of water, so it’s easy to maintain the balance of components in the water. Not only that, but this aquarium kit comes with everything needed in order to operate, including a clip-on filter. Given these benefits, you should check out the best starter aquarium on the market.

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