One of the most challenging pets to keep are fishes and other aquatic animals as well as plants. Whereas dogs and cats require very minimal maintenance, keeping an aquarium requires an understanding of the living conditions of a variety of fishes that you put in your tank. Maintaining a thriving aquatic environment is often an endeavor of trial and error for the newbie aquarium owner. Nevertheless, getting an aquarium for your home can have many startling benefits. That’s why we came up with the top ten aquariums for you to consider.
10 Best Aquariums In 2016 | Review
- 1 10 Best Aquariums In 2016 | Review
- 1.1 5-Gallon Spec V Aquarium Kit by Fluval
- 1.2 3-Gallon 29095 Cube Aquarium Kit by Tetra
- 1.3 LED Aquarium Kit by Marina
- 1.4 5-Gallon 29045 Aquarium Kit with Blue LED Light by GloFish
- 1.5 6.5-Gallon API Semi-Hex Aquarium Kit with LED Lighting and Internal Filter by KollerCraft
- 1.6 10-Gallon 29234 Half Moon Aquarium Kit by Tetra
- 1.7 API Aquaview 360 Aquarium Kit with LED Lighting and Internal Filter by KollerCraft
- 1.8 5-Gallon ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit by MarineLand
- 1.9 5-Gallon API Panaview Aquarium Kit with LED Lighting and Power Filter by KollerCraft
- 1.10 360-Degree Aquarium Starter Kit by Marina
15-Gallon Spec V Aquarium Kit by Fluval
One really great fish tank starter kit is the Fluval Spec V at 5 gallons. It combines the clarity of etched-glass with an aluminum trim to give it a superb construction. The glass panels are guaranteed to resist scratches so it will stay looking as pristine as the first day you bought it. The lighting system is provided by 37 powerful LED lights that curve brilliantly above the Spec V. This should provide your aquatic animals and plants the kind of illumination that they need. It comes with a powerful pump with fully adjustable nozzles to help make sure nutrients and oxygen are properly dispersed throughout all sections of the Spec V. This ensures the health of your fishes. More importantly, it effectively pushes any debris towards the filtration system of the Spec V.
The Spec V features a 3-stage filtration system. BioMax bio rings serve to aid the filtration system in the management and removal wastes through a combination of biological, mechanical, and chemical ultra-filtration. The porous foam block that sits conveniently at the bottom of the Spec V also helps keep the water chemistry safe. Activated carbon blocks have also been added. Cleaning and maintenance are also kept relatively simple and hassle-free as the filtration and water pump mechanisms are housed in different locations of the Spec V. You don’t have to disassemble everything to reach a particular system.
What We Like about it – The Spec V has a simple design but the features are huge. The etched-glass construction is what many customers admire. We particularly love the combination of a variety of filtration systems to help make sure the water is a healthy environment for fishes to thrive in.
23-Gallon 29095 Cube Aquarium Kit by Tetra
Measuring only 10 x 10 x 10.5 inches, the Cube is the ideal solution for adding life to your otherwise drab desktop. Its cubical design won’t be taking too much space. If you have a kid who’s in college, you can even give this as a gift so he or she will have something to get his or her mind off anything stressful. It’s also ideal for the office as it can be conveniently placed in a corner of your cabinet or even on top of your filing cabinet. While the Tetra Cube is relatively small, it is nonetheless, packed with very useful features. It boasts of the Tetra 3i Whisper Power Filtration system which helps ensure the correct chemical composition of the water by removing toxic substances and debris that may be present. This also helps keep the Tetra Cube sparkling clean. While the Cube is essentially made of acrylic, it does look more like expensive glass. This gives it a more luxurious and elegant look. The pedestal base is made of solid wood and finished in a superb sheen adding to the overall aesthetics of the Cube. The cover is also made of acrylic with built-in LED lights to help provide a natural glow to your marine environment. Also located on the cover is a feeding hole so you don’t need to remove the entire cover to give your fish the nutrients they need.
What We Like about it – The Cube’s diminutive size makes it ideal in places where space is a major issue. The combination of styling and superb features also make this a real treasure to have.
3LED Aquarium Kit by Marina
If you practically don’t know anything about setting up and maintaining an aquarium, getting the Marina LED Aquarium Kit should solve your problems as this already includes everything that you will ever need to ensure a successful initiation into the world of aquariuming. It includes fish food so you won’t be bothered about what to give your aquatic pets. It even comes with a water conditioner, Aqua Plus, to turn ordinary tap water into an instant living environment for your fish. The kit also comes with a Cycle Biological Supplement to help ensure an aquatic environment that is healthy for your fishes. This also helps ensure a chemically well-balanced ecosystem so whatever fish you put in will be able to grow and develop fully. To further help you in your initiation, Marina has been kind enough to include a guide so you’ll have step-by-step instructions on how to setup your living marine environment and maintain it for a long time. The Marina LED itself is comes with a superb design that you can place in any part of your home. The cover has a built-in LED lighting system to let your marine ecosystem stand out. The S15 clip-on filter is a welcome addition to help ensure cleaner and healthier water for your fishes.
What We Like about it – The fuss-free, ready-to-use setup of the Marina LED is perfect for beginning hobbyist. This makes the learning curve a lot gentler so you will have a much better understanding on how you can setup your very own fish tank in the future.
45-Gallon 29045 Aquarium Kit with Blue LED Light by GloFish
Putting the GloFish Aquarium in your home can really increase your home’s aesthetics by leaps and bounds. Shaped like a beautiful crescent, this acrylic-constructed fish tank features beautiful blue LED lights that mimic the underwater environment of the deep blue sea. The LED lighting helps reflect the superb natural fluorescence of marine creatures giving you a rainbow of colors in a sparkling blue backlight. Adding to the fluorescent colors is the acrylic canopy where the LED lighting system is housed. The filtration system is made more efficient by the use of a medium sized Bio Bag filter giving your fish tank superb cleanliness for optimum fish health. This simply means, maintaining your GloFish will not really be that difficult. But what really makes the GloFish superbly beautiful is its unique design. The gently curved front acrylic panel gives a sense of elegance that will simply elevate any existing theme in your home. From the looks of it, the GloFish will let your home glowing with elegance.
What We Like about it – The unique styling of the GloFish make it a superb décor to any room in your house, any office, or even in the dorm of your child. This is one fish tank you really don’t want to pass on.
56.5-Gallon API Semi-Hex Aquarium Kit with LED Lighting and Internal Filter by KollerCraft
For those who are into geometric shapes and who loves to see sharp corners and elegant lines in a fish tank, we strongly recommend getting the API Semi-Hex kit. What’s superb about the Semi-hex is that, despite its being half hexagon in shape, there are no unsightly silicone seams that will obstruct your view of the marine animals living inside the high-grade acrylic tank. The different facets of the semi-hex can provide you with a superb view of the aquatic ecosystem. The canopy has built-in LED lighting compete with 7 mood colors to give your aquarium a slightly different look every time. Some of the owners we’ve encountered light their fish tank with a different color for each day of the week while others prefer to cycle through the different colors every 3 to 4 hours. The canopy also comes with a feeding port so there is no need to remove the cover and stick your hand into the water as doing so can adversely affect the chemical and temperature balance of the water. The Semi-Hex already comes with a SuperClean 10 power filter rated at a flow rate of 45 gallons per hour. The Bio-ChemZorb 10 cartridges for the filtration system helps maintain the correct water parameters to ensure optimum health for your aquatic friends.
What We Like about it – The changeable colors of the LED lighting system is superbly unique. At least, you’ll have an entirely different fish tank look every single day.
610-Gallon 29234 Half Moon Aquarium Kit by Tetra
You don’t need to get a cubical or even a rectangular fish tank as the seams can obstruct the view you’re looking for. Instead, get the Tetra Half Moon for a superb viewing experience. Adding to the unobstructed view is a frameless top that also gives you an excellent view of your fishes from above. Arching towards the top of the Half Moon is a lighting system that doubles as a source of additional heat for your fishes. Together with its unique Tetra Whisper filtration system, these components help ensure the water stays within the correct parameters especially its pH, the temperature, and its chemical balance. The back of the Half Moon can be flushed against your wall to add a different element to your home’s aesthetics.
What We Like about it – The unique half-moon shape of this Tetra fish tank makes it an ideal decorative piece to any room. The combination of simple yet highly functional design gives it unparalleled utility especially for the novice aquarist.
7API Aquaview 360 Aquarium Kit with LED Lighting and Internal Filter by KollerCraft
Imagine an oversized jar capable of holding 2 to 6 gallons of water and covered by a black acrylic lid. Now imagine putting all of your aquatic decors and accessories inside this jar, fill it with water, let it sit for a few days, then add your fish. The end result? A beautiful 360-degree fish tank. Well, that’s exactly what the Aquaview 360 is. Made by KollerCraft, the Aquaview 360 is best placed in the center of the room to really appreciate the 360-degree view. Nevertheless, its unique shape should fit anywhere in your house as it doesn’t have any corners you’ll have to consider. Like all KollerCraft aquariums, the Aquaview already comes with a built-in LED lighting and filtration system so there’s no need to buy separate filters and lighting. You can also choose the color of the LED light from 7 different options giving you the superb flexibility of a very colorful cylindrical fish tank. Like the Semi-Hex, the Aquaview features the same Bio-ChemZorb 10 and SuperClean systems for efficient management of wastes in the water. And since, it’s made of acrylic, you can bet it’s tough and impact-resistant.
What We Like about it – The 360-degree design is unique in itself. It reminds you of the classic fish bowl except that this is cylindrical. Additionally, the inclusion of 7 different LED colors and the superb filtration system helps provide a very unique aquariuming experience.
85-Gallon ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit by MarineLand
If you require a really unique aquatic décor for your bedroom, we suggest you try MarineLand’s Portrait Aquarium. Why the bedroom? Well, the Portrait has blue and white LED light; white simulating daytime and the blue simulating the nighttime. In fact, when used in your bedroom, you’ll get the feeling that you’re relaxing under the moonlight. Aside from this, the Portrait is also unique as its 3-stage filtration system that includes a Bio-Foam and a Rite-size Z filter is integrated in the back panel instead of the bottom of the fish tank. This can have the advantage of more efficient treatment or management of the waste materials present in the water. The force of the water pump can also be adjusted accordingly to give you optimum control of water circulation. Supporting the base is a pedestal that gives it unsurpassed stability. On top is a canopy that is conveniently hinged for superb access to the Portrait’s interior. It doesn’t have any feeding ports, though.
What We Like about it – It may look complicated to setup, but the MarineLand Portrait is so easy to assemble. Best of all, the unique placement of the filtration system simply means easier maintenance as the whole system is a lot easier to acess.
The Panaview has the same features as the Semi-Hex and the Aquaview, having been manufactured by the same company. But what really separates the Panaview from the other two KollerCraft products we have in our list is its superbly elegant styling. Its high grade acrylic construction allowed the company to shape it in one seamless curvy and sleek aquarium that provides unobstructed 360-degree view of the aquarium. It has the same 7-color LED lighting system, the same filtration system, and the same ease of installation as in the Aquaview and the Semi-Hex.
What We Like about it – It’s the design of the Panaview that really caught our eye. It’s so revolutionary and very sexy. The seamless design is also worth noting.
10360-Degree Aquarium Starter Kit by Marina
If you think the Portrait’s unique placement of its filtration system in the back panel is something to admire, wait until you see the Marina 360-degree Aquarium. Imagine a beautiful jar that can hold 2.65 gallons of water giving you unrestricted viewing angles. Now, add a tubular housing placed at the back of the fish tank containing all of the essential components that make an aquarium work including its pump and filtration system and its spectacular LED lighting. This arrangement of the different components allow for ease of cleaning and maintenance. It’s also ideal for unobstructed viewing. Water is drawn from the base of the housing unit and recirculated at the top giving a steady flow of clean and healthy water for your fishes to thrive in. The Marina 360 is made of premium grade acrylic but has been tinted with green hues to give it a uniquely glassy look. The cover can be easily removed for instant cleaning.
What We Like about it – The Marina 360 has a very sleek design and a very small space requirement of just 10 inches. This makes it a superb décor for offices, dorms, and even in your own bedroom. You can also make it as a desktop ornament or even a décor for your countertop.
How We Chose the Aquariums in Our List
In choosing the aquariums in our list, we had to look at the overall construction of the aquarium. It makes no sense at all to get an aquarium that will not be able to fulfill its primary function: to hold the liquid environment upon which everything else will be depending on. This means that it must be made of the highest possible quality of aquarium glass with panels that are joined by a super water-tight seal. If there’s a leak, then what’s the use?
Secondly, the different features that have been built into the aquarium must serve a purpose and not there just for aesthetic reasons. It is important to look at the integrity of these electrical systems including the water pump that drives the filtration system as well as the lighting system, if any. Safety is very important as water and electricity are never the best of friends.
To aid us in narrowing down our choices, we had to rely on the comments, reviews, and feedbacks of other customers. The ease of installation as well as the dependability of the fish tank have been determined from these customer feedbacks and comments.
It was quite a challenge getting the list down to just 10 simply because there’s just so many of them that are great products in themselves. Regardless, we’re proud to say that we did well in our shortlist.
Benefits of Having an Aquarium at Home
An aquarium is an excellent décor to improve the aesthetic appearance of your home. The light above the aquarium illuminating the underwater ecosystem can really provide a very remarkable landscape, a respite for the eyes which may already be tired of looking at drab walls in your living room. Add colorful marine fishes in bright blue, red, yellow, orange, and purple hues and you have a living rainbow right in your house. But more than mere aesthetics, having an aquarium in the home can provide plenty of benefits as well. Just look at the following.
- Great stress-busters.
Maybe you haven’t noticed but simply looking at an aquarium can actually bring a sense of calmness to you. There’s something about water and marine life that helps calm nerves, making you feel much more relaxed, and totally in control of whatever it is that’s bringing you stress. There have been several studies showing the effects of aquariums on the levels of stress. These studies support the popular notion that fish tanks can really provide for an excellent method of relaxation. If you don’t believe us, just try going to some health and fitness centers and try to ask about their fish spa therapy. Maybe you’ve already seen this in malls and other public places where you have people sitting on a big pool of water with their feet fully submerged and letting fishes swarm over them. It won’t hurt to try it at least once in your lifetime. Watching aquariums have been shown to lower blood pressure and increase feelings of relaxation and leisure satisfaction.
- Excellent in calming fussy and restless children.
Young children are naturally curious. Fortunately, this curiosity can come in handy as they can get distracted and not become restless. For example, some studies show that fussy or restless children have a better chance of calming down when brought to a place with an aquarium. Exactly why this occurs, no one knows. It is believed that the natural movements of marine life inside the aquarium help stimulate curiosity among young children such that their anxious energies are redirected towards the appreciation of these wonderful creatures.
- Aids in work productivity.
You might not believe it but workplaces with aquariums have been shown to have more productive and happier employees. The workplace is also more relaxed. There’s no tension. And even if there is, it is usually muted to the point that you won’t even recognize that it’s there. Aquariums are excellent stress relievers that workplaces that are known to be very stressful were transformed into a more peaceful working environment with the addition of an aquarium.
- May help patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Who would have thought that an ordinary tank with bright colored fishes can actually help people with Alzheimer’s disease? A study from Purdue University showed that Alzheimer’s patients were calmer, more alert, and more relaxed when they were made to watch brightly colored fishes in an aquarium. The patients were also observed to be able to eat a lot better. It should be understood that Alzheimer’s is a very complex neurodegenerative disease where the individual’s cognitive processes have already declined making them more restless and fidgety. Aquariums have shown to help these patients stay calmer. So, if you have someone in your family who has Alzheimer’s or even dementia, having an aquarium is not really a bad idea.
- Excellent sleep aid.
It should be fairly obvious by now that the main benefit of a well-maintained aquarium is relaxation. It should not really be surprising to know that it can also be an excellent sleeping aid. Many of today’s aquariums come in wonderful LED lights that have been shown to produce some sort of a hypnotic effect. This helps us sleep a lot faster and stay asleep in a much calmer state.
It doesn’t matter where you put your aquarium. Whether it’s in your living room, your dining room, or even your bedroom, the important thing to understand is that it provides a calmer and more relaxing environment.
Considerations in Buying an Aquarium
We have already shared with you how we chose the best aquariums in our list. But, in case you would like to scout for your very own aquarium, there are certain things that you have to consider.
- Location of your aquarium
The very first consideration is where you’re going to place your aquarium. Remember that it is supposed to provide relaxation. So, it should be place in an area of your home where you will be spending most of your free time. Many homes put their aquariums in the living room or even in the kitchen. Additionally, you have to understand that the weight of your aquarium, once filled, will be at least 10 times the capacity of the aquarium in pounds. This means, if you have a 10-gallon aquarium, you’d get a final product that is at least 100 pounds heavier. If you decide to relocate it, just imagine the task ahead.
You’ll have to consider creating a space bubble for your aquarium. This means that the overall structure of the aquarium should be very accessible. Moreover, you’ll have to consider the location of your water source as well as electrical outlets. The proximity of entrances, aircon vents, and other objects or fixtures that can affect the stability of the water temperature must also be considered. As such, you need to place your kitchen away from these heat or cold sources as what you would like to achieve is a relative stable water temperature. Lastly, consider the setup of the aquarium whether you’re going to place it in a table or a dedicated stand. The point is for you to put your aquarium in a level and stable surface.
- Size of the tank
The size of the aquarium you’re going to get depends largely on the type of fish that you’re going to put in. As a general rule, the larger the tank, the better it is for your fishes. This is because you’ve got a larger room for error, so to speak. Additionally, larger volumes of water can dilute any toxic metabolites that may be present in the water so it is generally safer for your aquatic friends.
However, you should also consider where you’re going to put the aquarium. Remember what we said about the volume of an aquarium being ten times heavier once filled? So, if you have a 50 gallon aquarium, you’re actually looking at an extra 500 pounds on your floor. Technically, you wouldn’t want your floor caving in under the aquarium. It is best to consult a professional for this.
Here’s something you can do to get an estimate of the size of your aquarium. Determine the weight of your aquarium once filled up. A 50 gallon aquarium will weigh 500 pounds when full. Now, try to measure the space on your floor that it will occupy. For example, it will occupy 4 feet by 1 foot, giving us a floor space of 4 square feet. Next, divide the weight of the aquarium by the floor space. In our example, that means dividing 500 pounds by 4 square feet to give us 125 pounds per square feet or PSF. You will then take the PSF of your floor and the amount of available space to determine the maximum size of the aquarium that you can get.
- Aquarium construction
Lastly, you need to think about the construction of the aquarium. There are two fundamental types of aquarium construction: glass or acrylic. Glass is cheaper and technically more resistant to scratching. On the other hand, acrylic is stronger and more pliable. This gives you superb selection of different aquarium shapes and styles. It is also not easily broken nor shattered so it’s a good idea to get acrylic if you live in an area where earthquakes are a common phenomenon. Your choice of aquarium construction actually depends on your décor and lifestyle needs.
The Bottom Line
Aquariums can be quite challenging to setup and maintain. But once fully set, they can be excellent sources of happiness in our lives as they help us feel more relaxed. With the top 10 aquariums we’ve listed here, we’re pretty sure you have a much better chance of leading your life more peacefully.